Tempura is something I recently saw posted on a message board full of people’s “Things I don’t make because it’s too hard/I can get better at a restaurant”. But really, Tempura is incredibly easy. I just made it last week while the (still ongoing) proliferation of squash existed in my house. There is still half a delicata and an entire sugar pie pumpkin, so it shall continue.
My disclaimer on how easy this was is to add that I have no deep fryer nor have I ever deep fryed or battered anything before in my life.
Ingredients: 1 egg, 1 cup of ice cold water, 1 cup of flour, a whole lot of oil, assorted veggies (I used squash and broccoli)
Because I was only making a few small items, I heated my oil in a small saucepan on the stove. I was aiming to get it to 350F, but think it topped out at about 200. This didn’t really seem to make a difference. I beat the egg, then poured on the cold water, then whisked in the flour. I think my recipe could have used a few things: a larger egg, colder water and a tiny bit less water. I am thinking of trying this again, but with seltzer water. I think it might make the batter lighter.
I dropped items into the pot of oil, let them fry for a minute or two, depending on the size, and then pulled them out with a slotted spoon. From start to finish, it was maybe 15 minutes, and it was easy to do all the prep work while I waited for the oil to heat up.
I didn’t have the ingredients for a real tempura sauce, so I dipped these little guys in a mix of 2 parts ponzu, one part shoyu. Worked beautifully, even if it wasn’t the traditional sauce.
So next time you think tempura is hard or intimidating, give it a try first!