This most quinessential of Japanese dishes seals the flavour of a variety of ingredients within a coating of light, crispy batter.
- 1 egg
- 100ml cold water
- 100g plain flour
- a selection of vegetables and seafood, such as prawns, mushrooms, pepper, pumpkin etc.
- Break the egg into a bowl, add the water and mix well
The eggs, water and flour for the batter should be chilled in a refrigerator to make the batter crispy.
- Add the flour, sifting out any lumps then mix together with chopsticks, moving them to the right and left. Don’t move them in a circular motion, or the tempura will not be crisp when fried.
Don’t mix the batter too much, just mix it roughly so that some of the flour can still be seen in the mixture.
- Heat enough oil to cover the tempura to a high temperature (up to 180 degrees) in a deep frying pan. (You can test that the oil is hot enough by dropping a small amount of mixture in the pan. It should form a crisp batter immediately).
In order to keep the oil temperature constant, don’t fry too many ingredients at the same time.
- Dip the vegetables in the batter and deep fry immediately. When they begin to change colour, remove them from the pan and place them on kitchen paper to drain any excess oil.
When removing the excess oil from the tempura (by placing it on kitchen paper), don’t do too many pieces at once, as too much oil will remain on the tempura.
- The hard vegetables (i.e. squash, sweet potato etc.) should be cooked carefully, making sure the oil is at the right temperature. Finally, fry the seafood (i.e. prawns, squid and fish). Before dipping in batter, cover each ingredient with flour to prevent the oil from splashing up when frying.
Remember to remove any batter that has separated from the vegetables.