Panfish Tempura


Small crappies and, particularly, bluegills are my favorite tempura fish, although many people prefer perch. Any panfish will do — as will finger-sized strips cut from the fillets of larger fish. Serve with a dipping sauce like the one I offer here, or with one of our Marinades.


For the tempura (serves four) . . .

12 small panfish fillets, patted dry


Assorted fresh, seasonal vegetables of your choice cut into large pieces — green & red bell peppers, asparagus, mushrooms, red onions, snow peas, sweet potatoes

For the batter . . .

2 eggs

2 c. sifted all-purpose flour

2 c. ice-cold beer (or water)

extra flour for dipping, mixed with salt & pepper

» Set up the ingredients in the frying area in assembly-line fashion: (1) prepared fish and vegetables, (2) flour for dipping, (3) batter, (4) fryer with oil, and (5) pan lined with paper towels to drain finished tempura.

» To make the batter, beat the eggs slightly, then add ice-cold beer (or water) and mix lightly. Add the flour and beat a few times with a fork or until the ingredients are loosely combined. The batter should be lumpy. Heat the oil to 360°F.

» Dip the fish and vegetables in flour, shake off the excess, and dip them in the batter. Slide the pieces into hot oil and fry until golden — about 3 to 4 minutes. Drain on paper towels and serve at once with dipping sauce.

Ginger Dipping Sauce . . .

5 tbsp. water

1 tbsp. ginger, finely grated

1 tbsp. garlic, finely minced

1 tbsp. dark sesame oil

5 tbsp. soy sauce

2 tbsp. scallion, finely minced

2 tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped

2 tbsp. lime, lemon, or orange juice

2 tbsp. fresh mint, chopped

pinch of red chili flakes

» Combine the ingredients and stir well.

Panfish Tempura

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