I know it sort of defeats the purpose of eating healthy food when you deep-fry it, but I just can't resist the crunch and crisp of tempura fried shrimp. This amazingly crispy batter doesn't hide the natural flavor of the shrimp like many other breadings do, and it's far easier to whip up too. Not including the tortillas, these tacos took less than 15 minutes to make.
I couldn't believe it either. I was always so terrified of making my own tempura, because I never thought it would be as good as the tempura at the Asian restaurants I order it from. But to my surprise, it's not only easy to make but better too. Especially when you pair it with fresh veggies, tangy sauce and flax meal tortillas.
Tempura shrimp and veggie tacos in flax meal tortillas recipe
For the tacos
1 pound deveined, cooked shrimp, tails removed
1 cup baby arugula
1/2 medium red onion, diced and chopped
1/2 zucchini, shredded
1 carrot, shredded
Fresh cilantro for garnish
1 pint cooking oil
For the tempura batter
1 large egg, beaten
1 cup ice-cold water
1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
For the flax meal tortillas
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup ground flax meal (not raw flaxseed)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup cold butter, cut into pieces
1 cup hot (110 degrees F) water
1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
To begin, prepare your tortilla batter by whisking together the flour, flax meal, baking powder and salt. Using a pastry knife, cut the butter into the flour-flax meal mixture until it resembles a coarse sand. Gradually stir in the sugar and the hot water until a dough forms.
Form the dough into a ball, and place it onto a heavily floured surface. With floured hands, knead the dough for about 3 to 4 minutes or until it is soft and elastic. Cover the dough with a damp towel, and let it rest for at least 1 hour.
Meanwhile, to make your tempura batter, in a shallow, medium-size bowl, mix together all the ingredients. Be sure to not overmix, or the batter won't crisp and cook the right way. I found that you need to stir just enough to remove most of the lumps.
In a large wok or pot over high heat, heat the cooking oil. You don't want to boil the oil, but you need it to be hot enough to fry (about 325 degrees F).
Once the oil is hot enough, liberally dip the shrimp into the tempura batter, and shake off the excess. Working in batches of about 5 to 6, fry the shrimp until crispy, about 1-1/2 to 2 minutes on each side. Remove from the oil, and place on a hot paper towel.
After the dough has rested, preheat a griddle on high. Pull apart the dough into 8 even pieces, and use a rolling pin to roll out the pieces to about 1/4 inch in thickness. Place the dough directly onto the hot griddle, and cook until bubbles appear (and you see golden spots on each side). This works out to about 4 to 6 minutes on each side.
To assemble, place about 1/4 cup of baby arugula onto each tortilla. Add 4 to 5 pieces of shrimp on top. Top with the shredded zucchini, carrot and the red onion. Garnish with the fresh cilantro, and serve immediately.