Simplicity itself, and so good: shrimp are crisp-fried in thin tempura batter are served with fresh tartar sauce and flash-fried parsley. Chef Jean-Louis Palladin stresses the importance of using grapeseed oil: it can be heated to high temperature without burning, and it is the high temperature which flash-fries the coating (and parsley) while the shrimp are cooked perfectly inside the crust.
- Tartar Sauce
- Onion - 1 small, minced
- Parsley - 2 sprigs, stemmed and minced
- Capers - 1 tablespoon, chopped
- Gherkins - 3 to 4 small, chopped
- Mayonnaise - 2 cups, preferably homemade
- All-Purpose Flour - 1/2 cup
- Cake flour - 1/2 cup
- Ice water
- Baking Soda - 1/2 teaspoon
- Baking Powder - 1/2 teaspoon
- Fine sea salt to taste
- Pepper - Fresh finely ground
- Shrimp - 2 pounds, medium, peeled and deveined
- Grapeseed oil for deep frying
- Parsley Sprigs - 8, stemmed and roughly chopped
To prepare the tartar sauce: Mix all ingredients together, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside in the refrigerator.
To prepare the shrimp and parsley: In a bowl, combine the flours with enough ice water to make a runny batter. Add the baking soda, baking powder, sea salt, and pepper. Strain the batter to smooth out all lumps. Pat the shrimp dry and place in the batter. Heat the oil to 360 F in a deep fryer or deep heavy saucepan. Place one fourth of the shrimp in the hot oil. Fry until the shrimp are golden, lifting them frequently with a wire skimmer to check the color; the cooking will take about 45 seconds. Remove with the skimmer and drain on paper towels. Repeat to fry all the shrimp. Do not crowd the fryer; fry in batches, letting the oil return to temperature between each batch.
When all the shrimp are fried, let the oil return to temperature again. Put the parsley in the hot oil and fry 10 to 15 seconds, just until crisp. Remove with a wire skimmer or slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
To serve: Mound one fourth of the shrimp in the center of each plate. Spoon tartar sauce in a ring around the shrimp. Sprinkle with flash-fried parsley bits.