This recipe was inspired by some of the ingredients commonly found in Korean cuisine, such as ginger, lemongrass and chilli paste with soy bean oil. As well as the use of fresh pear for sweetness.
Test Kitchen tips
Chilli paste with soy bean oil is available from Asian supermarkets, use Thai chilli jam instead, if you prefer.
Store fresh Thai basil in the fridge rolled up in lightly damp paper towel in a zip lock bag for up to 4 days or process leaves and stems with olive oil and freeze in an ice-cube tray – perfect for stirring into curries and soups from frozen.
For a twist, add 2 tablespoons bottled yuzu juice to the tempura batter.
1.Cut any thick broccolini stalks in half lengthways. Place chilli paste, garlic, ginger, chilli, lemongrass, pear, fish sauce and basil in a food processor; process until almost smooth. Transfer mixture to a large bowl; add broccolini, turn to coat well. Stand for 30 minutes.
2.Meanwhile, prepare tempura flour mix according to packet directions.
3.Fill a large wok or saucepan one-third full with oil; heat over medium heat until 200C (or when a cube of bread turns golden in 10 seconds).
4.Working in batches, dip broccolini one at a time in tempura batter then gently lower into hot oil, being careful not to overcrowd wok. Cook, turning occasionally, for 3 minutes or until crisp and golden, and broccolini is crisp-tender. Remove with tongs; drain on paper towel. Season with salt. Repeat with remaining broccolini and tempura batter.
5.In the same oil, cook the extra basil leaves for 20 seconds or until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon; drain on paper towel. Cook the extra chilli for 1 minute or until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon; drain on paper towel.
6.Serve broccolini sprinkled with crisp basil leaves and chilli, and vinegar in a small bowl.