Shrimp Mousse Stuffed Squash Blossom
The juxtaposition of the light-textured shrimp mousse with the satisfying crunch of its tempura-fried squash blossom wrapper makes this a seafood appetizer that looks & tastes classy, but is surprisingly easy to make.
The tempura batter recipe makes quite a lot, so you’ll have extra to make tempura-fried green beans, fresh maitake mushrooms, sliced carrots, sweet potatoes, or even shiso leaves to accompany the blossoms. The batter needs to be used soon after it’s made though, so use it or lose it!
Ingredients: (Enough for about 12 squash blossoms)
About 12 Fresh Squash Blossoms
½lb Raw Shrimp, peeled & deveined
1 Egg White
1 Egg Yolk
1 cup Rice Flour
¾ cup or more Sparkling Water
2 heavy pinches of salt
2 fluid oz of Heavy Whipping Cream
About 1 gallon of Canola Oil for frying (could substitute Peanut Oil)
2 pinches each (or to taste):
Nutmeg, freshly grated
Orange Zest, freshly grated
Plus: Your fav. Asian-style Dipping Sauce
(try soy sauce mixed with a little yuzu juice, fresh wasabi, dashi, or finely grated daikon.)
1. Start the Mousse: Roughly chop the shrimp meat into chunks and add to a food processor (preferably a mini-processor or you processor’s mini work bowl). Puree.
2. Add the egg white and run the processor until well incorporated. Move the mixture to a covered bowl in your refrigerator and chill thoroughly.
3. Once the shrimp puree has been thoroughly chilled, stir in the heavy cream and seasonings. The resulting consistency should be thick enough that it can be dolloped. If it’s too thin, use a whisk and whip it until it firms up.
4. To Test Your Seasoning: put a dollop of mousse in the middle of a small piece of heavy duty plastic wrap. Fold the wrap over the dollop, taking care not to crush it. Twist the ends of the wrap closed and tie them off so you have a little bundle. Poach the bundle in boiling water until it puffs up, turns a light pink and develops a firm but spongy texture (make sure it reaches 160°F). Unwrap the bundle and taste the mousse. Adjust the seasoning as desired.
5. Transfer the seasoned mousse to a piping bag or small zip-top bag (clip a corner off later to use it as a piping bag stand-in) and store in your refrigerator.
6. Heat the canola oil in a fryer or heavy dutch oven to 375°F.
7. Fill your squash blossoms and return them to the refrigerator. Keep in mind that the mousse will expand as it cooks, so underfill them slightly. (How to Stuff Squash Blossoms Tutorial)
8. Make the Tempura Batter: Just before you’re planning to serve the blossoms, combine the egg yolk, rice flour, 2 heavy pinches of salt, and sparkling water in a bowl. Depending on your rice flour, you may need to add more water to thin or more flour to thicken in order to get the right consistency (you want a thin batter that lightly coats food in an opaque layer).
9. Dip each blossom in the tempura batter and immediately transfer to the hot oil. Don’t fry more than five or six at a time, you don’t want to crowd the oil.
10. Turn each blossom as necessary to cook them on all sides. This tempura recipe crisps but doesn’t brown much, so use its texture as a cue to doneness rather than its color. When the blossoms start to puff (they’ll gently burst a little if you overfilled them) they’re probably done, but the first time you make this recipe you probably want to cut one open and compare the texture/temperature of its filling with your test-dollop to be sure. If it’s undercooked, you can actually return the blossom halves to the oil and continue to cook them.
11. Remove the cooked blossoms from the oil, and drain them on paper towels. Let the oil reheat to 375, then cook another batch or vegetables you’ve dipped in the batter.
12. Serve hot with dipping sauce on the side.