Tuesday 10 March
We had a yen for fried kalamarakia, but the last time we did it Greek-style, it came out disappointingly limp. This time we decided to follow the recipe for tempura-battered seafood in New Joy, and also to take their suggestion that a vegetable can also be tempura-fried (we are still up to our hips in asparagus, and we like it that way).
We mixed up a scant cup of cold seltzer instead of ice water, and a cup of self-rising flour, which made the perfect amount of batter.
We cranked up the oil to 375º, prepped a receiving station of criss-crossed wire racks and brown paper bags to blot up excess oil, and started with the asparagus pieces, salting as each batch came out. When that was done, it went into the warming oven, and we fried the squidlets in the same way, rings first, tentacles last.
The batter didn't stick perfectly to all pieces, so next time we may take the tip from some expert of dusting everything lightly with flour before dipping it in batter. It may be a while until then, though, as this dinner used up the last of our eight bags of frozen squid.
Served with mayonnaise seasoned with lemon juice and picantissimo Italian spice blend, it was not very Japanese in spirit; but for taste and crunch, it beat the Greek recipe by a no-specific-country mile.