Easy Vegetable Tempura


Easiness ***
Greenness lacto-ovo

Tempura seems like it’d be very difficult to make but it’s really not! Most of the time you’ll actually spend in the kitchen will be for the clean up as the battering and frying motion can get a little messy. Still, tempura is a great way to use up whatever spare veggies you have in the fridge that you don’t know what to do with. The downside is you gotta eat it the same day because tempura is best when eaten fresh!

Any of the following can be used to make tempura. Choose one or two, or more!:
Shitake Mushrooms
Sweet potato
Potato
Winter squash
String green beans
Green peppers
Bell Peppers of any color
Button mushrooms
Broccoli
Cauliflower
Yam
Pumpkin
Zucchini
Asparagus
Lotus
Portabella Mushroom

TEMPURA BATTER (You can also buy pre-mixed tempura powder batter at most supermarkets):

1 egg
1 1/4 c. iced water
1 2/3 c. all-purpose flour
Oil for deep frying

TEMPURA DIPPING SAUCE (You can also buy tempura dipping sauce in some supermarkets):

1 3/4 c. dashi stock (fish bouillon)
1/3 c. soy sauce
1/3 c. mirin
Sugar (1 to 3 tbsp.) to taste

1. Cut shitakes mushrooms into halves. Slice sweet potato into thin rounds, squash into quarter rounds, green beans into halves, green peppers into strips.

2. In chilled bowl, mix egg and iced water. Add flour to egg mixture. Fold loosely to keep batter lumpy.

3. Lay out a rack with a bunch of paper towels on it. Heat oil in wok or deep fryer to 340 degrees (you can also use a deep frying pan and a set of tongs). Pat dry all ingredients with paper towel. Dip vegetables in batter. (Be VERY careful with this step. If you are not an experienced cook, please have someone around to help keep an eye on things!) Deep fry until golden (the batter will appear puffy and crisp). Remove using tongs and drain vegetables briefly on paper towel covered rack or tray. Make sure they are cool before serving. 10-15 minutes is usually good.

4. Serve with dipping sauce and rice.

Modified from a recipe at Cooks.com http://www.cooks.com/rec/view/0,1726,149168-251192,00.html>

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