Creating this well loved Japanese staple at home is easier than you think, with our step-by-step instructions.
For the batter:
- plain or strong white flour
- cold water
- a pinch of salt
There are no exact measurements, as you should adjust the quantities of flour and water in order to get the required consistency. As a guide, however, you should require 250ml of water for each 236g of flour.
Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl and add the water. Stir gently whilst adding the water, but don't over-mix the batter.
Test the consistency of the batter by dipping your chopsticks in and out. Ideally, a few drops of batter should form at the end of the chopsticks.
For the vegetables:
A great variety of vegetables are suitable for tempura, as long as they are cut into thin slices. These include courgette, onion, bell pepper, sweet potato, squash, eggplant, carrot, green or red pepper, broccoli and mushrooms.
Wash the thinly sliced vegetables and dry them before dipping them in the tempura batter.
For the frying oil:
Japanese people traditionally use toasted sesame oil for tempura, but you could also use Clearspring’s Sunflower Frying Oil. It is preferable to use one single type of oil for the tempura.
You will need approximately 500ml of oil.
- Heat the oil in a heavy, wok-type pan. You can test the oil has reached the correct temperature by adding a drop of batter: when the oil is hot enough, the batter should float to the surface almost immediately.
- Place the battered vegetables in the oil after draining any excess batter (use the sides of your bowl to help with this). Try not to throw the vegetables in, but gently dip them in from the side of the pan. Try to avoid leaving drops of batter in the oil, as you will have to remove them from time to time to avoid them burning.
- Once the tempura pieces have turned a light golden colour, remove them from the oil and allow the excess oil to drain off in a drainer or on kitchen paper.
Try frying pieces of Clearspring Norior Sushi Nori cut into 2 x 2 inch squares, either as they are or with the rough side dipped in batter. They can also be wrapped around battered mushrooms and fried (see image).
If there is some batter left at the end, you could add thinly cut spring onions or any other very thinly cut vegetable and make small balls of batter that can then be fried. In Japan, this is known as kakiage.
Tempura is not complete without a delicious dipping sauce or tsuyu. Click here for the recipe.