Crispy Pineapple Tempura with Hawaiian Coconut Dip
I’m still slurping my way through some juicy pineapple-with lots of help from Quinn-we have a tiny piece left which will probably disappear at breakfast tomorrow. In the past year I’ve really seen a huge rise in Quinn’s fruit intake, he’ll easily finish whole containers of berries, melon or whatever he spots in the fridge.
But he’s not so keen on hard fruits like apples or pears, today I caught him shoving strawberries in his mouth green leaves and all. The kids middle name should be Dyson.
I took him to get some famous Leonard’s malasadas, a fluffy Portugese hole-less donut yesterday. Okay maybe it was me who really wanted to go but he can’t drive so I’m in charge. They have three signature fillings- custard, chocolate and haupia, which is a a thick coconut pudding usually served at Luaus. I came away with chocolate and some original sugar malasadas but I was kicking myself for not getting some haupia. I guess we’ll be making a second trip back to Leonard’s…score!
How I connected donuts to tempura is beyond me (fried?) weird things go through my mind when I’m stuck in traffic but it happened and I ain’t complaining. Sweet ripe pineapple fried in tempura batter and dipped in a thin version of haupia! The batter sealed in all of the juices and the crunchy coconutty finish was pretty dang tasty. Sometimes frying anything can be messy, lot’s of work and some say unhealthy? but the taste…the taste totally makes up for it. Besides once in a while is fine and this only uses about two inches of oil in the pan. This dip would also be amazing with coconut shrimp!
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- 1 cup coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 2 cups pineapple cut into small 1 inch cubes
- Canola oil, enough to fill a small pot about two inches from the bottom
- 1 small box tempura batter made per the instructions on the box
- In a small pot combine the coconut milk, sugar and cornstarch.
- Heat until it starts to boil, add the milk.
- Bring back to a boil and simmer until it starts to thicken, about 10 minutes.
- Once it's thickened, transfer it to another container and place in the fridge to cool.
- Heat the canola oil until it reads 375 degrees on a thermometer.
- As it's heating, prepare the batter as per the instructions on the box.
- Once the oil has reached 375 degrees, dip a piece of pineapple in the batter and let the residue run off.
- Carefully drop the pineapple into the hot oil and fry for about 3-4 minutes turning once or twice.
- Scoop the chunks from the oil and drain on a paper towel.
- Dust lightly with some Li Hing Mui spice if you have it and serve warm with the haupia dip.
- Don't overcrowd the pot as it'll cool the oil down and the tempura will be soggy.
- Keep your oven on low and store the already fried chunks on a cookie sheet while the others cook.
- Li Hing Mui powder is ground dried plum skins and tastes a little salty.Great for seasoning but not required.
- Serve the tempura as fast as you can or it will get soft and start to lose it's crunch.