Camaron rebosado is the Filipino version of Japanese tempura but more often served with sweet and sour sauce. A lot of cooks add a beaten egg to the batter — I don’t because combining egg, flour and water results in a bread-like texture that turns crisp only after prolonged frying which is the surest way to overcook the shrimps and turn them dry and rubbery.
I cook camaron rebosado with tapioca starch, water and small pieces of ice. I don’t overmix the batter so that tiny lumps of flour remain. These lumps become really crispy during frying.
- Remove the heads and shells of the shrimps, leaving the tails on — not for decoration but to making dipping in the batter easier.
- Slit the backs of each shrimp and remove the black vein that runs through it length. This is the shrimp’s digestive system that contains its waste and you really don’t want to ingest it.
- Heat the cooking oil in a wok or frying pan.
- Pat the shrimps dry with paper towels and season with salt.
- In a wide shallow bowl, place 1/4 c. of starch.
- In a mixing bowl, place the remaining starch, ice cold water and ice. Mix lightly.
- Holding a shrimp by the tail, dredge in flour then dip in batter until well coated. Carefully drop into the hot oil. Repeat and cook the shrimps in batches of four to six. This is a very short frying method. If the temperature of the oil is right, the coating should turn lightly golden and crisp in less than three minutes by which time the shrimps should be cooked through.
- Drain the fried shrimps on paper towels.
- Serve the camaron rebosado imeddiately with sweet chili sauce on the side.