View Full Version : Iron Chef
Have any of you watched it? Do any of you still watch it? If so, what do you enjoy so much about it? If not, or if you haven't heard about it-- what's wrong with you?
Just joking of course. Called Ryori no Tetsujin (lit. "Cooking of the Iron Man") in Japan, this show pits challengers against "Iron Chefs" of different culinary styles... very interesting, though the Iron Chefs win a lot more than they lose... any comments?
03-27-2001, 05:03 PM
Nick ... GO!
"Those lobsters taste more Italian than japanese."
Jim ... GO!
Anyway, interesting show.
But they can't beat my authentic tempura recipe. I'll take on all challengers.
04-01-2001, 12:01 PM
1 1/2 lb fish/shrimp/vegetables
salt and white pepper
1/4 cup flour
oil for frying
1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
1/2 cup very warm water
3/4 cup flour
1 tsp oil
3/4 cup beer
1 egg white
pinch of sugar
Wash fish/shrimp/vegetables in lemon and water. Season with salt and pepper.
Chill while you prepare the batter.
Sprinkle yeast over very warm water. Let stand until dissolved.
Place flour in a bowl with the salt and sugar. Make a well in the center.
Add the dissolved yeast, oil and 2/3 of the beer. Stir with a wooden spoon just to combine. Stir in remaining beer. Let the batter stand, covered, in a warm place for 30-35 minutes, until it has thickened and become frothy.
Dry fish/shrimp/vegetables with paper towels and cut each fillet diagonally into 2 pieces.
Heat the oven to warm.
Stir together remaining flour, pepper and salt in a plate.
Heat the oil.
Whip egg white until it forms soft peaks and fold into batter.
Coat fish/shrimp/vegetables with seasoned flour, patting so they are evenly coated.
Shake off excess flour.
Using a 2 pronged fork, dip the fish/shrimp/vegetables into the batter. Lift it out and hold it over bowl 5 seconds to drip off excess batter. Carefully lower the fish/shrimp/vegetables into the hot oil and deep fry, turning once, until golden crisp.
[Edited by Jim23 on April 1, 2001 at 12:09pm]
04-01-2001, 04:26 PM
I'm shocked that no one caught on (or cared :D). That was NOT NOT NOT how to make tempura!
That was for fish 'n chips. Do NOT attempt that recipe at home. Unless you like fish 'n chips (I do).
04-04-2001, 03:02 PM
First some background.
TEMPURA is one of the most familiar of all Japanese dishes, both at home and abroad. This familiar national dish finds its place in the Kyushu section because it was almost certainly invented in Nagasaki – not, however, by the Japanese. Between 1543 and 1634 Nagasaki was the center of a great community of missionaries and traders from Spain and Portugal. Like homesick foreigners everywhere, they did their best to cook foods from their home countries, and batter-coated and deep-fried shrimp happened to be a particular favorite throughout southern Europe. The name tempura (from Latin tempera meaning 'times') recalls the Quattuor Tempora ('The Four Times', or 'Ember Days') feast days on the Roman Catholic calendar when seafood, especially shrimp, were eaten. When the dish became Japanized, however, its range was extended almost infinitely. Beef, pork and chicken are almost the only things not prepared as tempura, and these all have separate deep-frying traditions anyway.
Favorite foods for tempura treatment include shrimp, scallops, eggplant, snow peas, sweet potato slices, mushrooms of all sorts, string beans, carrots, peppers, squid, zucchini, small whole fish, lotus root and okra (ladies' fingers). The crucial factor in making good tempura is the batter. This should be so light and subtly-flavored that it could almost pass as an elaborate seasoning.
04-04-2001, 06:21 PM
Yield: 6 servings
1 lb Raw shrimp, deveined
2 Green Peppers
1 sm Eggplant (1/2 lb
1 md Sweet potato
6 Shiitake mushrooms
6 Inch piece raw squid
2 md Onions
Vegetable oil (peanut oil)
2 Egg yolks
2 c Ice-water
2 c Sifted all purpose flour (preferably cake & pastry flour)
3/4 c All-purpose flour
1/4 ts Baking soda
1 c Ichiban dashi
3 tb Light soy sauce
1 tb Mirin
1 tb Sugar
1/4 c Grated daikon (white radish)
2 ts Fresh ginger, grated
The amount of ice-water determines the relative heaviness or lightness of the batter – for very light, lacy tempura, add more water. The flour should be barely mixed with the other ingredients – to achieve real lightness, the batter should look lumpy, undermixed and unfinished-looking, and it must always be prepared just before you use it; thoroughly mixed, silky batter that has been allowed to 'set' and settle simply will not produce good tempura.
