Sweet & Spicy Shrimp Tempura

What are your thoughts on seafood? Yay or nay? I happen to love seafood although I don't eat it as often as I'd like. That's partially because the Baron isn't a big fan of fish but he does love shrimp. It's been awhile since I prepared a shrimp dish so taking inspiration from a few restaurants we've been to lately, I prepared this Sweet & Spicy Shrimp Tempura. Shrimp gets dressed with a crunchy tempura batter then tossed in a sweet and mildly spicy Thai chili sauce to really hit a myriad of flavors and textures...

Not too long ago, the Baron and I dined at a few steakhouses where we've ordered the calamari on the menus. Most, if not all, were fried in a light batter and then tossed in a sweet and spicy sauce. Using that as inspiration, I tried to do the same with shrimp... and I think I prefer the shrimp version over calamari! There's something about the sweetness of the sauce that has a hint of spice. Not to mention how great the textures of something crunchy yet firm. The best bonus [for me at least] is that it's gluten free and the use of white rice flour really gives a nice crisp coating on the shrimp. This is especially good with steamed rice and vegetables.

Sweet & Spicy Shrimp Tempura
batter recipe from Health Starts in the Kitchen
Canola oil for frying
2 cups white rice flour 

1/2 teaspoons kosher salt 
1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1/2 teaspoons onion powder
1 1/2 cups seltzer water, ice cold
1 pound shrimp [16/20 size, peeled with tail on]
1/4 cup Thai chili sauce
fresh cilantro leaves for garnish

Heat oil to 325 degrees in a dutch oven. Use a candy thermometer to measure the temp.

Meanwhile, combine the flour and seasonings in a bowl, whisking together. Slowly add the cold seltzer water to the bowl, continuing to whisk to form a batter.

Dip the shrimp into the batter, allowing excess to drip off and them immediately place in the hot oil to fry. Fry until golden brown and transfer cooked shrimp to a plate lined with paper towels to drain.

Transfer tempura shrimp to a bowl and add the Thai chili sauce, tossing to coat. Place coated shrimp onto a serving platter and garnish with cilantro leaves.

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