The backwoods of Oregon are full of dinnertime delicacies. A person doesn’t have to go too far to rustle up some serious sustenance. That being said, with a little extra effort a fellow can take his primitive survival experience to a whole other level of cuisine. So, in the spirit of gourmet game and next-level critter cooking, we present to you a special recipe straight out of our cookbook…Tempura Crawdad.
The first thing you’re going to need is a bunch of crayfish. I suggest no less than forty if you’re looking to have a solid dinner with the family. When it comes to these crunchy crustaceans, the bigger they are, the better. We’re lucky here in Oregon because the high-alpine lakes we have continue to produce large mudbugs that work well for this type of cooking endeavor. There are also quite a few coastal streams that yield big crayfish year-round. We’ll leave you to your own devices so far as catching these things go, but below are all the ingredients and proportions needed to make your very own tempura crawdad dish.
1 cup of flour
1 tsp of garlic salt
1 tsp of lemon pepper
2 tsp of cayenne pepper
Boil crawdads. This should be done while they are still alive. If you have delicate sensitivities toward your food and that idea bothers you, try packing your crawdads on ice for a bit before you dump them in the pot. This puts them into a dormant state, and they don’t move at all throughout the boiling process. Think of it as laying them down into a restful sleep they will never wake up from again, if that helps.
Shell crawdads. Make sure to pull the claw meat out if you can, it is very tasty. The bigger the claw, the better.
Rinse crawdad meat and place on clean surface.
Now, put ice and water in a large bowl, then place a smaller bowl inside the bowl of iced water. Sift flour into the small bowl, add spices and mix dry ingredients well. Add one cup of ice water into the flour mixture while slowly whisking. Finish by whisking one egg into contents of small bowl.
Place crawdad meat in tempura batter. Heat canola oil in pan. Test to see if the oil is ready by dropping a bit of your batter into it. If the batter floats, you’re good to go.
Place tempura-covered crawdad meat into heated oil. Cook until golden brown, then remove and place onto paper towel.
Serve with your favorite dipping sauce, we suggest soy sauce with a healthy amount of wasabi. Good luck, and let us know how it turns out.