For a satisfyingly crispy and umami appetizer, try these mozuku tempura fritters from Okinawa!
The Okinawan islands are off the southwestern coast of Japan and have unique cultures and cuisines not found on mainland Japan. Since it is a cluster of tropical islands, it many not be surprisingly that Okinawa is famous for its one-of-a-kind seaweed!
Mozuku is a type of edible seaweed that is unique to Okinawa and has many health benefits like anti-cancer properties! In fact, it is one of the many superfoods that is credited to the long lifespans that the Okinawan people are internationally famous for! It is a versatile ingredient that can be enjoyed simply with basic condiments like soy sauce or be fried up like these delicious fritters.
These crispy, gratifying mozuku seaweed fritters are a popular dish found throughout Okinawa and are loved for their savory flavor and hefty crunch. They are easy to make at home and only require a few ingredients.
The secret to the burst of flavor is the soda bushi dashi powder you will mix into the batter. Dashi is the base of many Japanese dishes and will give these mozuku seaweed fritters a distinct Japanese flair. You might be familiar with dashi in broth form because it is often used in soup dishes but dashi powder is incredibly flexible and can be tossed into many meals!
There are many different types of dashi and the type that you use will result in different flavors. This soda bushi dashi powder is made with a tuna local to Kochi Prefecture on the island of Shikoku and will give your fritters a deep umami taste. With each crispy bite, you will experience the powerful flavor of the dashi!
Remember to eat them while they are hot and fresh for maximum flavor and crunch!
- 200g mozuku (roughly 5g of Dried Mozuku reconstituted in water and drained)
- 40 g cake flour
- Oil for frying
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 egg
- 100ml water
- 100g cake flour
- 1 tsp soda bushi dashi powder*
- Pinch of salt
- Soak the Dried Mozuku in water to reconstitute then drain. Place the reconstituted mozuku in a bowl and cover with cake flour.
- In a separate bowl mix all the ingredients for the batter, then add the floured mozuku from step 1. Mix to coat the mozuku well.
- Add about 4cm of frying oil into a pan and heat to 180°C. Slowly add small scoops of the battered mozuku from step 2 into the heated oil. Deep fry for 1 min, then flip to deep fry the other side. Remove when golden brown. Place on a paper towel to remove excess oil. Sprinkle with salt and serve.
Introduction courtesy of Kimberlee Laney
As a Japanese-Korean-American, my love for Japanese food first came from my grandmother's kitchen! Japanese food feels like home and I love being able to cook it anywhere in the world to connect with Japan in my own little way. I love diving deep into the layers of Japanese food and always marvel at the food diversity between prefectures. I'm currently eating my way through Tokyo and taking up photography with my Instagram account @capturingkim!
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