How to Make Shrimp Tempura Sliders
This is a refreshing spring update on your classic hamburger slider. Instead of using a ground beef patty, I am using shrimp tempura. This recipe calls for fresh truffles, but fresh truffles are hard to come by so feel free to use truffle oil (it is much more affordable and what I usually like to use). The flavor will be just as good.
For the shrimp tempura:
- 4 jumbo pieces of shrimp, deveined and cleaned (without tails)
- 3/4 cups tempura batter (can be found at most supermarkets)
- 1/4 cup potato starch
- 3/4 cups ice water
- 1/2 teaspoon salt to flavor the batter
- 3-4 cups vegetable oil
- 1/2 of a fresh truffle, grated (to replace fresh truffle, use 2 tablespoons of truffle oil instead)
For the truffle aioli (makes 1/2 cup)
- 1 garlic clove
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 of a fresh truffle, grated (to replace the fresh truffle, use truffle OIL instead. Instead of using a 1/2 cup of olive oil, divide this in half and use only 1/4 cup olive oil, and add 1/4 cup truffle oil to the aioli)
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
For the sandwich:
- 8 slices of brioche cut into circles 3-4 inches wide
- 2 whole slices of tomatoes, cut in half (should make four separate pieces)
- a small handful of fresh sprouts
- 1/2 cup aioli to spread on both sides of sandwich
First, prepare the fresh truffle aioli.
Smash a piece of garlic with a knife—lay the flat side of the knife down and just hit the flat side with your palm—and finely mince it. Place this smashed garlic into a food processor with egg yolk, mustard, lemon juice, salt, and the freshly grated truffle. (If you are not using the fresh truffle you'll just use the truffle oil which can be blended in with the olive oil).
Process these ingredients until you get a smooth yellow yolk mixture. Then slowly add the olive oil (and truffle oil, if you are replacing the fresh truffle) into the mixture and keep pulsing until it is fully emulsified.
You'll know when you're done with this sauce when it sticks to the blade.
Put aside this mixture, and place into the refrigerator until you are ready to build the sliders.
Now, prep the shrimp tempura batter. In a bowl, whisk together the potato starch, tempura batter, and freshly grated truffles with the ice water. Whisk this until the lumps disappear, and the mixture is very smooth. If you are not using fresh truffles, add 2 tablespoons of truffle oil into the mixture. Let this sit in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours. You can use this mixture right away, but you'll get better results if you let it sit. Once you take it out of the fridge, whisk it one more time just so everything is incorporated.
After the batter is done, you'll need to prepare the shrimp. Slice the shrimp in half with a paring knife, but don't slice it all the way. Just slice it until you can lay the filet out flat. Look at the photos below for reference.
See how these lay nice and flat on the cutting board? That's what you want. When you fry these, you'll have a thin, flat filet that will not only cook quickly, but also lay nicely on your slider.
Once you're ready to fry them, prepare a saucepan with 3-4 cups of vegetable oil. The best way to test if the oil is ready is to dip a wooden chopstick into the oil. If you see bubbles around the edges of the chopstick, your oil is ready to go. (Please do not replicate the process displayed in the photo below, it is dangerous and this is for editorial purposes only.)
These will not take long to fry—just wait 1 minute maximum and lay them out on a paper towel so that the excess oil gets absorbed.
The shrimp should look like this when they're done:
After the shrimp are all fried, you're ready to make the sliders. Prep your sprouts, tomatoes, and your aioli. You can replace the sprouts with arugula, lettuce, or avocado to put your own spin on it. Feel free to add whatever you want—like a hamburger, the toppings can be customized to your liking.
Slice the brioche bread about 1/2 inch thick. Using a pastry cutter (about 3-4 inches wide) you can cut through each slice of bread.
Toast each slice of bread lightly on both sides.
Now spread the aioli onto both sides of the bread, the top and bottom. This will act as a glue.
Lay your tomato and bean sprouts on top, then finish the sandwich with another slice of brioche.
Alternatively, you can also serve these as regular sandwiches. You will need two pieces of shrimp tempura instead of one, and 1 whole piece of sliced tomato.
Serve with a simple side salad and vodka mojitos.