Tempura Tex-m-pura Baby Eggplants

tempura-texmpura-baby-eggplants-yes-more-please

This might be the ultimate way to eat baby eggplants.
Besides the great classic recipes used for bigger eggplants, like ratatouille, caponata, Baba ghanoush, grilling, stuffing or roasting them( which I love) I feel these dainty two-three inches nightshade gems deserve a more delicate approach. I’m always looking for a contrast in texture when eating something so custardy and creamy like the way the eggplants become when they are cooked. The solution for my craving for these tender and sweet eggplants: tempura batter.
I know you have seen eggplant tempura at your favorite Japanese restaurant. They mostly use the large eggplants, which are delicious but not near as delicate in  flavor as these babies. Wait until you try this dainty two bite goodness.
These Tempura baby Eggplants are an exhilarating bite. Imagine a bite that combines a light and crispy fried tempura coat with a warm custardy buttery eggplant interior. A beautiful object to be dipped on a tangy, salty, spicy, sweet sauce. Yes, all in one bite.
Are you with me? Or did you lose it at tempura coat?…
There are a lot of tempura recipes out there yielding different textures and results. After experimenting with different amounts of flours, egg, eggless, water, cold fizzy water, I think I found the formula and proportions that work for my tempura dreams. By far this tempura recipe is the one I find it has the right balance of flavor and texture, for me, tempura has to be extra crispy and light with a flavorful batter. This is what this tempura coat is all about: crispy and flavorful.

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Now lets make this tempura recipe our own. My spin is a hint of spice and using an Ale instead of the fizzy water. Texmpura, its what I call this, using one of my favorite Texas beer, “The Naked Nun” from Adelbert’s Brewery, an Austin, Texas …a local beer, this is all you need to transform this Tempura into a beer batter Texmpura that is flavorful, light, and extra crisp. If you can’t get Adelbert’s where you are I recommend a bright citrus beer, or a dos equis mexican beer instead. I’m sure by now you are as excited as I am, about eggplant season. Eggplants are available all year around, but the peak of eggplant season runs from July to October and baby eggplants are best found at local stores or farmer’s markets. If you are in Austin Tx, you can find these babies at Mueller Sunday’s Farmers market, Springdale Farms, Wholefoods or Central Market.
Now, my friends, please, do not limit yourself to eggplants, bring on the carrots, sweet potatoes, green beans, cauliflower, broccoli, green onions, mushrooms, beets, radishes, kohlrabi, parnsnips, squash, zucchini, Yes, please! bringing these vegetables along with baby eggplants to the party! That’s a must, although
Once you tried this Texmpura Baby Eggplants, its kind of a one vegetable party…
Have fun, Enjoy!

tempura-ingredients

Tempura Tex-m-pura Baby Eggplants

Serves 4-6 people

24 Baby eggplants, any kind will work, I used graffiti baby eggplants.
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1- 1 ½ cups grape seed oil or peanut oil to fry.
½ teaspoon sesame oil (optional), if you have it great it will give more flavor to the oil.
For the batter:
½ cup flour
½ cup cornstarch
1 egg
¼ teaspoon korean chili powder
1 pinch of salt
If making tempura: ¾ cup cold topo chico or any mineral water of your affection.
OR
If making tex-m-pura*: ¾ cup cold Ale I used “the naked nun”from Adelbert’s Brewery. Use any other citrus-y ale beer of your affection.
For Tex-mpura, substitute the fizzy water for a ligh or ambar beer of your affection. My suggestion, I love Austin, Adelbert’s Brewery its a local beer and my choice for this recipe will be “the naked nun” why well, as they described their beer: “THE ALE:  This ale has a well-rounded aroma of citrus notes, clove, and apple. It is refreshing and soft, with balanced hints of bitter orange peel and coriander”.

For the dipping sauce:
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 teaspoosn honey
2 generous pinches of korean chili powder to sprinkle on the baby eggplants when serving.

Preparation method:
1. Cut the baby eggplants in fourths leaving the steam on, being careful not to cut all the way trough.
2. In a large bowl toss eggplants with 2 tablespoons of cornstarch.

how-to-cook-baby-eggplants
3. Make the dipping sauce by combining all ingredients. Set aside.
4. Prepare the tempura batter: On a medium size bowl combine the flour, cornstarch, chilli powder and salt, whisk. Add egg and fizzy mineral water OR the beer and whisk until just combined. Place batter bowl over a bowl with ice, and refigerate for 5 minutes, while your oil comes to temperature. One of the secrets for crispy tempura is to keep the batter chilled.

