shot of sass, served on (n)ice

Friday, March 6, 2009

Everybody Likes Tempura!

Right? This recipe is suggested for shrimp and vegetables, such as asparagus, broccoli, green beans, onion rings, mushrooms (I’ve used button mushrooms, but the original recipe recommends shiitake), and sweet potatoes.* It’s super-light and tasty, and you can choose the dipping sauce that suits your fancy: sweet and spicy, aioli, etc. I will post the recipe for Gingered Soy Sauce, as it’s generally my fav; the others I imagine you can find easily through AllRecipes.

For the TEMPURA, you will need:

  • Selection of aforementioned veggies and/or shrimp (keep in mind, everything is fried: a little goes a long way)
  • 7 cups of vegetable oil (or just fill the pan enough for a deep fry—who’s counting)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 1 1/4 cup ICE COLD club soda

Prepare your veggies by peeling, cutting, and trimming as required for an easy fry. Peppers and onions should be in rings, green beans with the ends trimmed off, sweet potatoes peeled and sliced 1/4-inch thick. Mushrooms, trim the stems if you like. Clean and devein the shrimp. Most importantly: make sure everything is DRY before you fry.

Heat the oil over medium to medium-high heat.

For the batter, whisk together dry ingredients first. Then add the ICE COLD club soda, stir with a fork. Batter will be lumpy.

To fry: Veggies you will dip into the batter one at a time and transfer to oil. Fry 1-2 minutes, flipping ocassionally with skimmer or slotted spoon. Transfer to wire rack, or (this is what we do) your serving plate, which will be lined with paper towels to absorb the grease. When the plate is full, add another layer of paper towels and stack the next layer of tempura.

Shrimp: pat DRY and dredge in flour first, then batter. Fry 2-3 minutes, transfer to plate.


  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 3 Tbsp water
  • 1 Tbsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 green onion, sliced (green & white parts)
  • Juice of 1/2 lime or lemon

Combine all ingredients. Let stand at room temperature for at least 10 minutes before serving. And feel free to use powdered ginger if you don’t have fresh, lemon/lime juice from a bottle if needed. I always do, and it tastes fine.

Overall, this recipe is just kind of fun. We like to make it on a Saturday night, I don’t know why. My husband takes care of the frying part, because that mess makes me nervous. And speaking of mess, the oil splatters (be careful!) will make a big one. But, it’s well worth it. You can pick just about any (non-delicate) veggie to fry up, based on your mood, and I can’t emphasize enough that you don’t need a lot. One sweet potato, for instance, and maybe a bell pepper will be more than enough. And the shrimp, of course! Enjoy.

*Source: Adapted from Cuisine at Home magazine.

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