Maitake Frondosa Tempura
Many of Gourmet Mushrooms varieties are excellent in tempura, but perhaps the best is Maitake Frondosa. The Maitake’s beautiful, irregular shape helps the light tempura batter to cling, and the flavor is extraordinary.
Whether you use a prepared tempura batter mix, or make your own, remember these two key tips: use ice water for the batter and mix very minimally, a few lumps are ok. You don’t want to activate the gluten in the flour. The traditional method of stirring with chopsticks is therefore preferable to a whisk.
- 1 package Tempura mix, prepared according to directions OR 1 cup cake or AP flour
- 2 Tablespoons cornstarch or rice flour
- 1 cold egg
- 1 cup ice water – chill water and ice cubes for ten minutes, then remove cubes and measure
Traditional dashi dipping sauce:
- 1 cup dashi soup stock
- 1/4 cup mirin (sweet rice wine especially for cooking)
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- Heat oil to 340 - 350 degrees. Pull Maitake Frondosa by hand into pieces about 1 inch by 2 inches. [CAUTION: Hot oil is dangerous. Make sure not to allow plain water to get into pan, which may spatter.]
- Use chops sticks to dip Maitake into batter, shake off excess, then carefully place in oil. Don’t overcrowd the pan. You don’t want the frying temperature to drop. Work in batches. As Maitake cooks, drain on paper towels.
- You can season the Maitake Tempura in many ways. The traditional Japanese dipping sauce consists of dashi (a stock made from dried kombu seaweed and dried bonito flakes), rice wine, soy sauce and grated ginger or daikon. Instant dashi can be found in many Asian markets and specialty stores. Or simply use a pinch of salt and pepper to season.