Tempura with Sweet/Hot Sauce:
Are you ready to be more adventurous with Homemade Chinese Cooking? Sure you are!
From the store buy your favorites. I chose shrimp peeled, bell pepper, and an onion. While there check out the spice aisle and add these to your spice rack if you do not have them already: Cumin, Paprika, Cinnamon, Soy Sauce, Crushed Red Chile Peppers, Vinegar, Curry Powder and ginger. Stock up on Flour, some sugar and a bag of dried Chile Pods. (New Mexico or California are the mildest).
For a sauce buy that expensive stuff that will sit in your refrigerator for ages and then make you wonder if it is still good or try this one. This one is sort of a Sweet/Hot Sauce.
I got out a small pot and filled it half way with water and placed a few of the Chile Pods in that. Simmer for about an hour. Remove the pods and set aside. Then add a half cup of sugar to the remaining liquid. Spice Time: Some soy sauce, a bit of cumin, paprika, cinnamon, a capful of vinegar. Bring that to a boil. The sugar will start bubbling and forming a nice syrup consistency. Stay there stir often. Then add some crushed Red Chile Peppers. Continue stirring and cook for about 5 minutes. Turn the heat off and let cool. Once cool add a spoonful of corn starch and bring the heat up a little. The mixture will just about immediately turn into a paste. Spoon into dipping bowls and set aside.
Cut the bell peppers and onion into about 2 inch pieces and arrange on a platter or plate with the shrimp for quick access. At the same time bring out that Wok or a frying pan and put a very generous amount of oil in it and get that heat way up there. If you have a deep fryer use that. Somewhere in here get out a small bowl add ice to it and water and stick that in the refrigerator.
The Batter: The batter is super simple to make, in a bowl add a cup of flour, whisk an egg (cold) and toss that in the flour. Then add a cup of the ice water. Stir (do not blend) until the all the flour is combined. Get everything close to the stove things will move quickly now.
Oil Test: Get a spoon and dip in the batter add a drop of the batter to the hot oil. If it floats the oil is just right to cook with. Start dipping the fresh vegetables in the batter and add to the oil a few pieces at a time. They are going to cook very fast. Turn, cook more then transfer to a platter with a few paper towels on it. If doing a lot warm the oven on low heat and place the cooked pieces in there. Continue cooking till done.
Serve: Place the platter on the table, give each person a plate and dipping bowl and dig in