Ponzu sauce, I now know, is the dipping sauce served with edamame beans.
Somewhere in a town called Brixton, somewhere in the naughties, I had my first glorious pop of edamame beans, and would spend the next ten years searching for that incredible dipping sauce, the likes of which I had never encountered before.
It felt like London’s best kept secret for yonks, time and again I was fobbed off with soy, a cheap imitation at best.
But no more shall I be denied Ponzu! Now that I know how to make it and it’s ridiculously simple. Which makes me ridiculously happy.
It’s equally at home with broccoli and look what we’ve got…
Purple & Yellow sprouting broccoli
Very much vegan this is.
25 mins | serves 4 as starter | easy
100g plain flour
½ tsp sea salt flakes
250ml soda water, chilled
mix veg and groundnut oil, for deep frying
200g sprouting broccoli, purple, yellow or a mix, trimmed into spears
ponzu dipping sauce:
4 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp mirin, sub with chinese cooking wine if you can’t get it
½ lime, juice
1 tbsp caster sugar
2 tsp rice wine vinegar
more sea salt flakes to serve
Start with the sauce, put all the ingredients in bowl and whisk together until the sugar has dissolved.
Fill a pan or sturdy wok no more than 3cm deep with the oil and heat to 180°C, test the temperature with a drip of the batter, if it sizzles and crisps up straight away you’er good to go.
While the oil is heating up, get both flours and the salt into a large bowl and gradually whisk in the soda water, don’t over do on the whisking as that will make the batter tough – a few little lumps are not a bad thing here.
The oil should be ready around the same time you are, dip the broccoli spears in the batter, coat fully and gently lower into the oil and fry in batches, turning occasionally for 4-5 mins until really crisp.
Remove with a slotted spoon, drain on kitchen paper, seasonal well with the salt and keep warm in a low oven while you fry the rest. Serve up with the dipping sauce right away.
Seriously good business.
Source: Easter 2018 edition of Olive magazine.