I love vegetable tempura for 3 reasons: it’s very simple and quick, it’s very yummy, it helps to use up bits and pieces of vegetables. It’s a great dish and very filling too. It’s my favourite Japanese dish.
Tempura is a wet batter used in Japanese cuisine: crisp, light coating to seafood and vegetables. Tempura batter absorbs less oil (and this is why it’s even better to use corn flour but all purpose flour is good too) and it’s healthier compared to other deep fried food.
There are so many different vegetables you can use:
- pumpkin or butternut squash
- red onion
- bell pepper
- potato and sweet potato
- green beans
I don’t always make a proper tempura sauce, often I just use regular, store bought soy sauce as a dip. So if you don’t have ingredients at home for the sauce do not despair – just use soy sauce.
Here’s some tricks to make the tempura very crispy:
- Make sure you the water is ice cold; this is important to prevent the batter from absorbing too much oil
- As mentioned: corn flour or pastry flour is better than plain flour
- Don’t over mix the batter; you actually want it to be somewhat lumpy
- Use a wooden spoon to mix the batter rather than a whisk
- Make sure the oil is hot enough when you fry the tempura, otherwise the batter will absorb too much oil
Quick and easy for those this Japanese favourite: vegetable tempura that is vegan and delicious.
- 85 g corn flour or plain flour
- 200 ml soda water chilled, the more bubbles the better
- 1/4 tsp sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 60 ml mirin (Japanese wine)
- 240 ml water
- 1 tbsp dashi
- 2 tbsp dark soy sauce
Cut up mixed vegetables into chunky pieces and slices.
Take a mixing bowl, add the flour, salt and sugar. Gradually but gently whisk in the chilled sparkling water.
Heat oil in a frying pan. Ideally, you will need it to cover the vegetable pieces as they fry. Make sure the oil is hot oil and fry until they are golden brown and crispy. Most ingredients only need 2 to 3 minutes a side.
In a small saucepan, bring water to a boil. Stir in dashi, and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in mirin and soy sauce.
Serve immediately with Japanese rice.
Make sure that the ingredients you are coating are thoroughly dry to ensure that the tempura batter stays crisp.
You can use all purpose flour no problem - corn flour is lighter, so it's better.