Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Vegetable Tempura






Hello again! It's Dine at Mine's favourite (and only...) guest blogger, Greedy Gusto! After the success of my Royal Wedding Shortbread recipe, I've been invited back to write up another of my special recipes. And when I say special, I mean simple and delicious. And unhealthy.


Today I'll be explaining how simple it is to make vegetable tempura. Or in other words, how to take an innocent vegetable, and fry it in batter for 4 minutes.

Watch it fizz
The most important point in this recipe is to get the consistency right. The mixture in the photo below needs more sparkling water:


Too thick. Add some more sparkling water!
A bit more sparkling water, a bit more of a whisk, and you've got a consistency like single cream:
That's the consistency we're looking for
You can probably put most vegetables into this batter. My favourite is baby corn, but carrot, pepper, broccoli and courgette all work well. I imagine peas would be cute but small.
They look like they're drowning in there
Then put the batter-covered vegetables into the hot oil, and watch it boil. My tip is to add vegetables that need longer to cook first (like carrots), and then leave a few seconds between adding each vegetable, so that they don't stick together.
Beware very very hot oil!
After 4 minutes (or when the batter looks cooked), use a metal slotted spoon to fish out the battered vegetables. I advise against using a plastic spoon. I used a plastic spoon in my first attempt, and the molten plastic coating it left on the vegetables wasn't very tasty.
O more! O tempura!
So here's what the vegetable tempura look like. The surprising thing is that, after only 4 minutes in the oil, all the veg is cooked through and yummy.
Serving suggestion (crispy seaweed from Waitrose)
This recipe is pretty fool-proof. For example, I forgot to put in the baking powder, and I used tonic water instead of sparkling water, and I forgot to add the ice cubes, and my pan of oil was far too small, and it still came out fine! I guess my ineptitude in making this recipe may have something to do with my use for the leftover tonic water (mix with gin for a delicious drink).


That's the Dine at Mine blogger getting involved


Vegetable tempura

- 100g plain flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 150ml sparkling water
- 4 ice cubes
- Any vegetables you like (carrot, broccoli, courgette, pepper etc.)

Mix the flour and baking powder in a bowl. Gradually add the sparkling water until the batter has the consistency of single cream. Add the ice cubes.

Heat the oil in a deep pan until it's really hot (but don't test this with a body part).

Dip the vegetables in the batter, then carefully lower them into the pan of hot oil. Deep fry for 2 to 4 minutes until golden brown, remove with a slotted spoon, and drain on kitchen paper.

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