Tempura of flathead

Serves 4 people

Flathead was once the fisherman’s cast-off, undesired and inexpensive. Yet as international demand for seafood grew and biodiversity shrank, the humble flathead was catapulted into the gourmet stratosphere.

  • 800g flathead fillet, deboned
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups iced water
  • 2 cups flour
  • ½ cup dashi stock
  • ¼ cup mirin
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sugar

1 Cut the fish into pieces small enough to eat with chopsticks.

2 Mix the eggs and water in a bowl, then gently stir in 1½ cups flour using chopsticks.

3 Do not overwork the batter: there should be some flour clumps left.

4 Meanwhile, bring the dashi, mirin, soy and sugar to a boil and reduce by half to make the tentsuyu dipping sauce.

5 Dust the fish with the remaining flour, then dip in the batter and deep-fry at 180°C for about 4 minutes or until golden and crisp.

6 Serve immediately with the dipping sauce.

Professional Tip: Dashi is available from all Asian specialty stores. The colder your batter, the crisper your tempura will be.