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INKLING - Seafood Tempura Platter with Ink Dipping Sauces

Updated: Jul 19, 2021


Complexity: ★★★☆☆

Frying up squid as homage to the Inkling may seem a tad barbaric – but that’s par for the course in the world of Splatoon! Inkopolis’ beloved pop idols, the Squid Sisters, get their namesakes from the crispy seafood snack. (Callie and Marie, “calamari” – get it?) Not to mention, Splatoon’s single player campaign has the squid kids leaping through rings of calamari! Marie even talks about eating these squid rings… are the Inklings cannibalistic? Probably best not to think about it…

(image credit: splatoonwiki.org)

I also included tempura-fried shrimp as a reference to the popular fast food eaten by the Inklings. In Splatoon 2’s Inkopolis Square, a friendly prawn by the name of Crusty Sean runs a food truck, the Crust Bucket, where Inklings could purchase a variety of shrimp-based snacks which boost the cash or EXP points earned during Turf Wars.


Speaking of Turf Wars… let’s not forget about the most important element of the Splatoon series, the colourful ink which the squiddos spend their days slinging at one another! That’s where the dipping sauces come in: this seafood platter is splattered with two different colours of sauce. Are you Team Wasabi Mayo or Team Sriracha Mayo? Also, I couldn’t resist making a dressing out of actual squid ink. (This is entirely optional as squid ink is expensive and can be hard to find!)



 

INGREDIENTS

Tempura:

  • 15-20 prawns, shelled and de-veined

  • 2-3 squid tubes, sliced into rings

  • 1 egg

  • 1 cup sparkling water, ice cold

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs

  • Neutral oil (eg: vegetable, peanut, coconut), for frying

  • Cornstarch, for dusting

  • Salt and pepper

Dipping Sauces:

  • 1 cup Kewpie mayonnaise (regular mayonnaise works perfectly fine, the flavour and consistency will just be slightly different)

  • 2 tsp wasabi paste

  • 1 tbsp lime juice

  • 1 tbsp cilantro, ground into a paste

  • 1-2 tbsp sriracha hot sauce

  • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar

  • 1 tsp soy sauce

  • Red and green food dye (optional)

Ink Dressing:

  • 3 tbsp squid ink

  • 3 tbsp rice wine vinegar

  • 3 tbsp sesame oil

  • 3 tbsp brown sugar


PREPARATION

For dipping sauces:

  1. Evenly divide mayonnaise into two small bowls.

  2. In one bowl, mix in wasabi paste, cilantro, and lime juice. In the other bowl, mix in sriracha, rice wine vinegar, and soy sauce. If you want to make the colours pop, you can add green and red food dyes respectively.

  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together squid ink, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, and brown sugar. The squid ink is very salty and pungent - if it is too strong you can thin it out with a splash of water.



For tempura:

  1. Beat egg and soda water together in a large bowl. Add flour and mix until just incorporated, some lumps are fine. Season with salt and pepper. Place panko breadcrumbs in a separate bowl.

  2. Heat a few inches of oil in a deep fryer or large pot, taking care not to overheat and burn the oil.

  3. Toss prawns and squid rings with cornstarch. Dip into tempura batter one at a time (and for the squid rings, toss in panko breadcrumbs) and transfer to fryer, making sure not to overcrowd it. The oil will be scalding hot, so be sure to gently submerge the pieces rather than dropping them in from a height: much like in Splatoon, you don't want to get splatted!

  4. Fry for a few minutes on each side until golden brown. Transfer to a paper-towel lined plate, sprinkle with salt, and allow to cool for a few minutes. Serve with dipping sauces on the side.


Stay fresh!

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