There. I said it. This may be a controversial statement, especially for the fried chicken-inclined, but I’m sticking by it. Tempura is light, yet satisfying and hits all the right spots without being heavy. It’s just crispy enough, with a slight hint of salt that doesn’t mask the flavor of whatever it covers. Haddock’s taste is pretty mild; however, haddock tempura is pure perfection. It’s all so refined and subtly flavored. (HA! SO NOT ME.) The fish is perfectly moist on the outside and not at all overdone, which created the perfect bite along with a heaping spoonful of grits cooked in homemade dashi broth.
Brb, must continuously dip anything in tempura, fry and eat everything.
Haddock Tempura with Dashi Grits
veggie oil, for frying
1 1/4cupall-purpose flour
salt, to taste
1cupgrits or course cornmeal
salt, to taste
Heat water and kombu in saucepan over medium heat. Remove the kombu just before the water boils fully and add the bonito flakes. Bring the broth to a simmer and cook for 1-2 minutes.
Remove the saucepan from heat and let the broth steep for 8-10 minutes. Strain the broth, add in soy sauce, and set aside.
Heat 2" of oil to 400°F in a heavy saucepan.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, club soda and ice cubes and whisk until it just comes together (the mixture should have some small lumps).
Slice the cod into long 2 oz pieces and season with salt. Dip the fish in the tempura batter, dripping off any excess. Fry the fish in the oil, turning occasionally, until very lightly golden and crisp, about 3-5 minutes. Transfer the fish to a rack to drain oil until ready to serve.
Bring 3 cups of the broth and 1 cup of water to a boil in a large saucepan. Slowly whisk in grits and lower heat to medium-low. Cook, whisking often, for about 5-7 minutes until creamy. Whisk in the butter until melted. Taste the grits and season with salt if needed.