The art of tempura originated in 16th century Japan, introduced to the Nagasaki region by the Portuguese when making fried fritters.
Unlike standard fried fare, tempura batter contains no bread crumbs, making for a light and airy coating that doesn’t absorb too much oil.
This makes tempura a terrific choice for vegetables, transforming their texture with a crackly crunch, while still letting the main vegetable flavours shine through.
Tempura vegetables are light enough to be served as a side dish but also make a superb finger lunch on their own. With a tangy dipping sauce, they are irresistible.
Tempura is relatively low in calories and fat compared to other deep fried foods, and tempura vegetables are a delicious way to get your five a day in one helping.
Crispy Tempura Vegetables
- 1 kg mixed veg of your choice, such as, green beans, sugar snap peas, broccolini, courgettes cut into long batons, asparagus, red peppers, and sweet potatoes cut into long strips or thin rounds. All vegetables should be cut to the same size so that they all cook at the same time.
For the Tempura Batter
- 1½ cups all purpose flour
- 1½ cups soda water chilled icy cold
- ½ tsp salt
For the Tempura Batter
- Add all the flour to a bowl
- Using a fork, mix, and stir in the ice-cold water until the mixture is slightly thicker than a buttermilk consistency
- Be careful of over mixing, as tempura is renowned to have lumps of flour
For the Vegetables
- Dip sliced vegetables of your choice into the batter mixture and shake off any excess
- Deep fry vegetables in a wok or frying pan or deep fat fryer (if you have one) (you just need about 7cm or 3 inches of clean oil) until the batter is light golden in colour and crisp
- Turn the vegetables at intervals to ensure that both sides are cooked equally
- Remove the vegetables with a slotted spoon, shaking off any excess oil
- Place the vegetables on kitchen paper towels and eat as soon as possible
- As the hot cooked vegetables cool down inside the batter they will begin to steam, making them less crisp as time goes on
- 1 cup rice wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp sugar
- ½ handful coriander chopped
- 1 small chillies deseeded and chopped
- ½ tsp garlic coriander
- salt and ground black pepper
- Pour the rice wine vinegar into a small bowl
- Add the sugar and stir until the sugar is dissolved
- Taste for sweetness
Coconut and Lime Dipping sauce
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 2 tsp brown sugar
- 2 tsp wasabi paste
- juice of 2 limes
- 2 cloves garlic chopped
- Combine all ingredients together, mixing thoroughly until sugar is dissolved