Tempura has now become a Japanese food favourite in the West. This recipe adds aonori seaweed into the tempura batter for a more savoury flavour that works well with chikuwa seafood sticks. These fried treats are delicious served as part of a bento lunch, or on top of a bowl of noodle soup, or on their own as a crunchy snack.
Start by slicing your chikuwa lengthwise into smaller pieces. Set these aside for a moment while we prepare the tempura batter.
Once you have finished mixing the ingredients together, dip the chikuwa into the batter and make sure that it gets fully covered all over.
Heat up your oil and make sure that the temperature is stable between 160°C and 180°C. Add the chikuwa to the oil carefully and deep fry it for 1 to 2 minutes until it becomes a golden colour.
Your chikuwa isobe-age is now ready so dip your chikuwa into a little soy sauce, crack open a cold beer and relax with this great tasting snack!
If you have prepared too much oil or batter, don’t waste it, just finely slice some fresh vegetables and make some more tempura… your friends definitely will not complain if you have too much to feed them!
For extra crispiness:
1) Keep your chikuwa in the fridge until you are ready to deep fry it. You can also add ice to the batter to make that extra cold too. The colder your ingredients are when you drop them into the fryer, the lighter and crispier your tempura will become!
2) Be sure to remove the excess water from your chikuwa with some paper towel before deep frying them.
How to deep-fry:
- If you don’t have a thermometer to check if the oil is hot enough, just use a wooden spoon or chopsticks. If you can see bubbles forming around it you’re ready to deep-fry.
- Check the oil temperature regularly. If it is too low your chikuwa will be too greasy.
- Submerge all the chikuwa in the pot but allow some space at the top so the oil level can rise.
- Don’t overcrowd the pot as it may lower the oil’s temperature.
- Use paper towel after deep-frying and not a newspaper! The ink is toxic.
- Don’t add cold water to hot oil. It could result in serious burns!