Preparation: Score the shrimp a few times crosswise on the underside, to prevent them curling-up during deep-frying. Tap the back of each shrimp with the back-edge of your knife. Core and remove the seeds from the peppers; trim and slice into strips. Wash and scrape the carrot; cut into strips about 1 1/2" long and 1/8" wide. Peel the eggplant, leaving 1/2" strips of the peel intact here and there for decorative effect. Cut in half lengthwise, then into slices 1/4" thick. Wash the slices and pat them dry with kitchen towelling. Peel the sweet potato and slice it crosswise into 1/2" rounds. Cut the mushrooms in half. Cut the flattened piece of squid into 1/2" squares. Cut the onions in half. Push toothpicks into the onion at 1/2" intervals, in a straight line. Then slice the onions midway between the toothpicks. The toothpicks will hold the layers of onion together in each of the sliced section.
Pour the vegetable oil into a large pot or electric skillet. The oil should be heated to about 350 degree F.
Make the batter in two batches. Place one egg yolk into a mixing bowl; add one cup of ice-water and mix with only one or two strokes. Then add 1 cup of flour, and mix as before, with only a few brief strokes. Prepare the second batch of batter when the first is used up. The batter should be lumpy, with some undissolved flour visible. Check the oil for heat: drop a bit of batter into the oil; if the batter sinks slightly beneath the surface, then comes right back up surrounded by little bubbles, your oil is ready.
Dip each item into flour first this ensures that each ingredient is perfectly dry and that the batter will adhere well. Then dip in the batter, shake a little to remove any excess batter, and slide into the oil. Fry each piece for about 3 minutes, or until lightly golden. In order to maintain the oil temperature, make sure that no more than a third of the surface of the oil is occupied by bubbling pieces of frying food. Remove the pieces from the oil and drain for a few seconds. Then transfer to your guests' plates, also lined with attractive absorbent paper. You may also keep tempura warm in a 250 degree F oven, no longer than about 5 minutes.
To make the dipping sauce: combine the dashi, soy sauce, mirin and sugar in a small saucepan. Heat until the sugar has dissolved and serve warm, with a little grated daikon and ginger on the side for each guest to combine with the dipping sauce according to taste. Dip the tempura in the sauce and eat.
Tempura can be served with rice. This is called ten-don. Put warm rice in a bowl or on a plate and place tempura on top of the rice. Pour on two or three tablespoons of tentsuyu. Another popular way of serving tempura is over a bowl of noodles. This is called tempura-udon or tempura-soba, and it is traditional Japanese fast food.
There are many variations in tempura frying. You can mix two or three vegetables and fry them together. This is called kakiage style. So be creative and invent your own style.
Man, I'm getting hungry!
04-04-2001, 09:59 PM
Jim is that last post the real recipe?? I would like to try it!!
04-05-2001, 06:10 AM
Yes, it is.
I've been making it for years and find that the best recipe.
Just make sure the food is cold, the oil hot, the batter virtually NOT mixed (even dip again in some dry flour before frying).
Jim, where do you get your dashi, mirin, daikon, etc?
04-05-2001, 10:07 AM
You should be able to find them in the "international" isle of the supermarket or you could make a trip to an oriental grocery store (you can probably buy them over the internet).
But, if you can't find them, don't let that stop you - improvise. Use soy sauce as a base and add whatever you like (spicy, sweet, garlic (BAMM!!!), etc.) or don't even use a dip (which some people prefer).
I find the key is to relax and enjoy the process, as if you're a bit tense, it tends to make the food tough. ;) Just don't let the batter settle and thicken up (make more, if necessary) and don't let the oil get so hot that you start burning the food.
And remember, you WILL screw up ocassionally. But with diligent, regular practice, once you've mastered the basics, you'll be able to act instinctively, without a recipe.
04-06-2001, 05:16 PM
It's Friday, I was planning to BBQ tonight, but, sigh ... it's raining. So, I think I'll TEMPURA tonight!
Man, I'm ready. Shrimp, scallops, string beans, portobello mushrooms, sweet potatoes. That's enough for tonight.
Let's get it on!
I'd love to talk. But, gotta ... make like a soviet and get rushin' ... make like a tree and leave.
I'm starting to sound like Austin Powers (fifteen minutes ago). Never mind.
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