Japanese Shrimp and Corn Fritter

Ingredients                      

  • 2lbs. Large fresh shrimp
  • 4-6 water chestnuts
  • 18oz. corn kernels, from two to three ears of corn
  • 4-6 spring onions
  • sea salt

For the Batter

  • 1¼ cups all-purpose
  • 1 egg
  • 1 can plain soda water, chilled
  • Oil, for frying

For the Ten Cha

  • Cooked Japanese rice kept warm  (approx. 5 oz. per person)
  • Sencha (green tea leaves), as necessary
  • Grated fresh wasabi (or wasabi paste made from Real Wasabi powder
  • Japanese Umeboshi pickles
  • Furikake (rice "sprinkles") (optional)
  • Seasoned nori sheets (optional)

Directions

  1. Remove the heads and shells of the shrimp (use them to make broth for another occasion).
  2. Cut the shrimp meat into bite-sized pieces.
  3. Rinse water chest­nuts. Cut the water chestnuts into ¼ inch pieces
  4. Slice the spring onions into ⅔ inch lengths.
  5. Put the shrimp into a bowl with the water chestnuts, corn kernels, and spring onion, then mix in one teaspoon of salt, or more to taste.
  6. Pour oil to the depth of about  ⅞ inch in a skillet and place it over a low flame.
  7. While the oil is heating, make the batter. Put the flour into a bowl. Whisk the egg and add it to the bowl, then pour in the soda water – it will foam up. Use a pair of chopsticks to very quickly mix the ingredients to form a lumpy batter. Add the shrimp/corn mixture to the batter and mix to coat the ingredients.
  8. Turn the flame under the oil to medium and heat to 350°.  Drop spoonfuls of the shrimp/corn mixture into the oil and flatten them slightly. Adjust the heat as necessary to keep the oil as close as possible to the correct temperature.
  9. Fry the fritters until firm and golden, then flip them over and cook the other side. When they’re crisp and cooked through, lift the fritters out of the oil and drain them on paper towels.
  10. After frying the fritters, dip the nori sheets (if using) into the batter left in the bowl, then fry until crisp before draining on paper towels.
  11. Brew the sencha, making it a little stronger than you would for drinking.
  12. Scoop the hot rice into bowls and top each portion with two or three of the fritters and a fried nori sheet.
  13. Pour the hot tea over the rice and let each diner season the ten cha with wasabi and furikake (if using) to taste.
  14. Serve the extra kakiage on the side with Japanese pickles
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