Recipe – Tempura


Tempura is another example of how the Japanese take inspiration from other cultures and make it their own. Battered fried seafood and vegetables was introduced to Japan by Portuguese missionaries in the 1700s – the Japanese lightened the batter, added a delicate dipping sauce and created what is now considered one of their most definitive dishes! Virtually any seafood or vegetables (including pumpkin, sweet potato, lotus root and carrot) can be coated in the thin crisp batter, so use this recipe as a starting point for your own inspiration. Tempura is best eaten as soon as it’s cooked and if cooking for more than 2 it’s best to serve each batch while the next batch is frying.

Serves 2 as an entrée

Ingredients
  • 4 green beans, trimmed
  • 1 small baby eggplant, quartered
  • 4 green prawns, peeled and deveined, tails intact
  • ¼ sheet nori, cut into 4 squares
  • Vegetable oil, for deep-frying
  • Plain flour, for dusting

Tempura Dipping Sauce

  • ½ cup Primary Dashi (watch the recipe video)
  • 2 tablespoons mirin
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons grated daikon, squeezed to remove excess moisture
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger

Tempura Batter

  • 1 cold egg yolk
  • 1 bottle cold soda water (250ml)
  • ⅔ cup plain flour
  • ⅓ cup potato starch
Method
  1. Make Dipping Sauce: Combine dashi, mirin and soy sauce and divide between 2 small dipping bowls. Press daikon into 2 mounds, place 1 in each dish and top with ginger. Set aside.
  2. Heat oil for deep-frying.
  3. Meanwhile, make Batter: Open the bottle of soda water and pour 1 cup into a mixing bowl.
  4. Whisk in egg. Sift in flour and potato starch and mix until just combined, it should still be a little lumpy.
  5. Immediately dust beans and eggplant lightly in flour, shaking off excess.
  6. Dip in batter, drain off excess, and fry for a minute or 2, until crisp and lightly coloured. Drain on paper towel.
  7. Skim oil to remove any loose batter then repeat with prawns, frying for just a minute.
  8. Finally dust, batter and fry nori for just 30 seconds or so.
  9. Arrange everything on a platter and serve immediately with Dipping Sauce on the side.

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