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Crispy Tempura Avocado with Yuzu-Spicy Tofu Cream

Crispy Tempura Avocado with Yuzu-Spicy Tofu Cream

From: Kent Rathbun, Abacus, Dallas. Yield: 12 servings.

3 cups fresh large avocados (approximately 8 oz. each), peeled and seeded
3 cups tempura batter mix
1½ cups club soda, chilled
¾ cup crushed ice
1 Tbsp. black sesame seeds
1 Tbsp. toasted white sesame seeds
1½ Tbsp. sliced chives
1½ Tbsp. minced Thai chiles
1 Tbsp. kosher salt
¾ cup micro cilantro
as needed, oil for frying

Yuzu-Spicy Tofu Cream (yields 3 cups):
3 Tbsp. sesame oil
1½ Tbsp. chopped shallots
1½ tsp. chopped Thai chile
¾ cup seasoned rice vinegar
1/3 cup yuzu juice
2 cups drained tofu
1 Tbsp. lime zest
1 ½ Tbsp. lime juice
3 Tbsp. chopped cilantro

For tempura: Heat oil for frying to 350°F. In a large mixing bowl, stir together tempura batter mix, club soda and crushed ice. If mixture is too thick, thin with a little more club soda. Stir in sesame seeds, chives and Thai chiles. Add salt. Cut each avocado into 12 wedges, about ½” thick, for a total of 24 wedges. Coat avocado wedges in tempura batter and fry until golden brown, about 30 to 60 seconds. Remove from fryer and drain on a paper towel-lined tray.

For yuzu-spicy tofu cream: Heat sesame oil in small saucepan over medium heat. Add shallots and Thai chiles and sauté until shallots are translucent. Deglaze with rice vinegar and yuzu juice. Continue to cook to reduce by half, about 2 minutes. Add tofu and stir for 1 minute. Remove from heat and transfer to a blender. Blend until smooth. Stir in lime zest, juice and chopped cilantro. Steep for 10 minutes, then pour through a fine mesh chinois or strainer. Set aside.

To assemble: Pour 2 Tbsp. yuzu-spicy tofu cream onto each of 8 serving dishes. Top each with 3 pieces of crispy tempura avocados. Garnish each with micro cilantro and serve immediately.

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