First time I made tempura. Honestly, I was surprised how easy it is. The most exciting part is that you can tempure everything, including ice cream, cheese cake and a shoe string and it would be delicious. Keep in mind though, that if you fry large vegetables such as sweet potatoes and butternut squash, slice them into 1″ thick slices, to make sure they get tender inside and golden outside. It’s not something I would make on a weekly or monthly basis; more like once or twice a year. The baby zucchini and zucchini blossoms are from my garden! I planted them and raised them. And I managed to rescue a bunch of them from the squirrels. Such a treat.
- tiny zucchinis - zucchini blossoms, sweet potato, leeks, peppers. Make sure to cut large and hard veggies into smaller chunks.
For the batter
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1½ cups seltzer or sparkling water.
- 2 cups canola oil
For the dipping sauce
- 1 small sheet of combu - seaweed
- 5 dried mushrooms
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- ¼ cup Mirin - or rice vinegar
- To make the batter: Put the batter ingredients into a medium bowl and whisk until smooth.
- Pour the oil into a medium-small saucepan over high heat. When the oil is hot (drop in it a few drops of the batter, if it sizzles and bubbles, it's hot) lower the heat to medium-high.
- Frying: dip the veggies in the batter then place them gently in the hot oil. Fry for 1 minutes then, using a metal tongs, flip and fry the other side until it's tan. Remove from the oil and place on a plate lined with a paper towel.
- Dipping sauce: put the Combu and mushrooms in a small saucepan with 1 cup of water and bring into a boil. Stir in the soy sauce and Mirin (or rice vinegar) and continue to boil for 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat and let it cool. Serve in a small bowl on the side with the tempura.