Yesterday at a farmers’ market I found terrific wild, baby dandelion. So, I am thinking of making Tendon with these spring greens, instead of shrimp and conger eel version which we enjoyed in Asakusa.
Dandelion has a pleasantly bitter flavor, characteristic to many early spring wild greens. Here is the ingredients for my dandelion kakiage (recipe: page 181, Hiroko’s American Kitchen) Tendon – dandelion, carrot, red onion and white mushroom. This recipe uses also Super Sauce, page 170. The amount given is rough numbers for 2 servings.
1. Rinse and cook the rice – 2 1/2 cups (3 rice cooker cups): I cook my long-grain brown rice in the rice cooker which I own in the past 13 years. I cannot think of my life without a rice cooker. It is so handy.
2. In a saucepan add 6 tablespoons water, 2 tablespoons Super Sauce (page 170), 2 teaspoons shoyu (soy sauce) and 1 teaspoon sugar. Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer over low heat. Turn the heat to very low and cook the sauce for 8 minutes.
3. Soak the dandelion (3.5 ounce) root-side down in a plenty of cold water in a large bowl. This process loosens the mud and soil attached to the roots. Peel and cut red onion (2 ounce) into thin slices. Cut the carrot (1 small) into julienne strips. Cut the white mushroom (1) into half, then, each half into thin slices. Then, rinse the dandelion to remove the mud and soil from the root. Remove the roots and wipe-dry the greens with paper towel. Transfer all of the vegetables – at this time it weighs around 4 ounces in total – to a bowl and toss them with 1 tablespoon of tempura flour.
4. Add 1 1/2 cup sesame oil and 1 1/2 cup canola oil into a wok or deep skillet, and heat it until about 350 degree F.
5. Add 1/2 cup of tempura flour to another bowl. Add 1/2 cup minus 1 tablespoon water to the flour. As I have explained in the previous blog, Edomae tempura has thick crust. To make it thick we add egg to the flour & water mixture. Add half an egg per 1/2 cup of tempura flour to experience the authentic Edomae style. Or, without egg, you can create a lighter crust. Mix the flour and water (option: and egg) with a whisk. Then, add the floured vegetables to the tempura batter. With a pair of chopsticks or tong, toss the vegetables with the tempura batter.
6. For flying: follow the instructions on page 181-182. You will make 4 tempura pancakes.