For the asparagus:
- Sunflower or vegetable oil, for deep-frying
- 50g plain flour, plus 3tbsp extra for dusting
- 1tsp cornflour
- 100ml chilled sparkling or soda water
- 2 x (250g) bunches of asparagus
- For the dip:
- 1/2 red chilli, seeds removed and finely chopped
- 2tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 1 small clove of garlic, peeled and crushed
- 2tsp caster sugar
- 1tsp freshly grated root ginger
- 2tsp chopped coriander
- Mix together the ingredients for the dipping sauce and leave for roughly 30 minutes.
- Pour enough oil into a large pan to come halfway up the pan. Heat the oil to 180°C. To test, drop in a 2cm (roughly) cube of bread. Tt should turn golden and crisp in around a minute.
- Place the flour, cornflour and a good pinch of salt into a bowl and mix in the soda water with a chopstick until it is just combined and a thin, slightly lumpy mixture.
- When the oil is ready, trim the ends off the asparagus, rinse under the tap, dust in the 3tbsp of flour, and then briefly dip into the batter.
- Drop straight into the oil, a few at a time, for just 1 to 2 minutes, until pale golden and crisp. Drain on kitchen paper and serve with the sauce.