I don't know about you, but if you watched the first episode of the second part of Food Wars! The Third Plate and was shocked and awed like I was, I am going to assume it's because you also never knew that you could freeze eggs and then COOK with them. RIGHT? I was just so fascinated by cooking with frozen eggs, I immediately bumped the scheduled post that was going to go up today in order to make this and share it with you guys.
Eager as any beaver that ever lived, I went out and got all the ingredients, and then came home and immediately put my eggs in the freezer. All 12 of them. Even though I was only planning on making one bowl. I was excited.
I waited a solid 24 hours, and went to check my eggs, under the mistaken impression that they would be good to go. They were not good to go. I was flabbergasted. My resolve dwindled. How could I mess up freezing an egg? I knew there was hope as one egg had frozen completely. It had also cracked open. One out of 12. Not the best odds.
I kept cooking. Everything else went to plan. The single frozen egg peeled beautifully. The sauce came together in a snap. The tempura batter was really easy. The oil got up to temperature and stayed up to temperature (a true feat for me, as my oil seems to constantly fall below the temperature it SHOULD be at). For a Food Wars! recipe, this dish came together incredibly easily. Except for the frozen egg SNAFU. What did I do wrong??
48 hours later, I came back to find my eggs completely frozen, and all cracked. As it turned out, my eager beaver attitude actually hurt me here. These eggs need a solid two days in the freezer to get rock hard, as they should be when you cook. They will crack open, which seems somehow wrong, as I've been taught never to eat eggs that are cracked, but it should be ok as long as you cook and eat the eggs directly after peeling them. If you don't keep up with my Youtube channel, I post Making-Of videos two days before the recipe goes live here. One of my commenters on the Making-Of video for the Egg Tempura assured me that in the manga, Soma has the same problem occur with his eggs. So, it turns out I was doing it right all along. How nice.
So, the star is obviously the egg, but what about the other ingredients? The shiso leaf is a really nice, mellow complement to the egg. If you haven't had shiso before, it is sort of similar to perilla leaf, which is much more common in Korean cooking. If you can't find shiso, you can use perilla. However, perilla definitely has a stronger, more peppery flavor, so it will have a bigger impact on the dish. The sauce is a very traditional Japanese flavor and works really beautifully against the egg. Definitely let it thicken in over low heat, and don't use it sparingly over the rice, as it will soak in and sink to the bottom of the bowl.
Will this dish crack the heart of a stone-cold maiden like Erina? It is almost guaranteed. If the impressive cooking technique doesn't get them, the delicious flavor of the dish will do it.
I really hope you can try this out! Watch the video below to get more pointers on how exactly to make this dish!
1. Freeze eggs 48 hours in advance. Eggs may crack open in the freezer- I found it was difficult to get them to freeze completely if the shell didn't crack open while freezing. Eat wisely- be careful of where you discard shell while peeling and make sure to cook and eat immediately after removal from the freezer.
2. When ready to start cooking, get rice ready to go and cook according to package instructions.
3. Make sauce. I recommend making dashi by scratch for best results. Combine ingredients and bring to a light simmer. Allow to reduce until slightly thicker, and keep on low heat while cooking the rest of the food.
4. Peel frozen egg and place in a clean bowl back in the freezer. Set out flour for dredging, sprinkling a little salt over the top. Begin heating oil in a sauce pot, heating till 350 F.
5. Combine the cold egg with cold water and whisk until ingredients are combined. Pour over the flour, and stir with chopsticks in a figure eight motion until most of flour is combined, and some lumps remain, NO MORE THAN 1 MINUTE! You really only want to stir until it JUST comes together. If you stir too much the gluten in the batter will develop too much, making the coating chewy rather than crispy. There should definitely be lumps floating at the top.
6. Take out the frozen egg, and dredge in flour. Immediately coat liberally in tempura batter, and then drop in the waiting oil.
7. Fry 6 minutes, and remove immediately. Allow to drain on a rack. If oil is too hot, the center will not be melty, so take care it is the perfect temperature! Lightly fry shiso leaves, 5-10 seconds per side, or until just crisp. Drain.
8. Place rice in bowl. Douse with sauce. Place egg on top, with leaves arranged to the side. Douse with more sauce.
9. Cut into the egg and enjoy immediately. Try not to get pecked by a bunch of tiny chickens.
I hope you enjoyed this post! Check in next week for another recipe. To check out more anime food recipes, visit my blog. If you have any questions or comments, leave them below! I recently got a Twitter, so you can follow me at @yumpenguinsnack if you would like, and DEFINITELY feel free to send me food requests! My Tumblr is yumpenguinsnacks.tumblr.com. Find me on Youtube for more video tutorials! Enjoy the food, and if you decide to recreate this dish, show me pics! :D