You all know and love those batter-coated, crunchy, deep fried dishes, typically found in Japanese restaurants. Yes, we’re talking about tempura ! The word “tempura” or “tenpura” (天ぷら or 天麩羅) is actually derived from the Latin word “tempora”, which literally translates to “times” or “time period”. This Latin word was used by Spanish and Portuguese missionaries when they refer to Christian holy days, particularly the Ember days or ad tempora quadragesimae. In these days, Catholics would refrain from consuming red meat, and, instead, eat fish or vegetables.
A lot of people make the mistake of thinking that store-bought tempura batter is the way to go. That’s not exactly true. Not only is it more expensive, but it also may not have that comfortingly crunchy texture that you want. This recipe makes a basic tempura batter that’s super simple to do, and costs much less than your store-bought batter. How simple is it to make? It’s so simple that you can prepare this literally right before you start frying! The key is to get the batter just right before you do.
WHAT YOU NEED:
- – 100g flour
- – 1 egg
- – 1 cup cold water
- – 1 tsp baking soda
- – 2 tbsp corn starch
- – Oil for deep frying
*This yields one cup or 200cc of tempura batter
MAKING THE TEMPURA:
1. Mix the flour, baking soda, and corn starch together, and sift. This is to ensure that you won’t have any lumps in your batter.
2. Crack open and beat the egg into a bowl, and then mix in the cold water
3. Gently mix in 1/3 of the dry ingredients into the egg mixture. As soon as the thin batter is well mixed, add in the next 1/3 of the mixed flour. Repeat for the last 1/3.
4. Preheat a pan to around 340 – 360° F and add in enough oil for deep frying.
5. Take your desired tempura filling, and prepare as necessary. Peel off any skin for vegetables, and then slice according to desired cuts; take of the skin, head, and vein for shrimps; etc.
6. Dip your tempura filling one at a time in the tempura batter
7. Gently slide into the hot pan with oil and then deep fry for around 30 seconds. Pay attention to your tempura because it takes literally seconds to burn.
MOST POPULAR TEMPURA FILLINGS
Make sure you’re using cold water to make the batter. The reason for this is so it doesn’t absorb too much oil.
Don’t Prepare the batter hours or days before you fry.
Take it easy on the mixing. Much like making a cake, over mixing the batter could make it too tough and heavy instead of light and crisp.
As a rule of thumb, fry vegetables first before seafood. This is so you don’t get event the faintest hint of a fishy taste in your vegetable tempura.
If you’re looking for a sushi recipe with crunchy tempura in the middle, check out our Dragon Roll Recipe! It is DA BOMB!