Recipe courtesy of Barbara Ishida

Auntie's Flaky Tempura Batter

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 40 min
  • Prep: 20 min
  • Cook: 20 min
  • Yield: 4 servings



  1. Flatten the butterflied shrimp with the blade of a knife and fan out on a baking sheet. Sprinkle a little salt over the shrimp and separate the layers of fanned out shrimp by using waxed paper. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine cake flour, katakuriko, and baking powder and mix well. Set aside.
  3. Into a 2 cup measure, combine eggs, salt, sugar, and ajinomoto. Add several ice cubes to the mixture and fill with cold water to equal 2 cups volume of chilled egg mixture. Stir slightly, but don't melt all of the ice cubes yet.
  4. Pour the iced egg mixture into the flour mixture and stir slightly until lumps of undissolved flour mixture remain in batter.
  5. Place a frying pan over medium high heat. Fill frying pan with 1-inch of oil and heat. Grab a fistful of the batter and clench fist over frying pan. Rotate clenched fist over the hot oil to create a bed of laced, flaky batter in the hot oil. The bed of laced batter must be thick enough to lay the fanned shrimp on. Once the batter is cooked, about 1 to 2 minutes, and the batter is flaky and crispy, place the fanned shrimp meat on the crispy bed of batter. The shrimp should not sink through the bed of batter, but remain atop it as it deep-fries.
  6. Using a chopstick, break up the bed of flaky batter so that you can individually flip the shrimp in the frying pan so that the shrimp is below the batter in the oil. Cook until the shrimp are cooked through, about 2 minutes.