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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Tempura Fruit - Thanks So Much

Need a little break from Thanksgiving preparations, shopping, cooking, etc.?  Well here's an idea for something seasonal and simple.  Seriously, you must read this post and make this recipe, I'm not kidding.

So, right now I have a case of Melissa's Korean Pears because 1) it's Korean Pear season, 2) they're crisp & juicy, unusual yet familiar at the same time, and 3) ginormous in size means more fruit per square inch.  The fact that I'm a consultant for the company is beside the point because 1) their products are really the best and 2) they're my friends and that's what friends are for.

What to do with my bounty of Korean Pears?  For a long time I've thought about making fruit tempura and these KP's practically screamed out "core now, slice into 1/4" thick rings, coat in tempura batter, fry in grapeseed oil, drain on paper towels, and start eating you fool".  Luckily I also had a box of Kikkoman Tempura Batter Mix Japanese Style Extra Crispy from my friend Helen who is the test kitchen and development chef for that company.

In no time the batter was made, the oil was hot, the KP's were sliced into rings (skin on) and the tempura train was ready to leave the station.  You will want to eat a ring or two au naturale, but try one or two sprinkled
with a powdered sugar & five spice mixture, put another two on a salad with a slightly sweet sesame oil & soy vinaigrette, and have a couple more with a scoop or two of ginger ice cream drizzled with Buddha's Hand syrup (left over from making candied Buddha's Hand).

If you just can't get Thanksgiving off your mind, how about a platter of tempura Korean pears, apples, and persimmons with a pumpkin pie spiced honey drizzle?  Much more to be thankful for.

Korean Pear Tempura
1 ginormous Korean Pear                  
1 cup tempura batter mix
3/4 cup iced cold water
grapeseed oil for frying

1.  Using a large, heavy pot or saute pan, heat about 2" deep of grapeseed oil.
2.  Make the tempura batter according to package directions (of course you can also make your own from scratch).
3.  Core the Korean pear and slice it into 1/4" rings - there should be at least 8.  Blot each slice with paper towel.
4.  Test the temperature of the oil with a small drop of batter.  Sizzling means ready, set, go.
5.  One at a time, coat a KP ring with batter, turning over a couple of times, then letting most of the excess run off before gently dropping into the hot oil.  Repeat with 2-3 more rings, depending on the diameter of your pot/pan.
6.  After 2 minutes or so, using tongs, turn each ring over and continue frying another 2 minutes or so.  You want golden brown so cook until you get it then remove each ring to a paper towel lined plate to drain.  Repeat with remaining rings.
7.  Try one finished ring au naturale.  OMG, isn't that delicious?  Now try one with a sprinkle of five-spice powdered sugar?  OMG, was that almost better than a donut?
8.  Review other serving suggestions, then come up with some of your own.  I know you will.

For more about Melissa's Korean Pears visit


  1. Yes, these do look OMG, delicious! Having a case of Korean pears, and getting to eat some this way, is certainly something to be thankful for!

    Powdered sugar with five-spice powder sounds like a really good sprinkle too. And by the way, the photos are great - very appetizing.

    Have a Happy and delicious Thanksgiving!

  2. Thanks Faye for your comments and compliment on the pictures. High praise coming from you. P.S. Tempura Fuyu Persimmons are OMG amazing!
    A delicious and happy Thanksgiving to you too.