Parsnips, one each.
Plantains, green, one each.
Potatoes, Russet, one each.
Deep fry shortening, as needed–at least two cups.
Egg whites, 2 each.
Tempura flour, any proprietary brand will work. They are all basically 60% white flour, 20% rice flour and 20% wheat STARCH, with a little baking soda to create splatter effects.
Swiss peeler, available on line, or a vegetable peeler, or a mandolin, or even a mechanical deli slicer.
Crispy Parsnips: (seen on the right)
Use the peeler to cut long strips from the parsnip, just like peeling a carrot, but continue peeling until one side is flat. You will get very thin strips from the surface, and then wider ones that look almost like corn husks as the vegetable gets thicker, as pictured. There is a fibrous core that will tell you when to stop peeling. Lay the parsnip on the side and continue, working your way around until you have only the fibrous core, which you can cook or discard. Deep fry the peels in 315F oil until they float and stop sizzling. They do not need to be brown to be crisp. Keep at room temp, they will keep overnight and that’s about it.
Cut off the tips of the plantain, and use a fork to cut ridges down the sides–avoid the elevated ribs. Soak in warm tap water for ten minutes–this makes the plantain easier to peel. Remove the peel, and use the peeler or mandolin or slicer to carefully cut thin strips. You can also cut diagonal slices, but the thinner the better, and they can be difficult to handle. I like to peel them directly into the 315F oil, but some care must be taken to avoid splattering. When they stop sizzling, remove and drain. They look a lot better than they taste.
Tempura dusted potatoes
Beat the eggwhites with a few drops of water and add 2 Tablespoons of flour to make a paste. Spread a generous amount of tempura flour out on a cookie sheet. Use the mandolin or mechanical slicer to cut the potato lengthwise into 1/16″ sheets. Remove the peel by squaring the slices. Dust the potato slices one at a time in the tempura flour, then into the paste to fully cover, and then lay out again on the dry tempura flour. Use a fork to flip them in the tempura flour, because your hands are sticky and touching the potatoes will remove the breading/crust.
Allow to sit for a few minutes, then deep fry at 250F just until they float–shake the pan so the oil covers them and do not let them get brown. Use tongs or a fish spatula to remove them from the oil to drain on a cookie sheet with paper towels. FREEZE for one hour. At service, deep fry again at 315F until brown and crispy. If you are lucky some of them will even inflate.