My son just got back from a summer in Japan, and we were driving along with his friend, when the friend said he’d never had sushi before. We were incredulous… two decades on the planet, and NEVER tried sushi?! How about tempura? Nope, he’d never had that, either.
Well, my daughter had a couple more friends over, and we have six in the family, so we made a huge Sushi and Tempura Feast for nine. I’ve eaten tempura, but had never made it before…
Things I learned while making this meal:
Both sushi and tempura have a LOT of prep time involved. Plan ahead!
The iced-water method of tempura batter works really well. I want to try the beer version next time.
When they say “dry” for the items going into the hot oil, they mean DRY (owie!).
The way to tell when the oil is hot enough: spoon a drop of batter into the oil. When it quickly floats, you’re good to go.
Ack, no ginger! Gotta find some good pickled ginger to keep on hand. At least I had the wasabi…
The final menu:
Cucumber salad (oh man this stuff was GOOOOOD! Every single slice was gone)
Hand-rolled sushi (each person chose their own fillings), with sushi rice seasoned with rice vinegar and toasted nori sheets. Filling choices were cucumbers, lightly steamed yams, omelet strips, imitation crab meat, avocados, and toasted sesame seeds.
Tempura (Sweet potatoes, red potatoes, red and orange peppers, Japanese eggplant, zucchini, and shrimp), with dipping sauce
Green jasmine tea and warm sake
The two people who had never had sushi before wound up enjoying it quite a bit. Let’s hear it for adventurous dining!