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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Vegetable Tempura

Can you tell I went a little tempura crazy with that plate above? Having replenished my fridge with fresh produce this a past weekend, I couldn't resist to doing a little veggie fry. I remember when I used to eat out at a Japanese restaurant and get one of those bento lunches, I'd always save the cream cheese rangoons and tempura for last.

Clockwise from the top: spinach leaves, string beans (chopped in 4-inch sticks), a few sliced baby eggplants, an avocado and half an onion. You read right. I've tempura-ized the avocado. Hey...some places do it with ice cream. Though, it turned a bit soggy straight out of the fryer. Still good though. Also, if you ever decide to tempura-ize an avocado, make sure you eat it last because it will fill you up.

The batter makes 1 - 1 1/2 c. I served this with a simple soy sauce and lemon dip.



Veggie Tempura

Batter
1 c All-Purpose Flour
1 c COLD water
1 egg (beaten)

Your choice of veggies

(Note: To make it a true Japanese batter, use only the egg white. Thanks to Robert-Gilles of Shizuoka Gourmet for the suggestion)

Mix the three ingredients together, do NOT mix it into a smooth batter. You just want to combine them. Lumps in the batter are a good thing in this case.

Frying

Preheat you fryer or pot with out at least 3-4 inches deep. until it's about 350˚F.

To know when it is ready, drop a dot of batter into the oil. If the batter immediately floats, you're ready to fry. Make sure you lay out some paper towel or some paper underneath a rack to soak up the excess oil.

Dredge the pieces of veggies in the batter and carefully drop them into the hot oil.

Spinach leaves will take roughly 1-2 min. All other veggies generally take 3-4 mins.

Serve immediately to prevent from getting soggy.


Avocado tempura on the left.




44 comments:

Parita said...

These are more like indian bajjis where we used gram flour as base instead of all purpose flour used her, i love the combination of veggies, i could have that entire plate right now :)

eatlivetravelwrite said...

Yum - I just read about purple asparagus in tempura batter this weekend and am planning on doing same to large amount of organic asparagus that appeared in the organic box last week. Your plate looks AMAZING!

Denise said...

OMG these all look wonderful. everything tastes better done in tempura

Debbie said...

I love tempura batter but have never cooked with it. I will have to try this and thanks for posting this recipe!

Phyllis said...

Hi Jenn, never tried tempura avocado before - super cool! Do you find that whenever you make vegetable tempura, you always make way too much? Even when I only buy 1 of each vegetable (carrot, eggplant, zucchini, broccoli), it always ends up being enough for 10 people!

TavoLini said...

Those look beautiful! I would have never thought to use spinach--very nice.

I've never deep fried at home...always been too afraid. Afraid of what? I'm not sure exactly ;)

Leela said...

If veggies come perfectly batter-fried right off the ground like this, I would be so happily eating fresh salad everyday. :)

Leela said...

I think I've said this before, Jenn, but your blog has the most fun verification words ever. For my last comment? Fookinie. Go Figure. :)

doggybloggy said...

your tempura looks so light and crispy - and spinach? wow nice touch..but avocado - now thats a home run!

~Dana said...

You are amazing! I love all your food thoughts! This tempura looks delicious!

girlichef said...

Holy canoli...tempura avocados! Insanity...where can I get me some?! It all looks great...I love tempura veggies!

Andrea@WellnessNotes said...

Looks awesome! I love vegetable tempura. Hubby always says, "Who doesn't love anything fried?" I have never made tempura at home, but I think I just might...

Sweta said...

Jenn-try chickpea flour(besan-available at any Indian store)next time!!
You know what Jenn-I'd actually love to see you do some Indian stuff for a change,it'll be very interesting to read :)

the ungourmet said...

I would never have thought that I could use avocado! I bet it was all really yummy! :0)

ericriveracooks said...

I love the way you use avocado. It's a wonderful showcase!


Eric

Pam said...

I love all the veggies you used - especially avocado. YUM!

Pooja said...

Wow looks delicious! I love anything fried! Love the dip too!

Elra said...

My favorite! I never missed to order tempura at the Japanese restaurant. I must make this at home, I bet my family will love it.

Chow and Chatter said...

looks great put some sake in it he he

finsmom said...

I llove tempura, but havnt had it in ages... youve made me crave it again!

