Have you ever heard the expression V-J Day? Up until recently, I hadn’t. I knew it had something to do with the war, as in World War II. V-J Day meant Victory over Japan Day. On August 14, 1945, the news broke around the world that the Imperial Government of Japan would agree to surrender. In Europe, it was August 15th due to the International Date Line. Regardless of which side of the date line you were on, celebrations broke out across the globe with zealous fury. The war was coming to an end.
The peace treaty was officially signed on September 2, 1945. The following year, President Truman signed a proclamation declaring August 14th as V-D; Victory Day. I guess even then, there was a sense of Political Correctness.
To mark this day in the Journals of History, I went searching for something I knew my family would enjoy. My guys really like Tempura Battered anything. I love a good Mustard Sauce. This seemed the perfect combination.
While we think of Tempura as a Japanese style of cooking, it’s actually a mixed bag. Tempura was inspired by fritter-cooking techniques introduced in Nagasaki in the 16th century by Portuguese cooks residing in the area. The name “tempura” is rooted in the Latin phase quaturo anni tempora, in reference to the once observed Ember Days within the Catholic church. Ember Days are four separate sets of three days within the same week that are set aside for fasting and prayers. These days were Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Quaturo anni tempora translates to the four seasons of the year or the fast of the four seasons. Like many restrictions of old, Ember Days are no longer a part of the obligations of the lay people.
At least we got Tempura out of the deal, right?
Tempura Shrimp with Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce
For the Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce
¼ cup Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon yellow prepared mustard
3 tablespoons honey
In a small bowl add the Dijon mustard, yellow mustard, and the honey. Whisk together and set aside.
For the Tempura Shrimp
12 raw shrimp, peeled with tails on, deveined
3 teaspoons sifted corn starch
1/4 cup ice cold water
1 egg, beaten
3 tablespoons sifted flour
1 cup canola oil (amount may vary depending on size of pan)
Lay the shrimp on a plate and using a small wire strainer, sift the corn starch over each side of the shrimp.
In a medium size bowl, add the water and egg. Whisk together. Add the flour and whisk together. Heat a medium size skillet on medium heat and add the canola oil. The canola oil should be about ½ inch high in the pan. Add more if needed. Add a couple drops of the tempura batter into the pan and when it sizzles, dip the shrimp in the batter and carefully add the shrimp to the pan. When the shrimp turns a golden color on the bottom side, turn them over (about 3 minutes). Let the shrimp cook on the other side until it also turns a golden color (about 2 to 3 more minutes). Remove the shrimp from the skillet and lay them on a plate with a paper towel. The tempura shrimp may need to be cooked in batches depending on the size of the pan. Serve while hot with honey mustard dipping sauce.