Tempura Mahi Mahi with a Rice tower

My name is Bri, and I sometimes when I make food I don’t follow directions when I should. This took a minute to get right. Its involved, and my kitchen looks like a tornado hit it after I’m done, but its so worth it that I’d do it again, and again. This recipe makes enough for 2.

Tempura is a frosty mistress. And by frosty, I mean you should make sure your batter is extra chilly. I did not the first time. So instead of  tempura I got a delightful battered fish that would have gone really well with some fries and a beer. After another attempt I hit the nail on the head. Its perfectly crispy, and the rice tower takes this recipe right over the edge into awesome territory.

For the Ponzu Sauce

1/2 soy sauce

1/4 cup mirin

juice of 1 orange

1 tsp brown sugar

1/2 tsp finely minced ginger

Mix this all together, and set it aside to marinate in its own flavors. You should pick up this mess. Its small, but it gets bigger if you don’t.

For the Rice Tower

2 cups rice

3 cups water

1/4 cup mirin

1/2 cup crushed wasabi nori

1 cup chopped cucumber, seeds removed

1/2 purple onion chopped

1 avocado chopped

2 tablespoons wasabi mayo

1 tsp sugar

sesame oil or regular oil

Chop up the avocado and set it aside. Put the onion and cucumber in a bowl with half the mirin, and the sugar and set that aside as well until things are cooked. You should pick up some more messes. Seriously.

Rinse your rice until the water runs clear. Bring the rice to a boil for 1 minute, and drop the heat to a touch above the lowest setting, cover it and let that simmer for approximately 20 minutes (fluffing occasionally). Once the rice is cooked through, remove it from the heat, and spread it out over a plate to cool (I stuck mine in the fridge to make this go faster). Once it has cooled, mix in  half of the mirin and the wasabi nori. Maybe make a little station at this point with the rice, and  the mixed onions and cucumbers, and the avocado in separate little bowls, like a little assembly line. Is your dishwasher empty? You should have done that earlier.

For the Tempura Mahi Mahi

4 pieces of mahi mahi sliced into 1 inch strips

1 cold egg whisked

1 cup I cold water

1 cup flour

2 tbsp cornstarch

1 tsp baking soda

oil for frying

You can do this one of 2 ways. I filled a large bowl with water, and ice and placed a smaller bowl inside of it. I have also stuck the tempura in the freezer for 10 minutes. Either way you want the batter to be quite cold. If it isn’t cold, you might as well just break out the french fries of sadness right now. Mix the flour, cornstarch, and baking soda in a bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg and water together, and slowly add in flour mixture. Just give it a brief mix, its ok if there are small lumps everywhere.

In a large frying pan add in the oil until its about 1/2 an inch thick and heat the oil to medium . I have no idea what temperature it was. I stopped using thermometers and deep friers when I decided I hated both of those things. The google says 320 to 330 degrees, 360 for fish.  Dust the mahi mahi in flour, and dunk the fish into the tempura batter until its well coated, and fry it on both sides for about 2 minutes each side.

Putting it all together

Oil a small bowl (mine has about a 2 cup volume). Place about half a cup of rice in the bottom and press it until its flat. Smear a tablespoon of the wasabi mayo over the top, spread the onions and cucumbers over the rice, and place a layer of avocado over the top of the onions and cucumbers, then place one more layer of rice over that, and flatten it again. Flip the bowl onto a large plate, and give it a few light slams to release it from the surface of the bowl. TADA! Rice tower!! Stack the Mahi Mahi around the rice tower and pour a small layer of the ponzu sauce around everything. Then stare at the horrible horrible mess you’ve made. If you do it in the order that I have written out on here, you have time between each segment to clean! My kitchen was an epic disaster.



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