Part I: Starters
I have developed three recipe pairings to go with each of the three available Über Flavour Rooibos brews and I’ll be posting them weekly. I’m so excited to be doing something out of my comfort zone, and I hope that you love all of the recipes I’ve created to pair with each flavour!
For the first ‘episode’, we are going to look at a starter and the following ones will be mains and dessert.
Über Flavour: Honey & Lemon
Whenever I crave a refreshing, cold drink, I look for something that’s bursting with flavour and nutrients. To be honest, nothing quenches my thirst quite like a glass of fresh zesty lemonade. However, for those of us who need to watch our acidity intake, sometimes lemonade can be a little harsh – and especially unforgiving – to our teeth and bones.
Therefore, I was so thrilled when I discovered that the new Über Flavour ice tea brand had developed a deliciously satisfying lemon & honey rooibos brew! This flavour is actually my personal favourite (and believe me, all of the flavours are amazing!). But more importantly, I can appease my cravings for citrusy cold-drinks without having to worry about my teeth sensitivity. This is a healthy drink that is packed with so much of delightful goodness, and it celebrates our South African heritage with the use of Rooibos as its star ingredient!
Über Flavour Rooibos Brews in general
You must have already encountered these interesting looking bottles that bring with them a new take on ice teas. They are available at selected petrol stations, convenience stores, restaurants and grocery markets. That’s actually really amazing, considering the Über Flavour brand kicked off its products in just December, 2014!
I love the fact that Über Flavour uses real loose-leaf rooibos tea and freshly pressed fruit juice in its brew. Each flavour is uniquely rich in umami – and I thought that this would be perfect with the Asian -style salt and pepper squid. The ingredients are all natural and Über Flavour really sets themselves apart from other rooibos products because of this; there are no added sugars, preservatives or artificial flavourants in their teas!
The Recipe: –
Ginger salt & pepper squid tossed in spring onion with a miso mayonnaise
Pairs with Über Flavour Lemon and Honey Rooibos Brew:
I really felt that the flavours of this brew would work well with an Asian influence, as honey and lemon get on with ginger like a house on fire! Considering the subtlety of squid, I realised that it may be useful to add some more complex tastes like the pop of spring onion and miso in the mayonnaise – to dip the squid in. I did realize that they might overpower the dish, but they didn’t really do that and they just made it more exciting and vibrant. I loved creating this recipe and photographing it and I went with a picnic theme for all the recipes (hence the flowers).
Preparing squid can be rather tricky, and you must keep your wits about you especially when frying the squid heads. I learned the hard way that when the tentacles make contact with water, the oil disastrously ‘pops’ out of the pan! My solution to this was not to make the oil too hot and to cover the frying pan with a lid so that I don’t become the hot oil’s number one target. A special thank you to my mother, who saved me from the clutches of the evil hot oil monster!
For more information on how to clean and prep the squid, please click here. I used Patagonian calamari tubes and squid heads. You can also use Falklands, if you can’t find the Patagonians.
- 400g squid, cleaned and prepared for seasoning (click here for tips)
- 150-200g tempura flour
- ½ tsp Chinese five-spice powder
- ½ tsp ground peppercorns
- 250 ml buttermilk
- 1 tsp freshly ground ginger
- ½ tsp fresh, crushed garlic
- 5-6 sprigs of green spring onion, finely chopped
- Oil for deep frying (I used about 500 ml of oil in a deep pan)
Miso Mayonnaise for dipping:
- 125 ml good ol’ fashioned mayonnaise
- 1 tsp sweet white miso paste
- This is something you should definitely make and refrigerate before you get started with the squid. I know that not everybody has the time to do the ‘Master Chef’ thing when they are doing a three course menu, so I didn’t provide a homemade mayonnaise recipe. If you do want to go the whole shebang, I’ve found this recipe for homemade mayonnaise to be amazing. You can knock yourself out with that one! Just mix the miso into the mayonnaise with a whisk. Ensure that it is well blended and smooth, but don’t over-whisk or it might get a little lumpy and lose its texture.
- Place in a dipping bowl for serving, cover with clingfilm and refrigerate before it’s time to eat!
- Add buttermilk, ginger and garlic to a large mixing bowl and stir the ginger and garlic through buttermilk thoroughly. I like to prepare my squid the night before and leave it to soak in this buttermilk mixture overnight. This is honestly the best way you’re going to get the ‘chewiness’ out of your calamari. You can also prep the squid and then soak in the buttermilk for at least two hours before you season it for frying.
- While your squid is soaking, make the tempura seasoning for it. Tempura flour is generally salted already, so be sure to check the ingredients or you might end up with a rather salty batter. Add the tempura flour, five-spice powder, ground pepper to another mixing bowl for coating the squid in. Mix the seasoning up so it’s evenly distributed. Set aside.
- When your squid is ready, heat up the oil in a deep-frying pan (with a lid!) to 180° C. Do not make the oil far too hot because the squid tentacles will cause the oil to pop on you, and we don’t want that!
- Dip your squid into the bowl with tempura seasoning and coat evenly. After this, I generally lay all of the squid flat on a baking tray, because it also dries out the batter nicely for frying.
- When your oil is hot enough, fry the squid in portions (not too many at a time) for about a minute and a half to two. Squid does not require more cooking time, but ensure that your tempura batter is nice and golden brown before you remove the squid from the oil. Most importantly, cover with lid while it is frying! You will be thanking me for this tip later on!
- Check on your squid carefully after a minute and a half to see if the batter is golden and crisp. Remove from the hot oil and drain on paper towel.
- Once you’ve done all the batches of squid, toss it through with the finely chopped spring onion and serve with miso mayonnaise.
The buttermilk in this recipe makes the squid especially soft and delicious – you can definitely serve this at a picnic without having to worry if your calamari is going to go cold and ‘chewy’, because it won’t!
*Recipe serves 4 people as a starter portion
Uber Flavour Rooibos Brew contact detail: –
Telephone: (021) 433 0474