Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Japanese For Dinner: Tempura Night

One of my favorite things to eat at Japanese restaurants in America is tempura. When I found out that God was calling us to Japan I knew for sure while I was there I was going to learn how to make this fried goodness. So tonight was that night. I thought it was going to be hard but it wasn't. In fact, you can make it too! Here is the recipe:

Tempura Veggies

Step 1: You Will Need:
* some vegetables (I used carrots, white potatoes, green peppers and yellow peppers)
* 8.8 fl oz ice cold water
* 7 oz plain flour
* 5.3 oz cornflour
* some oil , for deep frying
* 1 pinch of salt

Step 2: Chill ingredients

Before you begin, put 7oz of plain flour, and 5.3 oz of corn flour together in an airtight bag and place it in the freezer. Cooling these ingredients will help to keep the tempura batter light.

Step 3: Chop the vegetables
Slice into small, bite-sized portions.

Step 4: Make the batter
Get the chilled flour mixture out of the freezer and tip it into a mixing bowl. Take 8.8 fl oz of water. Add a little to the flour and roughly mix with chopsticks, or a fork. Add the rest of the water a little at a time. Be careful not to over-mix - the lumps give tempura it's unique texture.

Step 5: Heat the oil
You can use any deep heavy bottomed pan or wok. Fill the pan about 2 inches deep with oil - there needs to be enough oil to fully cover the tempura pieces once they are in the pan. Put the pan on the hob over a high heat. It will take about 10 minutes for the oil to reach the right temperature.

To check if the oil is hot enough, drop in a little of the batter mixture. If it doesn't rise quickly it's not hot enough. It should bounce back up to float at the top of the oil.

Step 6: Dip and Fry

Dip each vegetable piece first in a little plain flour, then in the batter, making sure that it is completely covered. Then use a chopstick or whatever you are comfortable with to place it in the oil. Repeat this process for all of the vegetables. Put the smaller vegetables, in this case the asparagus, in last as they take less time to cook.

Don't cram the vegetables in - each piece needs to be able to float freely. Move them about frequently to make sure that the tempura is covered in oil and cooked evenly. Once they have turned golden brown, which should be after about a minute, they are cooked.

Remove them from the pan one by one, shaking off any excess oil as you go, and place them on some paper towel.

And there you go! We really enjoyed this tonight at dinner. We had it with a salad and Panko Fried Chicken. (I will be sharing this recipe next week!)Even Noah enjoyed trying it! My favorite was the peppers and my least favorite was the white potato. I think next time I will go with a sweet potato. But all and all it was a fantastic dinner! Let me know if you make it, I'd love to hear how yours turned out!

To read more about the recipe I used or to watch a video about it click here.


  1. Awesome Amy! I thought tempura would be some "special" batter ingredients but it's just corn and regular flours... how simple.

    I do have a question - did you precook the veggies or did the short time in the oil cook them all the way?

    I do want to try this.

  2. Nope, you don't have to cook the veggies. They cook wonderfully in the oil. I'm pretty sure if you precooked them they would be really soggy. It's funny that you would be the first to comment because I thought of you when I was writing this...I was pretty sure this would be something you would try:) Let me know how it turns out!


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