This big platter of tempura vegetables, shrimp, and uni served with tendashi and matcha salt from Top Chef contestant Shota Nakajima is an excellent snacking platter that can double as a meal. The tempura chocolate cookies stuffed with cream accented with Wagyu fat and then fried are an unexpected sweet finish.

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Credit: Photo by Jennifer Causey / Prop Styling by Julia Bayless / Food Styling by Ruth Blackburn

Recipe Summary

active:
55 mins
total:
2 hrs 20 mins
Servings:
4
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Ingredients

Tendashi
Matcha Salt
Wagyu Oreo Cream
Batter
Additional Ingredients

Directions

Prepare the Tendashi:
  • Steep kombu in 2 quarts hot water in a large saucepan for 30 minutes. Remove and discard kombu. Bring kombu liquid to a boil over high; remove from heat. Stir in 1 1/2 cups of the bonito flakes. Let stand until bonito flakes settle to bottom of pan, about 5 minutes. Pour mixture through a fine mesh strainer set over a medium-size heatproof bowl; discard solids. Return strained liquid (dashi), mirin, and soy sauce to pan. Bring to a boil over medium-high; remove from heat. Stir in remaining 1/2 cup bonito flakes. Let stand until bonito flakes settle to bottom of pan, about 2 minutes. Pour dashi through a fine mesh strainer set over a medium-size heatproof bowl; discard solids. Return dashi to pan, and cover to keep warm.

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Prepare the Matcha Salt:
  • Stir together matcha powder and salt in a small bowl; set aside.

Prepare the Wagyu Oreo Cream:
  • Scrape cream filling from cookies into a medium bowl; reserve scraped cookies. Add powdered sugar, cream cheese, butter, and salt to cream filling. Beat with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add Wagyu fat, and fold using a spatula to combine. Transfer mixture to a piping bag with a 1-inch hole cut in the tip. Pipe filling onto half of the scraped cookies, and sandwich with remaining cookies. Arrange evenly on a baking sheet. Freeze, uncovered, until firm, at least 30 minutes or up to 3 days.

Prepare the Batter:
  • Whisk together tempura batter mix, rice flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Add cold water, and whisk just until combined. Do not overmix; a few lumps are OK. Set aside.

  • Pour oil into a large pot to a depth of 3 inches; heat oil over medium to 325°F. Line a baking sheet with paper towels. While oil preheats, remove shrimp heads, and reserve. Remove shrimp shells, leaving tails intact. Devein shrimp using a skewer. Score along the inner side (the long side opposite where you deveined) of each shrimp, and stretch shrimp to flatten. Remove outer shells from shrimp heads; discard inside of heads. Remove and discard eyeballs. Set shrimp aside.

  • Dredge bundles of carrots in tempura batter mix, then dip into Batter. Wrap each carrot bundle around itself to create a circular shape. Fry in hot oil until carrots are light golden brown, about 2 minutes. Using a spider or slotted spoon, transfer carrot bundles to paper towels to drain. Dredge mushrooms in batter mix, then dip into Batter. Fry in hot oil until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Using a spider or slotted spoon, transfer mushrooms to paper towels. Dredge bottom flat side of shiso leaves in batter mix, then dip only bottom side in Batter. Fry in hot oil until crispy, about 1 minute. Using a spider or slotted spoon, transfer shiso leaves to paper towels. Increase heat under pot to medium-high, and heat oil until it reaches 350°F.

  • Remove cookies from freezer, and dredge in batter mix. Dip into Batter. Fry in hot oil until golden brown and crispy, about 2 minutes. Transfer to paper towels. Dredge shrimp and shrimp head shells in batter mix. Dip into Batter. Fry in hot oil until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Transfer to paper towels. Place 2 pieces uni on 1 end of each nori sheet. Fold sides over nori, then roll up to fully enclose. Working in 2 batches, dredge nori rolls in batter mix, then dip into Batter, letting excess drip back into bowl. Fry, turning occasionally with a slotted spoon, until batter is puffed and golden brown, about 2 minutes. Transfer to paper towels. Sprinkle all tempura with kosher salt to taste.

  • Serve tempura with Tendashi and Matcha Salt, and garnish with daikon, ginger, and lemon wedges.

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