Lobster and Vegetable Tempura

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What is better than lobster?  Tempura lobster, of course!

We recently dined at a fantastic sushi restaurant in Houston called Kata Robata.  While the sushi was delicious, making it at home is clearly out of my range, but the tempura lobster is fair game!

It’s not uncommon for us to fire up the deep fryer and have what we call “Fry Night,” where we coat and fry any and everything we have on-hand.  Strangely, it never occurred to me that I could fry lobster until our restaurant visit. The restaurant version seemed to have a smidge of sugar in it, but I prefer the savory version a la Alton Brown.

The recipe calls for separating the parts into two, and having used the recipe a few times now, the first half is enough to coat my dinner.  I mix the full amount but save half for the Fry Night part deux.

For the lobster, our grocery store sells the smaller tails as an option. I buy these, remove them from the shell, and split them into two sections before frying.

Ingredients:

  • 5 ounces unbleached cake flour
  • 5 ounces white rice flour
  • 1 1/2 quarts vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups Seltzer Water
  • 1/2 cup vodka
  • Lobster, squid and vegetables of choice
  • Kosher Salt
  • Ponzu (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Whisk the cake flour and rice flour together in a medium glass bowl and divide it in half. Set aside.
  2. Heat the vegetable oil in a 5-quart Dutch oven over high heat until it reaches 375 degrees F on a deep-fry thermometer.
  3. Once the temperature reaches 365 degrees F, whisk the egg, seltzer water and vodka, in a medium mixing bowl and divide it in half. Put half of the mixture in the refrigerator to reserve. Pour half of the liquid mixture into half of the dry mixture and whisk to combine, about 10 to 15 seconds. Some lumps may remain. Set the glass bowl in a larger bowl lined with ice.
  4. Prep your seafood and vegetables!     IMG_4112IMG_4114
  5. Dip the vegetables and lobster into the batter using tongs, drain for 2 to 3 seconds over the bowl, and then add to the hot oil.  Adjust the heat to maintain between 375 and 400 degrees F.  Fry 6 to 8 pieces, at a time, until puffy and very light golden, about 1 to 2 minutes.  Remove to a cooling rack lined with 3 layers of paper towels set over a half sheet pan. Sprinkle with salt. Repeat the same dipping and frying procedure with the remaining items. One option is to fry the vegetables first and then serve them on a platter an appetizer while preparing the seafood.IMG_4031
  6. Whisk together the remaining halves of dry and liquid batter ingredients as above and repeat dipping and frying with the shrimp and fish fillets. Sprinkle with salt and transfer to a serving platter and serve immediately with Ponzu, if desired.

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This recipe comes from the quirky but always great Alton Brown.

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