Courgette blossoms tempura
flowers and filling
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- 8 courgette flowers with baby courgettes still connected
- 225g (8oz) ricotta cheese
- zest and juice of 1 lime
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- plain flour for dredging
- Vegetable oil for deep frying
- 75g plain flour
- 75g cornflour
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 188 ml [6.5 fl oz] sparkling water, beer or lager. Must be ice cold.
- 1 free range egg - lightly beaten
- Heat the oil in either a deep fat fryer or a large saucepan. If you are using a saucepan make sure the oil comes below halfway down the edge of the pan. If you have a thermometer it needs to reach 190C, but you can test that its ready by dropping some bread into the oil and it should brown in 20 seconds.
- Mix the ricotta cheese, lime juice and zest in a bowl and season with salt and black pepper
- Spoon enough filling into each flower, leaving enough room to close the flowers. A wooden cocktail stick is helpful to hold the flowers closed while frying.
- Set the flowers aside and prepare the batter
- Ensure the water is ice cold.
- Sift the flour, cornflour and salt together into a bowl.
- Make a well in the centre of the flour and pour your chosen liquid together with the previously beaten egg into it.
- Using a balloon whisk, very gently combine ingredients into a rough batter.
- It is very important that it is not overmixed at this stage as that will make the batter stodgy.
- Once your batter is 'runny' enough to coat your chosen filling, stop mixing, even if this leaves the odd lump in the batter.
- When you are ready to cook, dredge each flower in plain flour, dip into the batter and deep fry for 3.5 minutes
- Leave on kitchen paper to drain excess oil
- Cooked tempura can be kept warm in an oven at 150° C (300° F), with the door left ajar to keep it crispy.
Lumpy batter is good, It ensures that you do not overwork the batter and turn it into stodge.
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