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Crispy Tempura Avocado, Yuzu-Spicy Tofu Cream

Avocado Tempura
Photo: California Avocado Commission
From: Chef Kent Rathbun, Kent Rathbun Concepts, Dallas. Yield: 8 servings.

Yuzu-Spicy Tofu Cream:
1 oz. light sesame oil
1 Tbsp. shallots, peeled and chopped
1 tsp. Thai chiles, stemmed and chopped
½ cup rice vinegar, seasoned
¼ cup yuzu juice
1½ cups tofu, drained
2 tsp. lime zest
1 Tbsp. lime juice, freshly squeezed
2 Tbsp. cilantro leaves, chopped

Tempura Avocado:
2 cups tempura flour
1 club club soda, chilled
½ cup crushed ice
2 tsp. black sesame seeds
2 tsp. white sesame seeds, toasted golden brown
1 Tbsp. chives, snipped
1 Tbsp. chive chiles, stem removed, chopped fine
2 tsp. kosher salt
24 pieces avocado, peeled, seeded and cut into wedges ½” thick
½ cup micro cilantro

For yuzu-spicy tofu cream: In a small saucepan, add sesame oil and sauté together the shallots and Thai chiles until shallots are translucent. Deglaze with rice vinegar and yuzu juice. Continue to cook and reduce by half. Add tofu and stir for one minute. Remove from heat and transfer to a blender; blend until sauce is very smooth. Finish with lime zest, lime juice and chopped cilantro. Allow cilantro to steep for 10 minutes, then pass the sauce through a fine mesh chinois and store properly.

For crispy tempura avocados: In a large mixing bowl, mix tempura flour with club soda and crushed ice. You may need to add more or less water, depending on desired consistency. Garnish with black and white sesame seeds and chives. Season with kosher salt. Coat the avocado wedges with tempura batter and fry in a deep fat fryer at 350°F until golden brown. Remove from deep fat fryer and drain excess grease. Serve immediately.

To serve: Place equal amounts of yuzu-spicy tofu sauce in 8 bowls. Place hot crispy tempura avocados on top of the sauce. Garnish with micro cilantro.

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