Yesterday, I tested tempura batter recipes for next week’s root source on butternut squash (more on that later). A quick search turned up several different batters: one with tempura batter mix and cold water, another with all purpose flour, egg and water, and another with an egg white, rice flour and ice water.
To keep things simple, I decided to go with a batter I’ve seen Ming Tsai make: cold club soda and rice flour whisked together in roughly equal parts until thick as pancake batter. The batter worked so well with the recipe I was testing, I wanted to fry a little more.
I opened the fridge and reached for a head of cauliflower I had picked up at the farmers market Sunday. I cut it into bite-size florets, dipped the florets in the batter and fried them in canola oil (at about 370F) until they were light brown in spots and steamy on the inside. I drained them on a paper bag and seasoned them with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
The batter sealed in the cauliflower’s moisture and intensified its flavor. The florets were delicious dipped in equal parts lime juice and soy sauce.