tempura-tex-mpura-batter-yes-more-please
5. In a small tall pot add the oil and heat it up to 350F/ 175C use a frying thermometer for best results.
Once the oil has reached the temperature, test your oil by dropping some batter into the oil. It should come afloat immediately. Now, take each eggplant by the steam and dip it on the cold tempura batter, promptly and carefully, gently drop the eggplant on the oil. With the help of a fork, drizzle on fast zigzag motion some of the batter on top of the eggplant that is on the oil. This will give extra bits of crispy batter morsels. Wait 1-2 minutes, and using some wood chopsticks or a spider skimmer and  flip the eggplant to the other side, wait 1 more minute, until its beautiful and light golden brown, take it out and place it on a wire rack.
Depending upon the size of your frying pot, you can fry 2-3 at the time, monitor the oil temperature every time you start a new batch. Too hot oil will scorch the batter, too cold oil will yield oily tempura.
Once you find your frying rhythm this process goes really fast!

how-to-fry-tempura_yes-more-please

tempura-baby-eggplants_yes-more-pleasetempura-texmpura-baby-eggplants

Serve immediately, eat while is warm, dip munch, crisp, repeat… enjoy!

Music Pairing: 17 Hippies “Saragina Rumba” Live in Berlin

5 from 1 vote
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Tempura Tex-m-pura Baby Eggplants

www.yes-moreplease.com

THis might be the ultimate way to eat baby eggplants, crispy and creamy tender inside.

Course Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine FUSION, Japanese
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 6 ninja-tex

Ingredients

  • 24 Baby eggplants, any kind will work, I used graffiti baby eggplants.
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch, for dusting the eggplants
  • 1- 1 ½ cups grape seed oil or peanut oil, to fry. to fry.
  • ½ teaspoon sesame oil (optional), if you have it great it will give more flavor to the oil.

For the batter:

  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2-4 pinches korean chili powder, some to use in the batter , some to sprinkle on the baby eggplants when serving.

For the dipping sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons honey

Instructions

  1. 1. Cut the baby eggplants in fourths leaving the steam on, being careful not to cut all the way trough.

    2. In a large bowl toss eggplants with 2 tablespoons of cornstarch.

    3. Make the dipping sauce. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.

    4. Prepare the tempura batter: On a medium size bowl combine the flour, cornstarch, chilli powder and salt, whisk. Add egg and fizzy mineral water OR the beer and whisk until just combined. Place batter bowl over a bowl with ice, and refigerate for 5 minutes, while your oil comes to temperature.

    5. In a small tall pot add the oil and heat it up to 350F/ 175C use a frying thermometer for best results.

    6. Once the oil has reached the temperature, test your oil by dropping some batter into the oil. It should come afloat immediately. Now, take each eggplant by the steam and dip it on the cold tempura batter, promptly and carefully, gently drop the eggplant on the oil. With the help of a fork, drizzle on fast zigzag motion some of the batter on top of the eggplant that is on the oil. This will give extra bits of crispy batter morsels. Wait 1-2 minutes, and using some wood chopsticks or a spider skimmer and  flip the eggplant to the other side, wait 1 more minute, until its beautiful and light golden brown, take it out and place it on a wire rack.

    Depending upon the size of your frying pot, you can fry 2-3 at the time, monitor the oil temperature every time you start a new batch. Too hot oil will scorch the batter, too cold oil will yield oily tempura.
Once you find your frying rhythm this process goes really fast!

    Serve immediately, eat while is warm, dip munch, crisp, repeat... enjoy!

Recipe Notes

 

*For Tex-mpura, substitute the fizzy water for a ligh or ambar beer of your affection. My suggestion, I love Austin, Adelbert's Brewery its a local beer and my choice for this recipe will be “the naked nun” why well, as they described their beer: "THE ALE:  This ale has a well-rounded aroma of citrus notes, clove, and apple. It is refreshing and soft, with balanced hints of bitter orange peel and coriander".

Hello! That's what I want on my batter!

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4 Responses to Tempura Tex-m-pura Baby Eggplants

  1. Sarah H. September 25, 2016 at 4:48 pm #

    Thanks so much for putting together such a tasty dish with our beer! Do you deliver? We really appreciate the shout out!

    • Mariana McEnroe September 28, 2016 at 12:42 pm #

      Sara! We love Adelberts beer! xoxo hope to visit the brewery soon!

  2. June Abramson September 22, 2016 at 5:04 pm #

    Where is your Print button? I don’t want to print out all the images, and I don’t want to have to copy the recipe. I want to print the recipe, it sounds phenomenal. Thanks.

    • Mariana McEnroe September 22, 2016 at 9:27 pm #

      June the print out version its at the end of the post. the print button is under the little picture. Enjoy!

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