Orris chef-owner Hideo Yamashiro likes to call the small plates of food that are his favorite way to eat “little munchies.” This recipe, for curry-infused shrimp tempura, is a popular item on the short but carefully selected menu. Yamashiro came up with this dish during his travels in his native Japan, after being impressed with the quality of tempura and liking the idea of salt being served with tempura rather than tempura sauce, which is the case at many specialty restaurants.

Yamashiro spices the shrimp before frying it, and serves the dish with Okinawan sea salt and curry dipping sauce. The manager at Orris, Tatia, recommends pairing this dish with a glass of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. Grassy and with a crisp finish, the wine is perfect for fried dishes and shellfish. For the cook with limited time and herbs, store-bought curry powder can do the trick for seasoning the marinade and dipping sauce. For those who have a bit more time, and coriander and cumin on hand, mix your own powder blend with the recipe Yamashiro's kitchen uses. And for more on the chef, read our 2-part interview.

Curry-Infused Shrimp Tempura

From: Hideo Yamashiro of Orris

Note: Tempura flour can be found at Japanese markets.

Serves: 5-6 people, as an appetizer

1 pound of 16-20 shrimp, cleaned and sliced in half lengthwise


½ cup light oil (Yamashiro suggests soybean oil)

1 tablespoon curry powder*

½ teaspoon minced garlic

Dipping Sauce:

½ cup mayonnaise

1-2 tablespoons of curry powder, or to taste

1 teaspoon fish sauce


Curry Powder:

1 ounce Coriander

1 ¼ ounce Cumin

1 ounce Fennel

1 ¼ ounce Tumeric

¼ ounce White Pepper

1 ½ teaspoon Cayenne Pepper

¼ teaspoon Nutmeg

½ ounce Mustard powder

1 ½ teaspoon Cinnamon

2 ½ ounces Madras Curry Powder (Yamashiro recommends the Sun Brand)

Salt (to taste)

1. Prepare the marinade: Mix marinade ingredients to form a paste. Adjust the amount of curry powder if needed. Paste should be thin, like pancake batter. Rub paste into shrimp and marinate for at least an hour.

2. To fry: Use tempura flour. Prepare the batter with ice water according to the directions on the box. Set aside some dry flour. Lightly toss shrimp in dry flour, then dip in batter, making sure not to over-batter shrimp. Fry in hot oil (soybean oil recommended) and dust shrimp with curry powder after removing from oil.

3. Prepare the dipping sauce: Thin mayonnaise with water, starting with 3 tablespoons and adding more if needed to create a creamy consistency. Stir in the curry powder and fish sauce to taste.

4. Serve the tempura with the dipping sauce, sea salt and lemon wedges.

LA Weekly