This Tempura Asparagus with Wasabi Ranch takes only 10 minutes to make and is so easy! It will be your new favorite side dish for weeknight meals!
Happy Monday! Did you have a good weekend? Did you load up on lots of junk food? I did. So out of guilt I made vegetables today. Fried vegetables. But they are green…so it totally counts as health food. And if anyone asks, it counts because I said so. For the record, I am a very reputable source.
Nick and I love all types of food but we have a real love for sushi. We get it at least one time a week. I am not a huge eater but when it comes to sushi I can really keep up with the best of the boys. We easily eat 15 rolls when we go out. Carb city! In all fairness though, fish is loaded with omega-3 and lots of other healthy things so I like to believe it balances out the carby rice. One of my favorite appetizers from Japanese restaurants is the tempura veggies. They are light, crispy and always satisfy my craving for a little crunch.
Asparagus isn’t something that you would typically find in a tempura selection but I thought it would make the perfect spring appetizer.You wouldn’t believe how easy tempura batter is to make. You probably have everything in your pantry already. The recipe is simply flour, cornstarch, club soda and sesame oil is optional but I recommend it because it truly takes this dish to the next level.
Here are a few tips for frying.
Use an oil with a high smoke point (Canola oil is recommended for this recipe but peanut oil works just as well). Do not use olive oil.
Using a cooking thermometer is important when frying because if the heat is too high your asparagus will burn and if it is too low than you won’t get that crunch you are looking for.
Work in batches! Add in 5-6 pieces of asparagus at a time. If you overcrowd the pot, it will lower the oil temperature.
Salt the asparagus pieces directly after frying. The salt has the best chance to adhere to the asparagus directly after it is removed from the hot oil and placed on a plate lined with paper towels.
As for the dip, wasabi ranch is the easiest thing ever. It is simply ranch mixed with wasabi powder. You can find it on the Asian isle of almost any major grocery store. The most important thing to do is mix the wasabi powder with water to make the paste BEFORE adding it to the ranch. Skipping this step with result in ranch that has zero wasabi flavor. I speak from experience here. I also served these with a side of soy sauce for those who don’t like any spice.
This Tempura Asparagus is just like the crunchy green beans at T.G.I Friday’s. You are gonna love them.
- Tempura Asparagus:
- 15-20 Asparagus Stalks, cut and trimmed
- 1 Cup Flour
- 1 Tablespoon Cornstarch
- 1½ Cups Club Soda
- 1 Teaspoon Sesame Oil (Optional)
- Vegetable Oil for frying
- Sea Salt for sprinkling
- Wasabi Ranch:
- 1 Cup Ranch Dressing
- 2 Teaspoons Wasabi Paste (Wasabi Powder mixed with water)
- Asparagus Tempura: Fill a large, metal pot with about 4 inches of vegetable oil. Heat on medium-high heat until the oil reaches a temperature of 375°. Using a kitchen thermometer, make sure the oil remains at 375° during the frying process.
- In a bowl combine the flour, cornstarch, club soda and sesame oil (if using). Mix well. The batter will be slightly lumpy. Coat 3-4 pieces of asparagus at a time in the batter. Drop carefully into the hot oil. Fry for a minute to a minute in a half. Remove the asparagus from the oil with a slotted spoon and drain onto a paper towel lined plate. Sprinkle with salt immediately. Repeat with remaining asparagus.
- Wasabi Ranch:
- Combine ranch and wasabi paste in a bowl. Whisk together well. Serve with the fried asparagus.