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Saturday, July 07, 2007

Vegetable Tempura

tempura-1

Tempura is a wonderful snack on a lazy weekend afternoon. With a few simple dipping sauces, and served with some tea, they make a filling meal. I like to fry up green beans, carrots, squash, eggplant, zucchini, tofu and onions usually.

While I do like the packaged tempura batter, when I try to make tempura these days, I meddle around with the batter to see if I can get a light and crispy batter from scratch. This tempura batter here was all right, not too bad - easy to make, light, not lumpy. The oil temperature needs to be quite high so it crisps up right away.

Ingredients
Tempura Batter:
½ cup fine rice flour
¼ cup cornstarch (plus some more, separately to dredge the tofu)
½ tsp salt
½ tsp paprika
1 tsp onion powder
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp soy sauce
½ cup water (more or less)

plus, oil for frying

Vegetables for frying: carrots, green beans, squash, onion, eggplant, zucchini, tofu

Preparation

cut the vegetables into slices or cubes as desired, keep handy

heat canola oil, or peanut oil (peanut oil gets to a higher temperature than canola) in a pan for frying; keep some paper towel-lined plate handy

mix the batter just before ready to fry: combine the dry batter ingredients and add a little water at a time, beat lightly till the batter is fairly thin and runny, no lumps; keep a plate with some cornstarch handy to dredge the tofu before coating with batter - this helps remove excess moisture that tofu usually has

deep fry till golden brown and transfer to the paper towel lined plate

Serve warm with sweet chili sauce, or soy sauce or a few spicy dipping sauces.

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