asparagus tempura - serves 4

12 spears fresh asparagus
1 egg, beaten
175g plain flour, sifted
300ml very cold sparkling water

Mix the beaten egg and water together in a large bowl. Sift in the flour and lightly whisk. A pair of chop sticks does the job just fine. Don't over mix; a little lumpy is OK
Heat the oil in a deep fat fryer to around 180C. Dip the asparagus spears in the batter, then deep fry for 3 minutes until lightly golden. Batter should be translucent, not solid like a beer batter for fish.


Ignore your instincts when making the batter. It must remain lumpy to ensure a crisp, lacy coating.