Tempura Shrimp – Black Plum, Lemon, Vanilla Fragrance
For the Lemon Rind:
Using a vegetable peeler, remove lemon rind in large strips. Bring water and sugar to a boil over medium-high heat in a medium saucepan. Whisk to dissolve sugar and reduce heat to medium. Add rind and poach for 1 minute. Remove rind from poaching liquid and drain. Cut lemon rind into ½–inch squares. With the tip of a paring knife, make a slit in the center of each square.
For the Black Plum Purée:
Line a 9-inch by 12–inch pan with plastic. Bring plums, water, and sugar to a boil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Simmer plums for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer mixture to blender and purée until smooth. Soak gelatin sheets in cold water for 5 minutes, or until flexible. Gather sheets and squeeze out excess water. Return plum purée to clean saucepan and add agar. Bring mixture to a simmer and blend with immersion blender. Add gelatin and stir until combined. Strain mixture through chinois into clean saucepan. Bring mixture to a simmer, remove from heat, and strain through chinois into the prepared pan. Refrigerate purée until firm and cut into ½–inch cubes.
For the Tempura Flour:
In a medium bowl, thoroughly combine ingredients.
For the Black Plum Salt:
Combine salt and black plum powder in a medium bowl and set aside.
To Assemble and Serve:
Combine tempura flour and water in a large bowl, taking care not to overmix. Heat oil to 375°F in a large, heavy pot. Impale ingredients on a vanilla skewer in the following order, with no space between them: one lemon rind square, one black plum cube, and one piece of shrimp. Position ingredients so that the lemon rind sits about 3” from the end of the skewer and the piece of shrimp sits flush with the tip of the bean. Dip the top 3 inches of the skewer in tempura batter. Holding the opposite end firmly, immerse the battered end in oil. Fry for 2 minutes; drain on paper towels; and sprinkle with black plum salt. Serve hot.
Ruinart Blanc de Blancs Brut NV