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Smoked eel tempura

By 10th April 2018Articles, Lifestyle, News

Tempura batter base
The batch size is for two one-litre espuma siphons, which is enough to batter about 60 pieces, depending on their size and surface area.


  • Vita-Prep blender (2-litre capacity)
  • 2 siphons


  • 4g xanthan gum
  • 1 litre cold tap water
  • 22g table salt
  • 8g Ajinomoto (MSG)
  • 195g rice flour
  • 315g cornstarch

Put the xanthan gum and water in the Vita-Prep and blend for about 30 seconds. Add the other ingredients and continue blending until the mixture is smooth and lightly emulsified. Pour into two espuma siphons. Seal and shake well. Load two gas cartridges for each siphon and charge. Chill ahead of use.

Smoked eel tempura – serves 1

  • Frying oil (about 2 litres)
  • Two 5cm fingers oak-smoked eel fillet
  • Tempura batter
  • Cornflour
  • Sweet and sour citrus stock syrup (see recipe below)
  • Grated lime zest

Prepare a mini workstation for frying the tempura. You need a bowl of sifted cornflour and another with the batter, and some tongs or chopsticks to dip the eel. You’ll also want a tray with a clean cloth or kitchen paper, plus a small paintbrush, a bowl containing the sweet and sour citrus stock, and lime plus a fine grater.

Heat the oil to 170°C. If it’s hotter than that, the batter may colour or form a tighter coating around the eel. If it’s cooler than 170°C, it won’t stick properly. One by one, coat the pieces of smoked eel in cornflour and shake off any excess. Pipe enough tempura foam from the siphon into the bowl to cover the eel. Coat the eel in the tempura mixture.

Drop the eel into the hot oil. The batter will expand and become lacy. Fry for about four minutes until the batter is quite crisp.

Take out the pieces, shaking off any oil, and place them on the tray. Brush with stock syrup and grate lime zest over the top.

Sweet and sour citrus stock syrup

  • 1 part lime juice
  • 2 parts liquid glucose
  • 1 part sugar
  • 1 dried yuzu, added to the syrup and left in until the batch is used

Note on serving

Two tempura eel on a raised dish with two pieces of turbot sashimi and nashi pear.

Recipe kindly supplied by Niall Keating, Executive Chef, Whatley Manor

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