Fried Chinese Fish Tempura with Basil

The tempura I am using is found commonly in most Chinese markets such as 99 Ranch. It’s cheap and is composed mainly of sweet peas and fish. I first decided to make this myself when I used to get the same thing at Lollicup and other various boba stations in LA, I was craving a bit of home and a bit of my childhood since I’m rarely in LA anymore.

Fry, fry, fry! Get golden brown and delicious!

Fry, fry, fry! Get golden brown and delicious!

What You Need:

  • 1/2 lb of Fish Tempura
  • Canola Oil for Frying
  • Fresh Basil
  • Kosher Salt
  • White Pepper
  • Cayenne Pepper
  1. It is CRUCIAL to have the oil in a cast iron pan/pot/vessel since cast iron retains heat very well. Pour enough oil to half way immerse the tempura (about a 1/4″ thick) and heat the oil to approximately400 degrees. Use a thermometer to check the oil temperature ( I didn’t have one since it broke but I know my stove settings by heart).
  2. Fry each side of the tempura for approximately 1-2 minutes until golden brown and delicious. DO NOT OVERCROWD THE PAN or you will end up with greasy sticks of tempura.
  3. Quickly evacuate the tempura to a bowl or plate lined with paper towels and immediately season the tempura with the kosher salt, white pepper, and cayenne pepper.
  4. For the fried basil part, you may throw in fresh leaves of basil into the oil. WARNING: the basil will pop and explode so drop it in and run for it! (That’s what I do at least…). This should take about a few seconds.

Enjoy! It’s ALMOST like deep frying the tempura but I like pan frying it since there is less oil being used, although Food Network’s Alton Brown has a good write up and show about deep-frying and how that using a lot of oil usually means less greasy food… I’ll explain that on a later note.

Just like the stuff they serve at tea stations!

Just like the stuff they serve at tea stations!

** Beware: wear a shirt that you aren’t afraid to get smelly in, the oil will make you smell all greasy and such!

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~ by Clifton Su on July 1, 2009.

One Response to “Fried Chinese Fish Tempura with Basil”

  1. Wow, the cooking method of this Fried Chinese Fish Tempura with Basil is great, I’ll try it later and I hope it tastes the way it look. Thanks for sharing!

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