Tempura Asparagus

  • For the asparagus:
    • Sunflower or vegetable oil, for deep-frying
    • 50g plain flour, plus 3tbsp extra for dusting
    • 1tsp cornflour
    • 100ml chilled sparkling or soda water
    • 2 x (250g) bunches of asparagus
    • For the dip:
    • 1/2 red chilli, seeds removed and finely chopped
    • 2tbsp rice wine vinegar
    • 1 small clove of garlic, peeled and crushed
    • 2tsp caster sugar
    • 1tsp freshly grated root ginger
    • 2tsp chopped coriander


    1. Mix together the ingredients for the dipping sauce and leave for roughly 30 minutes.
    2. Pour enough oil into a large pan to come halfway up the pan. Heat the oil to 180°C. To test, drop in a 2cm (roughly) cube of bread. Tt should turn golden and crisp in around a minute.
    3. Place the flour, cornflour and a good pinch of salt into a bowl and mix in the soda water with a chopstick until it is just combined and a thin, slightly lumpy mixture.
    4. When the oil is ready, trim the ends off the asparagus, rinse under the tap, dust in the 3tbsp of flour, and then briefly dip into the batter.
    5. Drop straight into the oil, a few at a time, for just 1 to 2 minutes, until pale golden and crisp. Drain on kitchen paper and serve with the sauce.

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