Sunday, 10 February 2013

Vegetable Tempura Lovin'

I've been pretty bored of late, being unemployed and in a city without my friends, and so have been taking to cooking a lot more than usual. I love Japanese food and have never made Tempura before, or deep-fried anything for that matter. So, I gave this a go and thought you'd all like to see how I went. It's a really tasty, grease-crave-fulfilling, yet healthy option. Don't be frightened by deep-frying if you've never done it but definitely proceed with caution. Good luck!

Various chopped vegetables eg. carrot, zucchini, mushrooms, sweet potato, capsicum (see image for ideas and desirable size of mentioned vegetables)
Vegetable oil, for deep-frying
Tempura Batter
1/2 cup (75g) cornflour (cornstarch), sifted
1/2 cup (75g) plain (all-purpose) flour, sifted
1 tsp sea salt falkes
1 cup (250ml) cold soda water or beer
1 egg white
Tempura Dipping Sauce
1 cup (250ml) dashi 
1/4 cup (60ml) soy sauce
1/4 cup (60ml) mirin

Tempura 02

Tempura 01

To get it out of the way, and to ensure time between pan, plate and eating is as quick as possible, its best to make the dipping sauce first. Combine all the dipping sauce ingredients in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Once boiling, remove it from the heat, let it cool and set aside for use later when serving.

To make the batter combine the flours (cornflour and plain), salt and soda water/beer in a bowl and whisk until just combined. Whisk your egg white in a separate bowl until stiff peaks form (just like when making a pavlova) and fold gently through the batter. 

In a large deep saucepan (I used a wok), heat the oil until you can see it just starting to smoke (approx. 180°C/350°F if you have a cooking thermometer). Dip the vegetables in the batter, shaking to remove any excess, and deep-fry, in batches, for 3-4 minutes or until light golden and the vegetable is at your preferred eating consistency. Drain on absorbent paper and serve immediately with the dipping sauce. 

I served mine with some chicken thighs I had baking in the oven after marinating in honey, soy and sesame - but thats another recipe for another Sunday afternoon. 

Please let me know if you try any of these recipes or if I could write them in a more helpful way. So far I feel they're alright but I would love some feedback.

Erin xx

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