World Cup Party: Viva Japan!
We’re watching the World Cup with an eye to food (of course). Here’s a kicking dish from a nation whose game is on today.
Seaweed Tempura. Photo credit: food52/Rachel Tepper
Let’s get real: The main point of any World Cup snacking is to have something other than beer in your stomach. Something other than the bottle occupying your hands (which would otherwise be clenched as tightly as your jaw during all 45 minutes of the second half).
This afternoon, when Japan plays Colombia, let that snack be seaweed tempura. It tastes salty and of the sea, it crunches ever so pleasantly, and each bite-sized ball is just the right size for launching across the room and hitting the cheek of someone wearing a yellow jersey.
Not that we condone food fights or any taunting of other, losing team fans whatsoever…
1 cup seaweed
1/3 cup plus 3 tsp. all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp. sesame seeds
5 oz. soda water
Peanut oil, for frying
Soy sauce, for serving
If your seaweed is in wide strips, slice them into thin ribbons. Clean the seaweed with running water and drain it well. Set aside.
Stir together the flour, a pinch of salt and the sesame seeds in a medium bowl. Gradually pour in the soda water, whisking constantly.
Heat 2 inches of oil in a large, deep pot over a medium flame, to about 300 degrees F. In the meantime, add the seaweed to the batter and stir to combine. Carefully drop the seaweed into the hot oil by 1/2 tablespoonfuls, about 6 spoonfuls at a time. Fry until lightly golden, turning over once during cooking, and then remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels while you fry the rest of the seaweed. (If the clumps of seaweed sink and stick to the bottom of the pot, don’t worry—after a minute or two you should be able to use the spoon to gently ease them from the bottom of the pot.)
Sprinkle the fried seaweed with salt and serve while still warm with soy sauce for dipping.