8 cups canola oil
tempura batter (recipe below or use a box mix)
1/2 cup fish sauce dressing (recipe below)
3 strips candied bacon, chopped (recipe below)
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons chopped mint
2 cups rice flour
1 cup cold seltzer water
Dash of salt
Tempura Batter: Whisk all ingredients until they just come together.
3 strips thick cut bacon
2 tablespoons brown sugar
Candied Bacon: In a rimmed baking dish cover the strips of bacon with the brown sugar on both sides. Place in cold oven, then turn oven to 375°. Check bacon after 25 minutes, it should be done in about 25-35 minutes. The time will vary depending on the thickness of the bacon. Remove from oven and place on a parchment lined surface to cool.
Fish Sauce Dressing
1/2 cup fish sauce
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
6 tablespoons sugar
1 lime, juiced
1 garlic clove minced
1 Serrano chile minced (keep the seeds if you like things spicy)
Fish Sauce Dressing: Whisk all ingredients together. Stored in the fridge, this will keep for a couple of weeks.
Main recipe: Bring a pot of salted water to boil. Tear kale leaves off of the stems, and cut larger leaves in half. Boil kale in salted water for 1 minute. Strain into colander and spread out onto a sheet tray. When cool enough to handle squeeze out all of the water from the kale.
In a large bowl put fish sauce dressing, cilantro, mint, and bacon.
Heat 8 cups of canola oil in a wide high-sided pot to 350º. Prepare your work area by having a shallow dish of dry tempura mix (about a cup) and your tempura batter in a bowl near the stove. Also have a dish with paper towel ready for your tempura pieces as they come out of the oil.
Dip the kale into the dry tempura, then dip into the tempura batter, place into the oil. It is important to try and separate the leaves as it goes in the oil to avoid clumping. Fry for a minute or two. Using a spider (or chop sticks) take kale out of oil and place into the large bowl.
In a large serving bowl toss the kale with the fish sauce dressing, fresh herbs and bacon so all the ingredients coat it.