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Japanese Tempura

There are a lot of urban myths about Japanese cooking. The biggest of these is that it’s tricky to cook Japanese style food. There is some truth in this idea. At the very highest realms of Japanese food preparation there are dishes that can take a lifetime to master. Lethally poisonous fish can be prepared into dazzling dishes only by the most experienced and devoted chefs. However, everyday cuisine in Japan is nutritious and delicious, and easy to prepare. Here’s my adaptation of a classic Japanese dish, Tempura. It’s an extremely versatile dish. Simply experiment!

Choose your vegetables or fruit depending on the season. You can make tempura from most produce. When preparing your chosen produce, slice thinly and evenly to encourage a good consistency. Traditionally, japanese chefs cook aubergines, spring onions, root vegetables and apples. However there are hundreds of different fruits and vegetables that taste delicious as tempura. From courgettes to cassavas, if it’s organic it will taste fantastic!

The flash-fry method is guaranteed to preserve the maximum taste and nutrition of your organic ingredients. Once you have cleaned and prepared your produce, heat some sunflower oil in a wok, saucepan or in a deep-fat fryer. If you have a deep-fat fryer, set it to 190 degrees celsius.

While the oil is getting hot, mix up the batter. The trick for perfect tempura is in the temperature of the batter water. The water must be icy cold when you break the egg into it. Beat the egg and water until they have mixed, then sift the flour into the mixture. Keep mixing with a fork. The batter will remain a bit lumpy. This is how it should be.

When the oil is hot, dip each of the prepared fruit and veg pieces in flour and then into the batter. Drop them into the oil for about two minutes. Fish them out with a slotted spoon, and drain them on some kitchen paper. Serve immediately with a sauce made from the tamari, ume-su and hot water.

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