You know what’s delicious? Vegetables. You know what’s even more delicious? Coating them in a batter, frying them, and dipping them in sauce. Ok, so maybe deep-fried anything isn’t the greatest everyday meal option, but definitely add this to your occasional rotation because it is so much tastier than it has any right to be. The batter is so light and crispy – the veggies are basically flash-fried, so they still have a great snap, and this ponzu sauce is basically the definition of umami.
Here’s the no-fail secrets to making tempura batter. (1) Make sure your water is super cold. If necessary, it’s fine to go ahead and throw some ice cubes in you batter. (2) Do not over mix. The entire point of this batter is that it’s light and thin; over-mixing can develop gluten, and you’ll end up with a thicker coating that doesn’t work for this dish. If your choice is a lumpy batter or an over mixed one, go for lumpy.
You can use any combinations of veggies that’s appealing to you, just make sure you cut the veggies into a smiliar size and thickness so they fry at a consistent rate. We used broccoli florets, green beans, zucchini sticks, carrot sticks, and red onion slices. Next time, I think I’ll throw some radish in there, and maybe some snap peas.
Tempura Veggies – Ingredients:
- 1 cup very cold water
- 1 cup flour
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1 egg
- pinch of salt
- Cut up strips or pieces of vegetables, enough for 4 servings
- Oil for frying
- Cut up vegetables and dab with kitchen towel or paper towel to remove moisture from the surfaace
- Mix together flour, baking powder, and salt. Add egg and water and mix quickly. Some lumps are ok.
- Heat oil to 350 in a wok or large sauce-pan with high sides.
- With tongs or a slotted spoon, add vegetables to batter and coat
- Add coated vegetables to oil in batches. Each batch should take only 1-2 minutes to fry – you don’t need to wait for the batter to turn golden brown. Turn once to fry both sides.
- Remove vegetables from oil with tongs or slotted spoon, draining some of the oil off. Place on a platter lined with paper towels while you finish the remaining vegetables.
- Repeat with remaining vegetables. Keep an eye on the oil to maintain the high temperature.
Ponzu Dipping Sauce:
- 1/2 cup rice vinegar
- 2 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice