Provenance of Dish
I fell in love with tempura of all sorts while training as a cook in Japan in the late 80's. I especially loved experiencing tempura shops that had been passed down through many generations. There I tasted some mushroom types for the first time... prepared in this traditional manner.
4 oz. Maitake
4 oz. Bunashimeji (Beech)
4 oz. Enoki
1 cup Cake flour, sifted
1 whole Egg
1 cup Ice cold water
3 cups Frying oil
¾ cup Dashi Broth (or ¾ c. water with 1 tsp. dashi powder)
3 Tbsp Soy Sauce
2 Tbsp Mirin
2 tsp. Sugar
3 slices ginger
2 oz. daikon radish, finely grated
Preheat 3 cups of frying oil (vegetable or canola), keep at a temperature between 240-260 degrees.
Prepare mushrooms making sure they are dirt free. Lightly brush to clean, if necessary.
Portion mushrooms into small, manageable clusters. Cut only at the stem, then tear by hand.
Prepare the dipping sauce by combining dashi, soy, mirin, sugar & ginger slices. Add grated daikon.
Mix the beaten egg with the ice water, then slowly add sifted flour. Gently blend, don’t overwork it.
Coat mushrooms in cake flour, shaking off the excess. Dip it several times, until fully coated.
Carefully, swish lightly on the top of the oil, forward & backwards, to shake off excess oil.
Leave them to cook until lightly browned, turn them with a slotted spoon to cook both sides, until done.
Place on absorbent towels, drain well. Lightly salt, then serve.
*** Cannot over emphasize the importance of a VERY cold batter. It's Ok to keep ice cubes in but DO NOT let one drop into the frying oil.