Monday, January 16, 2006

Tempura From Leftovers

I had a bunch of leftover vegetables in the fridge which were about to go bad if not used soon. Tempura is the perfect dish to prepare to use leftovers as you can pretty much use any ingredients besides chocolate (those are the words of Yoko's mother!)

Normally i would at least add some shrimp as well in addition to the veggies. I think Tempura is usually most fun if prepared for several people. That way you can also use a wider variety of ingredients without having leftovers.


you can use almost anything ...

here's what i had in my fridge:
1 yam (sweet potato)
1 eggplant
1 lotus root (very nice looking with the holes inside)
1 green bell pepper
handful of green beans
all ingredients sliced to be easily handled with chopsticks
tempura sauce (available at Mitsuwa)

also try tofu, prawns, fish, broccoli or maybe even some fruits?

the batter:
either buy a pre-mixed batter from a place like Mitsuwa
or mix 1 egg, cold water and white flour to make the tempura batter yourself.
It's up to you how much flour and water you use, depending if you prefer a thick or a thin batter. I like the batter to have a thicker, creamy consistency.


Pour 1/2 cup tempura sauce into a bowl for each person.
Also prepare some rice (preferrably japanese rice) to serve with the tempura. Mix egg, cold water and flour to make your tempura batter or use an already pre-mixed one. Place in a large bowl.

Heat some regular oil in a large pan. About 1 inch oil from the bottom of the pan should be about right. If you want to prepare the tempura at the table with the people you're going to eat with, you should use a Cassette Feu or similar gas stove. I gave some more details about it in a previous post.

Using large cooking chopsticks, dip a few vegetable pieces at a time into the batter to cover all around. Carefully place the pieces into the hot oil which you should keep hot at about medium heat to not burn the veggies.

Most ingredients are done fairly quickly after about 1 minute on each side. Flip them using the chopsticks. The lotus roots take a little bit longer, about 1-2 minutes on each side. When the pieces have a nice brown color, take them out of the oil and place them on a plate with a kitchen paper on it to have some of the oil absorbed.
Dip the tempura into the tempura sauce and eat them with rice.


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