……who enjoy deep fried and battered foods. The Japanese do as well. Still haven’t figured out why our food has such an terrible reputation whilst theirs are considered super healthy. Must have a better PR agency than us 😉
If you go into a Japanese or South-east Asian shop you can find boxes of ready-made ‘Tempura Batter Mix’. I think this might be how it’s come to be considered difficult to make – after all, it must be difficult if you have to buy the batter instead of just making it at home – but I honestly can’t see why you’d need to buy it. It’s no more difficult than any other. In fact, the thought of making a beer batter fills me with dread, but this is (technical term coming up ) a doddle. Only 2 things to bear in mind – the water HAS to be ice cold (I’m lucky enough to have a fridge with a water dispenser so always have it available) and, secondly, that you don’t over mix the batter. You know how muffin batter is better the lumpier it is? Same with Tempura batter. The vegetables are best either sliced into thin strips or else try to get young ‘baby’ versions.
Yasai (Vegetable) Tempura
- 100g plain flour
- 150ml ice cold water
- 1 egg
- Selection of thinly sliced or baby vegetables
- Sunflower oil for deep frying, heated to 180˚C
- 50ml soy sauce
- 50ml Mirin Rice wine
- 150ml water
- 1 sheet of dried seaweed (also called nori or laver)
Place the flour, the water and the egg into a bowl and quickly stir to amalgamate the ingredients, but remember not to over mix it.
The batter should have the consistency of single cream, and it doesn’t cling well, so work quickly. Dip the veggies into the batter and drop into the oil for 2 – 3 minutes.
You’ll got lots of little floaty bits (tenkasu) which should be cleared out between each batch as they’ll burn if left in the oil. Apparently you can keep them for topping dishes with. Not supposed to pop them into your mouth while waiting for the next batch to cook 😉
Make the dipping sauce by combining the mirin and soy sauce with the water, then shredding the seaweed finely and stirring it through.
Then, once you’ve cooked all the vegetables, serve with the sauce and enjoy.