How to Straighten Shrimp for Tempura

Written by petra wakefield
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Though the word tempura is Japanese, the technique likely originated with Portuguese missionaries to Japan, according to "The Oxford Companion to Food." Tempura consists of bite-sized pieces of fish and vegetables, lightly battered and fried. Professional cooks typically straighten shrimp used in tempura for presentation -- the shrimp remain straight after frying. Add a few extra minutes to the preparation time so that your tempura shrimp achieve this appearance.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Cutting board
  • Knife
  • Prepared tempura batter
  • Wok, deep fryer or large saucepan
  • Vegetable or peanut oil

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  1. 1

    Peel and devein the shrimp, but leave the tail intact.

  2. 2

    Make three shallow, equally spaced horizontal cuts along the underside of each shrimp. Turn the shrimp over.

  3. 3

    Press down firmly on the shrimp, moving from one end to the other, until the shrimp is completely straight and roughly twice its original length.

  4. 4

    Batter and fry the shrimp immediately in a wok, deep fryer or saucepan filled one-third full of oil, or store them in the refrigerator until you are ready to fry them.

Tips and warnings

  • Prepare the tempura batter immediately before frying.
  • Serve tempura as soon as possible after frying.

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