Sunday, July 29, 2007

Deep Fried Experiment #1: Tempura Green Peppers and Mock Duck

---> They look like sea monsters, don't they?

Deep fried food is oh so tasty, but a big pain to do at home. (I used to have a 3-in-1 machine that had a deep fryer, steamer and crockpot all in one.) Every now and then, though, it's fun to make a night of deep frying. Saturday night was one such night.

I happened upon some tempura batter without eggs a while back and had never gotten around to using it. I decided for the sake of the blog, I should really try it out. So I did. With one green pepper, a can of mock duck, and some onions.

What You Need:

Tempura (check for eggs)
Mock Duck, one can, drained, rinsed, and sliced into smaller pieces for eating (also: packaged or homemade seitan, tofu, or anything else will work, too)
One Green Pepper, sliced into strips (or 5, or broccoli, or whatever)
One onion, sliced into rings
LOTS of oil (canola/vegetable) for frying

Deep pan for deep frying (I used a wok)
Splatter Guard
draining rack/area
paper towels

Prep everything you plan on battering and frying. It makes the whole process much easier. Ideally, you should set up an area for the raw stuff, an area for battering, an area for frying and an area for draining. I have an extremely small kitchen, so this isn't really possible. Our draining area sort of crossed paths with the raw area, it was a messy situation, etc. I'm thankful that I was only working with green peppers and mock duck and not raw chicken.

The rest of this process is not very scientific. (as if the beginning half was.) Heat up oil to...really hot. But not too hot. Yep. (I don't have a thermometer. One more thing to add to my list of kitchen essentials.)

Batter the veggies or item you want to fry. We found that a really thin coating worked best. We also found that seasoning the mock duck ahead of time (pan frying with soy sauce, ginger, hot peppers, etc.) was an excellent decision. Place battered items into pan:

When the fried objects are golden brown (5-8 mins?) take them out of the oil and place on a wire rack on top of a cookie pan. (We used the toaster oven accessories for this because it was small and perfect.)

Yep. Use paper towel to soak up more oil after the objects have cooled more. Eat and enjoy. Soy sauce is a nice condiment, as well as cock sauce.

The Verdict:
It wasn't bad. Wasn't that good, either. More of a batter issue than anything. the tempura just didn't work well with deep frying, which is to be expected. The onions were the best. I thought they would not be tasty at all, and I feel foolish for questioning deep fried onions.

I will have to have a true deep frying night soon, testing a couple of batters.

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