Spicy Shrimp Tempura
COCONUT STICKY RICE:
- 1 cup white medium-grain rice, such as Calrose
- One 13.5-ounce can coconut milk
RED PEPPER JALAPENO JELLY:
- 1 1/2 red bell peppers, diced
- 1 jalapeno, sliced with seeds
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup cider vinegar
- 1 to 2 pinches red pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoon liquid pectin
MANGO AND AVOCADO SALAD:
- 1 avocado, sliced
- 1 cucumber, seeded and sliced
- 1 fresh mango, chopped
- 1/4 of a fresh jalapeno, sliced
- 6 sprigs fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish
- 3 green onions, chopped, plus more for garnish
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon chili paste
- Pinch black pepper
For the sticky rice: Wash the rice until the water is clear and all the starch is washed off. Put the rice in a shallow cooking pan and add the coconut milk and 3/4 cup water. (Trick - place your hand flat in the pan and pour in the water. When the liquid reaches your middle finger knuckle, you have the right amount.)
Bring the rice and coconut milk to a boil. Then turn down the heat to low, cover the pan and simmer for 15 minutes.
For the jelly: Put the bell peppers, jalapeno, sugar, cider vinegar and red pepper flakes into a saucepan and cook over medium heat until the liquid is reduced by two-thirds. Add the liquid pectin to give it a jelly-like consistency. Then set aside.
For the salad: Combine the avocado, cucumber, mango, jalapeno, cilantro, green onions, sugar, oil, vinegar, chili paste and black pepper in a bowl and mix together.
For the shrimp: Peel and clean the shrimp. I like to use tiger prawns - big daddy shrimp!! Frozen shrimp is fine - just let them thaw out and rinse them in water.
Whisk together the rice flour and carbonated water until it reaches a batter consistency (alternatively, you can get premade tempura batter at Asian markets). It's key to not whisk too much, you want a nice fine batter without much air in it.
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Next, take a heavy-bottomed pot and fill it with canola oil. Don't fill the pot too much! If using a 1-gallon saucepot, use 1/4 gallon oil. Heat the oil over medium-high heat until it's about 350 degrees F. You can test if the oil is ready by dropping some of the tempura batter into the oil. If it floats to the top, it's ready to go!
Dredge the shrimp in the batter and drop into the oil. The shrimp will cook all the way in 2 to 3 minutes. It's key to not add too many shrimp at once, just add 3 or 4 at a time.
When the shrimp floats to the top, they should be done. You can test them by taking one out and cutting into it to make sure it's opaque, and then taking a bite. Place the shrimp in the oven until you are ready to plate.
Combine all the components: Put the fried shrimp in a bowl with some pepper jelly and toss to coat them. Next, take a little bit of the jelly and place on the bottom of each plate. Put some sticky rice down on the plate on top of the jelly. Place 2 shrimp on top of the rice. Add some mango and avocado salad. Garnish with a little extra cilantro or sliced green onions.