Tempura Shrimp from Trader Joe's
A craving for tempura shrimp usually that means a night out at a Japanese restaurant. If you're like us, you can't always spare the time. But there is do it yourself. (Yes, we know. Just as you thought that all we do is sail around enjoying Los Angeles' gourmet wonders, here we are with dinner-in-a-box.)
go I had a boss whose Japanese mother-in-law was kind enough to give me her recipe for tempura shrimp. Thing is, though fairly easy, cooking tempura is an intense matter of cleaning the shrimp, dipping it in a special batter and then deep-frying it in a special cooking oil. Lots and lots of oil, which you'll find splattered everywhere. And hopefully you've also collected the right ingredients for your dipping sauce, without which tempura, shrimp or otherwise, just wouldn't be the same. Neither would life without tempura, in our opinion.
Amazingly enough, our local Trader Joe's carries frozen tempura shrimp under its own brand. Even more amazing, it's good, without the poor soggy texture that frozen breaded foods sometimes have. (Not that I would know, of course.) It even comes with a dipping sauce that's quite delicious and in quantity enough for a meal for two.
Our favorite: serve the tempura shrimp with a pot of white rice and some steamed starchy vegetables on the side. Easy and fun.
And, for those of you who don't know Trader Joe's, it's a store mostly based in California that carries all manner of interesting food, some prepared, and wines, chocolates and what-have-you. My husband characterizes it as between a health food store and a supermarket, with a large array of unusual and exotic foods. A real treat.
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