Justin said...

after looking at the photo, but before reading your post, I was totally gonna say "you went a little crazy" with the tempura. that much frying makes me too nervous, but it looks great.

Jenn said...

Parita: cool

eatlivetravelwrite: I haven't tried purple asparagus yet, there haven't been any in my farmer's market lately.

Denise: They sure are.

Debbie: it's fun, but a little messy.

Phyllis: yeah. It's so wierd, just when you think you made enough for one a couple of people, it could fee a crowd.

TavoLini, Dana, eric: Thanks.

Leela: Fookinie. an unknonw veg. LOL.

Doggy: it's really really good.

girlichef: It's really to make. Give it a try.

Andrea: Enjoy!

Sweta: I'd love to.

the ungourmet: It was just trying it out. But it's still pretty good.

Pam, pooja: Thanks.

Elra: It's usually the one thing i have to order too.

Chow and Chatter: Sake. Yes!

finsmom: Why not make some for dinner? =)

Justin: I did go a little crazy. But crazy it good sometimes. LOL.

Heavenly Housewife said...

Ive never actually had tempurah. I have, however, tried something very similar called pakora (which i guess is like the indian version of this--typically done with potatoes and onion and served with a yogurty based sauce) and its yummy. I mean, how can fried and battered stuff be bad???

Teanna said...

There is nothing wrong with going tempura crazy - especially when your dish looks THAT good!

Jenn said...

Heavenly Housewife: In moderation it's good. =)

Teanna: Crazy is good. once in a while.

Bob said...

I've actually never had tempura. I need to try it!

Reeni♥ said...

These look so yummy! I love the variety - especially the spinach leaves!!

Sippity Sup said...

I have always thought tempura was a bad name, because there is nothing tempoary about it. Unless of course you count the fact that your version would only sit upon mu plate temporarily! GREG

burpandslurp said...

Where is my lovely brother? I gotta show him this, he will DIE. He's been saying how much he craves tempura these days! Have you ever tried tempura sweet potato? Or taro?

Snooty Primadona said...

OMG! This looks absolutely perfect! As per your instructions, I shall give it a try.

5 Star Foodie said...

Love tempura and love the idea of a tempura avocado! I will definitely be giving that a try!

shizuokagourmet said...

Dear Jenn!
Greetings!
Next time, try and make the batter without the yolk, only the egg white. This is the true Japanese way. Your style is Portuguese where it originated from.
You din't have to mix the flour thoroughly either. When you drop the beg in the oil, dip the tip first and let go!
Greta pics a s usual!
Cheers, Robert-Gilles

teresa said...

I would love to try the spinach, I didn't even know you could prepare it that way, beautiful!

Jenn said...

Bob: You should.

Reeni: Thanks.

Greg: That's the name they gave it. I didn't make that connection until you mentioned it.

burpandslurp: I've tried sweet potato, but not taro yet. I'd love to though.

Snooty Primadona: Enjoy!

5 Star: ;-)

Robert-Gilles: I didn't know that. I'll have to keep that in mind next time. Thanks. =)

Teresa: It tastes really good.

Debi said...

Love the avocado idea! Looks crisp and delicious... even as I sip my coffee.

The Duo Dishes said...

Must learn how to tempura. Yum yum.

lisaiscooking said...

That looks great! I have a thing for tempura vegetables, and I'm going to a sushi place tonight. Odds are, tempura will be mine.

Jenn said...

Debi: Thanks.

Duo Dishes: You should. It's pretty easy.

lisaiscooking: Perfect timing.

Tasty Eats At Home said...

I love tempura. Never tried to make it at home though, I really should!

Jenn said...

Tasty Eats: You should try it. It's pretty easy.

Tangled Noodle said...

If I'm not feeling sushi, I either hit unaji-don or tempura. The latter is so delicious but I never tried to make it at home! I love your veggie choices, especially the spinach and string beans but I've got to try avocado! (Sweet potato is another huge favorite for me). Thanks for the easy batter recipe!

Jenn said...

Tangled Noodle: It's pretty easy to make. It can get a little messy. but really fun. I would have used some sweet potato, but I didn't have any on hand.

Dazy said...

I'm making this today. I think I'll try to shoot it, but I don't think it will be as pretty as your picture!

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