A few weeks ago I met up with Marks & Spencer’s experts Tom (M&S Buyer of Beef, Lamb & Game) & John (M&S Food Innovations Chef) to cook some of their award winning salt aged sirloin beef, Japanese style with some tempura prawn and vegetables.

We had a great afternoon and made some terrific food that was uncomplicated and really delicious (yes, I said delicious, it was), using ingredients that are available in your local Marks & Spencer (yes, even those Japanese ingredients). I think you will like these recipes a lot, they are deceptively easy and impressive. Perfect for a crowd or a weekday evening. Check out the presentation too, I am so stealing that idea. Thanks, John!

The recipes are fairly straight forward. You can see how John puts together the steak (and how easy and impressive it is) in the video. I will share the tempura recipe with you now, but take a look at the video too to see how easy it is and also to see how golden you want it.


RECIPE: Prawn & Vegetable Tempura

Serves 4 (approx)


350g shelled deveined raw prawns or other fish of your choice (firm fish work best)
a selection of veg of your choice – mushrooms, courgette, baby corn, onion, aubergine, pak choi work well


500g plain flour
125g cornflour
1 large bottle cold sparkling water
a handful of ice cubes
sea salt

1 litre of groundnut or sunflower oil

soy sauce and a little chilli oil to taste, for dipping


Chop your veg into roughly even sizes, not too thick (see video), and separate the pak choi leaves if using them.

Prepare your batter by combining the cornflour, plain flour and a heaped teaspoon of sea salt, then whisk the sparkling water into it until you get the consistency of double cream or when it coats the back of a spoon. Trust me, and trust yourself. It is easy. Don’t over whisk it, it is best with a few lumps left in (although not too many).

Heat the oil to 180 deg C – it will be ready when you add a piece of batter and it sizzles immediately.

Add the ice cubes and dip the veg and prawns in the batter. Fry in small batches making sure each piece has plenty of room and drain on kitchen paper when golden. Keep the oil at 180 deg C in between batches – when you add pieces to fry the temperature will reduce slightly.

Serve immediately with the soy sauce and chilli oil.




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