Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Sasha's Kitchen: Nobu's Spicy Shrimp Tempura

I am about to introduce the most unhealthy thing I have made since starting this blog.  All those sticks of butter in my cupcake frosting don't hold a candle to this one.  I really usually try to cook on the healthy side, so deep fried food is a rarity in my kitchen.  However, I couldn't resist trying out Nobu's recipe for spicy shrimp tempura, and I was not disappointed.  Like most things that are incredibly unhealthy, the deep fried shrimp, coated in a spicy mayonnaise, dipped in ponzu sauce, was mouth wateringly delicious.  In fact, I, the normally somewhat health conscious (or at least fat conscious) chef who cooks using only organic vegetables, am almost ashamed to be writing this one up.  I probably wouldn't share this recipe at all, because of the guilt factor, if it wasn't so good . . .

Nobu, the flagship restaurant of Chef Nobu Matsuhisa is one of my favorite Japanese restaurants in New York for its non-sushi dishes.  The black cod with miso is another favorite of mine (much healthier, too I might add).  The recipe below is from Nobu's cookbook, Nobu Now.   When preparing this dish, I made a couple of slight modifications from Nobu's recipe, while I scaled back the recipe so I would not have extra.    The dish was amazing, but given the cardio-scare from this dish, it is probably not something I will make again.  Then again, it's nice to treat yourself every now and then.  In addition, it is worth adding that I discovered that another blogger has done a very similar adaption from the original Nobu recipe.

Tempura Batter (adapted from Nobu Now recipe)
1 egg yolk
3/4 cup ice water
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp lemon juice

Spicy Mayonnaise
1 egg yolk
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp rice vinegar
1/3 cup canola oil
4 tsp sambal
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

3/4 lb shrimp
ponzu sauce
lemon juice

To prepare this recipe, I first made the batter and set aside.  To make the spicy mayonnaise, I bet all the ingredients except the canola oil in a bowl, and then I emulsified by adding the canola oil slowly and beating with a whisk the entire time.  I added both sambal and red pepper flakes to get the desired heat.  You could certainly make it spicier if you like.

One of the things I dislike most about seafood is shelling and deveining shrimp.  However, the deveining process (which I detest) is absolutely necessary.  For that reason, I purchased fresh shrimp that were already shelled and deveined at my local fish market in Park Slope.  To prepare the shrimp, I dipped or dredged each shrimp in the batter and then deep fried it in our electric hot pot, with the heat setting for the oil at about 355 F.  My husband, Brad, actually did the deep frying - he used about 3 inches of canola oil for the small to medium sized shrimp that I had purchased.  Each one took about three minutes.

When the shrimp were done, I coated them in the spicy mayonnaise and served with chives, lemon juice and ponzu sauce.  My husband actually preferred simply dipping the shrimp in the mayonnaise because it stayed a little crispier that way.

This was delicious, but like I said, I prefer to eat to healthy to make this one again!  This was only our second venture at deep frying.  The first was out New Orleans Beignets (doughnuts).

This was a fun Japanese recipe.  I really enjoy all of the ethnic fusion cooking I have been experimenting with in many of my recipes lately.  I am really itching to do some international travel and taste testing on foot.  It's been almost a year since my last trip to Europe and I am feeling some wanderlust right now.  There's such a long list of places in the world I want to see and eat my way through, yet never enough time and money to do it all.

Shrimp on FoodistaShrimp


  1. I want this for dinner tonight! Omgosh. Shrimp tempura is my idea of heaven.


  2. actually, if you use an oil with no saturated fat, this is probably nuch healthier than cupcakes and cookies

  3. well, I did use canola oil, which has low saturated fat . . .


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