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Shrimp Tempura Udon Noodles

Shrimp Tempura Udon Noodles with slurping delicious shiitake dashi umami broth and light and crispy tempura fried shrimp is going to be your new favorite Japanese recipe.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Mains
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: Appetizers/ Snacks, Fall Favorites, Japanese Cuisine, Pasta, Rice and Stuffing, Soups, Soups, Curries and Stews, Winter Favorites
Servings: 3
Calories: 440kcal
Author: Healthy World Cuisine

Ingredients

Udon Soup (vegan options below)

  • 6 Dried shiitake mushrooms
    steeped in hot water for 30 minutes to soften-make sure you cover the mushrooms and use about 1.5 cups of hot water. Do not throw out the shiitake mushroom broth as this will be used in the soup broth)
  • 1 cup Shiitake mushroom broth
    from the water used to soften the dried mushrooms.
  • 1.5 cups Water
  • 2 tsp Dashi powder
    (we used Ajinomoto Hondashi) (if you want to make vegan exchange with vegetable bouillon powder to taste)
  • 1 tbsp Mirin
    Japanese cooking wine
  • 1 tbsp Tamari (Soy) Sauce
  • Salt
    to taste
  • 2 Green onion chopped - garnish

Udon Noodles

  • 6 oz Udon noodles
    frozen (we like to use the frozen packages as they are pre-measured and are a little sturdier noodle compared to the fresh in the refrigerator isle) There are also gluten-free udon noodles available via amazon. (Kobayashi Noodle's Gluten Free Fresh Noodles are made from non-GMO 100% Japanese white rice or brown rice)
  • Water
    to boil noodles
  • Salt
    for the water

Shrimp Tempura (can exchange with vegetables to keep vegan)

  • 10 Raw whole shrimp
    with tail (if you want to make vegan just exchange shrimp with slices of onion, pepper, thin sliced sweet potato or asparagus with peeled stem)
  • Oil for deep frying use a light flavored oil like vegetable or canola and enough to be at least to be 2 inches deep in the cooking vessel of choice.
  • 1 cup Potato starch
    or cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup Cake flour
    or 00 flour
  • 1 Egg beaten (if you want to make it vegan just skip but note the batter consistency is a little heavier)
  • 1 cup seltzer water
    super cold or cold water iced
  • Bowl of ice
    larger than your tempura batter bowl
  • Salt to taste as the shrimp come out of the fryer

Dipping sauce for Shrimp Tempura (optional)

  • 1/2 cup Water
  • 1/4 tsp Dashi powder
  • 1 tbsp Tamari (soy) sauce
  • 1 tbsp Mirin
  • 1 tbsp daikon grated (squeeze to remove the excess juice)

Instructions

  • Prepare the Udon noodle broth - Pour boiling water over your dried shiitake mushroom, enough to cover and steep for about 30 minutes to allow to soften. Do NOT throw away the shiitake broth as this will be used in the soup broth. Remove the stems from shiitake mushrooms and slice thinly to use as a garnish for your soup. Set aside.
  • In a pot add your shiitake mushroom broth, water, dashi (if making vegan gluten free vegetable broth), mirin, tamari (soy) sauce and salt to taste over medium heat for about 10 minutes – keep warm. Skim the film off the top of the soup.
  • Boil your udon noodles in salted water for 2-3 minutes per package instructions and then rinse with cool water and set aside.
  • Prepare your shrimp- Peel your shrimp but leave on the tail. Remove the black/white vein from the back of the shrimp by running your knife along the back of the shrimp just and pull out the vein and discard. Lay your shrimp on its side and scrape any remove the black from the tail of the shrimp.
  • Make the shrimp long and flat - Lay the shrimp belly side up and make several horizontal slits about 1/8 apart only about half way through the shrimp. Be very careful to not cut all the way through. Then take the shrimp and flip over so the back side is up on top and lay flat on your working surface. Take your thumb and your pointer and middle finger and press down slightly to make flat. You will hear a slight crunch and that is exactly the effect you are going for. You want to break down the proteins so they lay flat and stay flat and long during the cooking process. Rinse the shrimps and dry extra good with a paper towel. You need to get the shrimp EXTRA dry!
  • Add cooking oil to your cooking vessel of choice. You need to make sure that the oil is at least 2 inches deep. Preheating your cooking oil to about 180 degrees C (360 degrees F). Your oil should sizzle when you put in a little bit of the tempura batter. Your oil should not be so hot that it is smoking.
  • In the meantime, prepare your tempura shrimp assembly line. Place ½ cup potato starch or cornstarch in one plate and set aside. Prepare your tempura batter. In a medium bowl add the other ½ cup of potato starch, ½ cup cake flour/00 flour (if need to be gluten free, try rice flour), 1 beaten egg and 1 cup extra cold seltzer water or just regular water. Mix, so very gently just to combine the big lumps but essentially it should be very lumpy and just barely combined and then it is perfect. Get this tempura batter on top of a larger bowl filled with ice to keep it cold. (if your batter gets warm it activated the glutens and this results in a tough batter and you want yours to light and crispy) You should now have in front of you your prepared shrimp, a plate of potato/corn starch for dusting, prepared tempura batter sitting over a bowl of ice and ready to go hot oil in your pan for frying.
  • Double check your oil to make sure it is ready to go. Place a little bit of the prepared tempura batter into your frying pan and if it sizzles you are ready to go.
  • Dip your shrimp into the potato starch/ corn starch to dust on all side and shake off the excess. Next dip your shrimp into the wet tempura batter on all sides and then slowly and carefully place your shrimp into the hot oil for frying. Fry the shrimp for about 1 to 1.5 minutes. You will know when your shrimp are done because then you pick up the shrimp they will be crispy on all side and the shrimp will stay firm and will not limp. If your oil is not hot enough, you will end up with a soggy shrimp and if the oil is too hot your shrimp will be tough. Remember you are looking for a 180 degrees C (360 degrees F) oil and your shrimp should sizzle aggressively when placed in the oil.
  • Remove the shrimp on to a plate lined with paper towels to drain and season with salt to taste.
  • Serving up your Shrimp Tempura Udon Noodle bowls. Place your cooked udon noodles into a serving bowl, ladle over the hot broth, garnish with sliced shitake mushrooms, sliced green onions and shrimp tempura.
  • We like to make extra shrimp tempura on the side and we serve with our dipping sauce. Mix water, dashi, tamari, mirin and grated daikon. Dip the prepared tempura shrimp into the dipping sauce and enjoy!

