Some of the ingredients may need to be sourced from a specialty market. The authenticity they bring to the dish, however, makes them worth the extra trip. This appetizer will soon become the most popular guest at your party. You may want to make a double batch!
- 1 4-inch piece of kombu seaweed
- 4 cups cold water
- 1 cup bonito flakes
- 1 cup mirin
- 1 cup soy sauce
- 2 Tbsp sugar
Tempura Green Beans
- 2 quarts peanut or sesame oil
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup rice flour
- 2 eggs
- 1½ cups tap water, chilled
- 1½ cups soda water, chilled
- 1 lb green beans, trimmed
- shredded daikon radish
- green tea salt, bamboo salt or shiso salt
| Preparation – Tentsuyu Sauce | Lightly wipe the seaweed with a damp towel. Combine the seaweed and cold water in a medium pot and soak for 20 minutes. Bring the water to a boil. Add the bonito flakes and immediately remove from heat. Steep the mixture for 5 minutes and then strain through a fine-mesh sieve. Press the ingredients to extract as much flavor as possible.
Return the strained liquid to the pot and add the mirin, soy sauce and sugar. Bring to a simmer and whisk until the mixture is thick and flavorful. Set aside until ready to use.
| Preparation – Tempura Green Beans | Heat the oil in a large pot until it reaches 380°F to 390°F on a high-temperature thermometer. Combine the two flours in a large bowl. In a separate small bowl, combine the eggs, tap water and | 1 | soda water. Whisk to combine. Add the egg mixture into the flour mixture in a slow, steady stream, | 2 | whisking with a pair of chopsticks until just combined. The batter will be lumpy and should be of medium thickness – neither pasty nor runny. If it is too thin, it won’t adhere to the vegetables properly. Add a bit more rice flour, 1 Tbsp at a time, until it is thick enough to coat a spoon but still runs off easily.
| 3 | In small batches, dip the green beans into the batter and toss to coat. Remove from the batter and allow excess batter to drip off. | 4 | Carefully place the green beans into the hot oil and use chopsticks to constantly turn and move them. Fry until golden-brown, about 2 to 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the green beans and drain them on a paper towel-lined plate.
Repeat the process with the remaining green beans. Between each batch, be sure to spoon out any bits of batter remaining in the oil to prevent burning and allow the oil temperature to return to at least 380°F before adding more green beans.
| To Serve | Place the tempura green beans on a large serving platter and garnish with finely grated daikon radish, specialty salt and tentsuyu sauce.