Wednesday, 29 May 2013

JAPANESE RECIPE: MIXED VEG IN A LIGHT AND CRISPY TEMPURA BATTER

Kaki-age tempura is a type of tempura with a mix of vegetables and other ingredients such as seafood. I think it's one of the easiest and more versatile types of tempura to make at home as you can use whatever you have in the fridge.

INGREDIENTS:
200g sweet potato (cut into thin strips like matchsticks, leave skin on)
200g carrots (peeled and cut into thin strips like matchsticks)
100g onion (peeled and cut into thin strips)
2 tbsp flour (to coat the vegetables)

For the batter
1 cup of flour (sieve)
1 tsp corn flour (sieve)
3/4 cup ice cold water
Few ice-cubes
1 egg yolk

For the sauce
100ml dashi stock (homemade dashi stock or 100ml water and a sprinkle of dashi instant granules)
20ml  mirin
20ml soya sauce
Grated ginger/daikon (optional)

Lemon wedges and sea salt (serve on the side)

Vegetable oil (for frying)

INSTRUCTIONS:

FOR THE MIXED VEG TEMPURA
  1. Mix all the vegetables in a large bowl and using your hands or a large spoon evenly coat the vegetables in 2 tbsp of flour. Then set aside. 
  2. Beat the egg yolk and ice cold water in a large bowl. Toss in a few ice-cubes to keep the water cold.
  3. Gradually add the flour and cornflour to the water/egg mix and then lightly mix.
  4. Toss all the vegetables into the batter mix and ensure all the veg is equally coated.
  5. Heat the oil in a heavy based large saucepan to 170 degrees celsius (medium/high heat).
  6. Drop a bit of batter in the oil to check the temperature. If the batter rises slowly to the top of the oil the temperature is right.
  7. Put the tempura veg mix on a large wooden spoon and slowly place in the oil against the side of the saucepan. Use a large spoon or chopsticks to help keep the veg mix together when placing in the oil. Remove the wooden spoon slowly once the tempura mix is secure and firmly binded together.
  8. Deep fry the tempura until it is golden brown only turning a few times.
  9. Drain on paper towel to absorb excess oil. 
FOR THE TEMPURA DIPPING SAUCE 
  1. Put all the ingredients for the dipping sauce into a saucepan and let it simmer for a few minutes. Then set aside and let cool.
HOW TO EAT:

  • Serve on top of a bowl of rice or udon noodles.
  • Season with salt and lemon wedges or a tempura dipping sauce. 
TIPS:
  • You can add a little sesame oil to the vegetable oil for extra flavour
  • Do not overcrowd the saucepan as the oil temperature will drop
  • Do not over mix the batter, lumps are ok in the batter
  • Add prawns or scallops to the mix

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