The Easy Art of Making the Best Vegetable Tempura

For those who do not know tempura, it is seen as an unrefined dish prepared by mixing vegetables or seafood with batter and cooking through deep fry. Even those without culinary course or experience can do this – actually anybody can easily cook tempura. But nothing can beat a well-prepared dish of tempura – particularly vegetable tempura.

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A trained tempura chef cooks a crunchy and wholesome flavor and texture by delicately battering vegetables and seafood and frying it until a lace shell is left. The freshness of the vegetables and seafood is retained while adding crispy textures characterized by deep-fried dish while maintaining a lightness. A heavy tempura is tempura poorly cooked.

The Principle Behind

Following the culinary principle of Japanese tradition, the use of fresh and seasonal ingredients is what maintains the natural taste of a dish. A basic dipping sauce maybe a blend from miso, soy, or umeboshi, which are essentials in Japanese dishes.  The traditional yuzu dressing is a mayonnaise-esque base with the citrus zing which comes from the Japanese yellow, round, and acidic yuzu fruit. Hence, the strong zest of the sauce comes from the basic ingredients themselves.

(photo credit: Olus Fresh)

The secret of a perfect tempura is our choice of fresh ingredients – be they vegetables or seafood.

The root produce

Categorically, there are vegetables that are seasonal, which means they may be produce only depending on their season. These root veggies come in different forms and sizes and are generally dry and hearty. Because of this, they can be fried perfectly in hot oil while retaining their crispiness.

These root vegetables are great for tempura:

Carrots – slice them for about 5 cm

Kabocha – a Japanese pumpkin ripe, particularly during the autumn season. Scrub them clean with vegetable brush, remove its seeds, and cut into slices.

Japanese sweet potatoes – Scrub and then slice them, batter up, and fry!

You may also want to try:

Bell pepper –  Remove the seeds, score the skin, and slices them into 5 cm pieces.

Shiitake mushrooms – This is a tempura favorites from the land of the rising sun! Avoid washing them with water because they absorb liquids. Just wipe them with a damp paper towel.

Japanese eggplant – This kind of eggplant is tricky  because of its water content. Slice it into disks at an angle, or you may choose to cut into smaller size of one lengthwise.

Or, you may also want to try green beans, a butternut squash, or lotus root. Any plant can be fried and serve with appetizing sauce.

Let your imagination and creativity go wild with tempura!


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