Notes

  • Buy whole raw shrimp with the tail on. Leaving the tail on makes for a super cute shrimp tempura.
  • Peel the shrimp but leave the tail on for aesthetic reasons.
  • Make sure you remove the vein from the back of the shrimp
  • Scrape and remove the black from the tail as this helps prevent some of the splashing during the frying as the tail can hold hidden moisture.
  • Make sure you dry your shrimp with a paper towel very well
  • To make your shrimp long and straight, you need to make cuts diagonally in the shrimp on the underside about half way through the shrimp, be careful not to go all the way through. Check out the video below on how to do this.
  • Next turn the shrimp with top side up and with your thumb and first 2 fingers on both hands gently press down until you hear that little cartilage crunch as the shrimp lengthens.
  • Make sure your shrimp are dried super well. This is super important.
  • Preheating your cooking oil to about 180 degrees C (360 degrees F). Your oil should sizzle when you put in a little bit of the tempura batter. Your oil should not be so hot that it is smoking.
  • Place potato starch in one bowl and dip each shrimp inside.
  • Next, dip each shrimp into prepared tempura batter. We used a premade tempura batter mix and mixed with super iced cold seltzer water. The reason why the water needs to be super iced cold as it prevents the gluten in the flour from activating. If glutens start to activate this can make the tempura batter tough or heavy. However, if you cannot find this then you can use cake batter, an egg and water/seltzer water instead.
  • Do not overmix the tempura batter as this will cause the glutens to activate and make your batter tough. Just toss the tempura flour mixture and the seltzer water or water just until combined. It will still have lumps and that is perfect. Lumpy tempura batter is preferred.
  • Keep your batter cool while frying your shrimp 1-2 at a time for about 1 minute. You will know when the shrimp are done as it will be completely crispy and the shrimp will be stiff and not limp when taken out of the oil. We put a bowl of ice under our tempura batter bowl to keep the batter cool.
  • Do not over crowd your frying pan. We used our wok and you need to have at least 2 inches of cooking oil at the bottom.
  • Be super careful and make sure that the younger kids steer clear of the kitchen and keep that handle safely off to the side. Be careful as you dip the battered shrimp carefully into the hot oil to fry. Drop the shrimp in and circle it around so that you lay it down in the oil going away from you.
  • Do not overcrowd your frying vessel with too many shrimp at a time as this will lower the temperature of your oil and they may stick together. It goes fast so just do 1-2 at a time.
  • Vegans, no problem as many low moisture vegetables are super delicious fried in tempura. Be sure to try thin slices of sweet potato, onion, bell peppers and asparagus. All these vegetables are super delicious.
  • We always season our tempura with a little salt immediately upon coming out of the fryer.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 440kcal | Carbohydrates: 83g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 105mg | Sodium: 1673mg | Potassium: 402mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 159IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 72mg | Iron: 2mg