Whenever there was a sushi moment upon us, I would feel the need to order tempura. I love the fluffy fried veggies that have such a crunchy yet silky bite to them. When I saw it being made on cookery shows I was in awe since it always seemed a few steps beyond normal frying. One night the desire got the best of me and I decided to go for it.
Turns out; nothing to it!
I read three things that are key to making a good and fluffy tempura
1. Use ice cold sparkling water instead of normal tap water. (I used Spa marie henriette because it was in my fridge but any sparkle will do)
2. When you make the batter, look for the consistency of a thick pancake batter. It should completely cover your vegetable and stick to it before being dumped in the hot oil.
3. The batter should be ice cold when you start dipping in your vegetables. the way to achieve that is to add cold water like I suggested in the first key thing. second you place your batter-bowl in a larger bowl filled with ice cubes and water (tap will do!)
Now let’s get this show on the road!
frying (I used sunflower) oil in a pan with a thick bottom / or a deep fryer
Any vegetable you feel the need to fry like mushrooms, sweet potato, onions, asparagus, broccoli, eggplant….
6 cups or rice flower/ tempura flower
1 tbl spoon of ginger or chilli
1 litre of sparkling water
vegetables (cut into 2-bite pieces)
peanut or sunflower oil
*these quantities are enough for quite a large batch so invite lots of people to join you!*
Heat the oil in your deep-fryer or in a pan with a thick bottom.
Prepare your batter by mixing the flour with the chilli and/or ginger and then adding the sparkling water. Keep the batter cool in the ice bowl and mix it until it has a thick, pancake batter consistency. if it’s to runny; add water. to thick; add flour. When the batter is ready drop some pieces in there and, using your fingers which will be battery, drop them in the oil after that.
Try some single pieces first to see if the oil is the right temperature. Your batter should be fluffy and light-brown. Root vegetables like sweet potatoes need to fry for 4 minutes, everything else for 3.
And that’s about it! add some chilli sauce and/or soya sauce to dip it all in. and YUM YUM for you!