Crispy calamari, oyster mushrooms, sugar snaps and beldi lemons served with saffron and piquillo aioili
This might seem like a lot of work and a bit daunting but nothing beats some freshly fried food. The pesto works so well in an aioli. Swap out the mayonnaise for vegan mayo and skip the calamari and replace with broccoli florets and you have yourself a complete vegan meal.
For the aioli:
1 clove garlic, grated
For the tempura:
4ltr rapeseed oil
100g sugar snaps, trimmed
100g oyster mushrooms
500g raw calamari, sliced into rounds
80g plain flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
2 lemons, cut into wedges
For the tempura batter
100g plain flour
½ tsp salt
½ tsp caster sugar
200ml cold sparkling water
- To make the aioli, mix all the ingredients in a small bowl and place in the fridge.
- Place the rapeseed oil in a large pot and put on a medium to high heat to heat up. Make sure you leave at least 8cm of space between the oil and the rim of the pot to ensure you can fry safely later.
- Prepare the preserved lemons, by cutting into quarters and removing and discarding the flesh.
- Set all the ingredients to be fried into bowls, along with the seasoned flour in a separate medium bowl as well.
- Prepare a baking sheet lined with paper towel and a rack to lay the cooked tempura on later on.
- Make the tempura batter by mixing all the dry ingredients and then pour in the sparkling water, whisk until just combined.
- Check that the oil is hot enough. It should be around 180C. If you don’t have a thermometer, dropping some batter into it will let you know. The batter should sizzle straight away and rise to the top.
- Dredge the sugar snaps into the seasoned flour, dip into the tempura batter and gently drop them into the hot oil, always away from you. Cook for a minute or two until the tempura is pale golden. Remove using a slotted spoon and place on the draining rack. Season immediately with some salt.
- Repeat step 8 for the oyster mushrooms and the preserved lemons. Ensure not to overcrowd the oil, as this will bring the temperature down.
- Lastly, repeat step 8 for the calamari. Cooking this last, ensures that the vegetables remain vegetarian/vegan.
- Serve the tempura with the saffron and piquillo aioli and lots of lemon wedges.