Approx cost: ~€5+
Approx calories (per serving): ~650
Approx preparation time: 45 minutes
[dropcap style=”font-size: 60px; color: #0B0B61;”]Merry Monday everyone, and welcome, first of all to the results of my little quiz from my One Year Anniversary in blogging post. The polls are in, the totals have been tallied and the numbers crunched. I was surprised that only 1 person got 100%, though a couple of questions were a little tricky. The people in the top 5 or so were actually really close – literally only a point separating the positions so if you weren’t successful on this occasion I hope at least you had some fun – I know I did, so a big thank you to all the people who entered! There can only be three winners however, so it gives me great pleasure to announce the winners…
First of all, I’ve posted the results here so you can see where you might have gone wrong if you’re interested.
The winners though can be found in the little drop-down box below. Join me in offering them my congratulations and thank you again to everyone for taking part!
[learn_more caption=”Celebrating One Year In Blogging – Quiz Winners”]
- Kristy, from Eat, Play, Love
Kristy should also get extra recognition for being the only person to score 22 out of 22 correct (100%) in the quiz!
- Sharing joint 2nd place is Kelly, from Inspired Edibles and A_Boleyn
They both got an admirable score of 21 our of 22 correct (95%) in the quiz
– Thanks so much for taking part – I’ll be in touch with you shortly to talk about your prize.
– Everyone else – some of you came so close – better luck next time!
Anyway – on to the recipe! I’ve been putting off writing this post for a fortnight already, but it was darn tasty so I really want to get it out there. The problem is, as the circle of people I get to know through blogging grows, so too does the knowledge that I am exposed to. This is a dish I must have eaten a great many times, in various restaurants, but I know nothing at all about the ingredients really. This is my first time making it at home and it’s a hotchpotch of a whole load of recipes muddled together, so if any “pro tempura udon eaters” are out there reading this and find that I’m doing something completely wrong, please let me know – though please also be kind!
For the dish itself, I was actually surprised at how darn good it was – like, really good. As I’ve said – I’ve eaten it frequently in a large number of Japanese restaurants in Paris – I never thought I’d be able to recreate the experience so effectively at home, but in fact, for a first try, I was very, very pleased. The tempura wasn’t quite up to restaurant quality, but that’s just a case of finding the right recipe and the right technique – in any event, it was still good. Crispy and tasty. I decided to batter shrimp and lotus root – hardly the cheapest of ingredients in this part of the world, but you can do it much more cheaply – Aubergine is fantastic when battered, as is courgette, or white fish. After reading a number of posts, including Sissi’s, from WithAGlass.com, post on her delicious looking Udon Soup here, I decided not to opt to make my own dashi stock, instead deciding to buy a bottle of the concentrated stock. Following the instructions on the back the dilution ratio was roughly 1 part stock to 8-9 parts water. I went for 1:8 in the end, which gave a delicious broth! For the tempura, I referred to Nami’s, from Just One Cookbook, tempura post here – she also links to a rather useful Youtube video showing some good tips on how to make great tempura! Enjoy your Mondays everyone
For the Soup
- Enough Udon noodles for two people (~200g dried weight)
- 2 Eggs (One per person)
- Sliced, fresh Spring Onions (The green parts are prettier and tastier than just the white parts)
- Squares, or thin slices of Nori (seaweed)
- Concentrated dashi stock
- Water (Enough to roughly half fill two bowls)
- Shichimi chilli powder for sprinkling on top
For the Tempura – I doubled the original recipe because I had a lot of things to fry – feel free to halve this if just frying ~8 shrimps or so
- 200g Plain Flour
- 1 tsp Baking Powder
- 1 tsp Salt (increased from the original recipe)
- 2 Egg Yolks
- 400 ml water – place into the freezer until really cold
- 3-4 tbsps Cornflour (Corn starch)
- A whole heap of stuff to batter and fry – I used raw tiger shrimps and slices of lotus root
You’ll also need
- Enough Vegetable Oil to half fill a pan, for deep-frying
- 0.5 dl Sesame Oil
- Start off by putting two eggs onto boil in a pan of water. Bring to the boil and cook for about 7-8 minutes. Once they’re boiled, allow them to cool slightly before peeling, and cutting in half. Meanwhile though we’ll prepare your shrimps – remove the heads and peel, but leave the tails on, and de-vein them as well. At this point you may as well get out a saucepan and make up the soup stock – around 8 parts water to 1 part stock concentrate (or as per the bottle’s instructions if different). You’ll need enough liquid to fill two serving bowls to just above half-way when empty, so calculate accordingly. When the stock is made up, set aside for now, and pour the frying oil and the half decilitre of sesame oil and place onto the stove and begin to heat through. Keep an eye on the oil at all times while you make up the batter. Sieve the plain flour into a bowl and add in the baking powder and salt. Mix the egg yolks with the cold water and add in a couple of ice-cubes, to ensure the batter remains cold. Pour the egg/water mix into the flour mixture and stir around with a fork a few times – do not mix smooth. It’s important to leave some clumps of unbeaten flour.
- When the oil starts to get hot enough (you can test this by chucking in a cube of bread. It should start to sizzle violently if it’s ready) place the cornflour/starch (I think it’s the same thing) into a bowl and roll a few shrimps in the flour. Holding onto the shrimp tails, dunk them, one by one, into the batter a few times and then carefully lower them into the hot oil. I fried them in batches of 4 – too many at one go will lower the oil temperature and the results will not be as tasty! Fry for about 2-3 minutes, depending on the ingredient, oil etc. When the batter is just beginning to turn golden, remove and place on kitchen paper to drain. If you’re cooking a lot and not serving immediately you can place them in the oven at about 100 degrees Celsius to keep them crispy.
- While you’re frying the shrimps, in another pan cook the noodles as per the instructions on the packet. My particularly variety needed to be plunged into boiling water and cooked for about 10 minutes until soft. When cooked through, remove from the heat and drain, and place the other pan with stock onto the hob and bring to just below boiling point. Share the drained noodles between two bowls split the hot stock between the two portions, pouring over each pile of noodles. Decorate with the slices or squares of nori seaweed, the boiled egg halves, the chopped spring onions and finally, the crowning glory, a few pieces of battered deliciousness – in my case, shrimp and wonderful, crunchy lotus root.
- Sprinkle over a bit of shichimi chilli powder to bring out the flavour and enjoy! Makes a great lunch or dinner on a cold day