This recipe is adapted from a dish served at Clio, Chef Ken Oringer's restaurant in Boston's Back Bay.
About the author: After graduating from MIT, J. Kenji Lopez-Alt spent many years as a chef, recipe developer, writer, and editor in Boston. He now lives in New York with his wife. Got a suggestion for an upcoming topic? Email Kenji here, and he'll do his best to answer your queries in a future post. Become a fan of The Food Lab on Facebook for play-by-plays on future kitchen tests and recipe experiments
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 3 tablespoons gochujang (see note)
- 2 tablespoons yuzu juice (see note)
- 2 tablespoons chopped chives, plus more for garnish
- 1 pound medium shrimp (26 to 30 count), peeled, deveined, and cut in half crosswise
- 2 quarts peanut oil
- 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup rice flour (or cornstarch)
- 1 egg
- 1 1/2 cups ice cold seltzer water
- Kosher salt
Combine mayonnaise, gochujang, yuzu, and chives in medium bowl and whisk to combine. Lay shrimp on paper towel-lined baking sheet and blot to fully dry.
Heat peanut oil over high heat in a large, heavy dutch oven or wok to 390 degrees as read on an instant read or deep-frying thermometer, about 12 minutes. Lower heat to maintain temperature.
Whisk flour and rice flour together in a large bowl. Add eggs and soda water and, shaking bowl with one hand, rapidly whisk with other hand with a pair of chopsticks until the mixture just comes together. There should still be dry clumps of flour remaining. Line a second bowl with a triple layer of paper towels.
Working in two batches, submerge shrimp in batter and turn to coat. Pick up a handful of shrimp, allow excess batter to drip off, and carefully drop into hot oil one at a time. Repeat until first half of shrimp are all in the fryer. Fry, agitating constantly with chopsticks or wire mesh spider until tempura is a pale golden brown and very crisp, about 2 minutes. Transfer the fried shrimp to the paper-towel lined bowl, season with salt, and toss to drain excess oil. Transfer to a wire rack set in a rimmed baking sheet in a 200°F oven to keep warm. Allow oil to reheat to 390°F and repeat with remaining shrimp.
Transfer drained shrimp to bowl with sauce and toss to coat. Serve immediately, sprinkled with extra chives.