Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Tempura Tempura, space people

That above is me being silly. "Ventora ventora space people (supeisu peporu)" is the traditional method for Japanese students to try and summon aliens.

Every once in a while, you have to cook something that's a pain in the ass, just to eat it. Tempura is something I feel that way about.

You remember the left over sake/soy/giner/garlic infused chicken meat I had left over? I cooked that up in unflavored water, and then I parboiled all of my vegetables in that chicken infused water. The veggies included: purple yam, kabocha (a Japanese pumpkin), carrots, and green onions. (I didn't parboil the onions).

After parboiling everything (except the green onions), I dipped them in batter.

The batter was kind of my "economically challenged" version of a few recipes I found. I used one egg, 1/3 cup sake, 2/3 cup water, 1/3 cup mochiko (sweet rice flour), 1/3 potato starch ('cause I'm sick of eating corn byproducts), and 1/3 regular all purpose flour.

Perhaps it was because the outside was wet from the boiling, but the first few pieces had very little batter on them; it just wouldn't stick. Then I sprinkled in about a 1/4 cup more of the mochiko. That worked fixed the problem.

Deep frying is something I do from time to time. It's pretty simple, and I don't see why some people are so afraid to attempt it. You just have to learn a trick or two.

These are Sarah's rules for successful deep frying:
1) Keep flammables far away.
2) Use a heavy pot.
3) Use high smoke point oil (I like grape seed oil).
4) Be prepared to par cook or finish in the oven.
5) Don't be afraid of pops.

If you're afraid of popping oil, go ahead and wear long sleeves, just make sure they really hug your wrists. You don't want them dipping into batters. You really don't want them dipping into hot oil.

Anyway, we ate this with white rice, and and tentsuyu sauce from a bottle. You mix 1/4 cup with 1 cup hot water. It made a salty soup base.

The Boyfriend and I polished off this basket of fried goods but, since they were all veggies (aside from the chicken) I didn't feel bad about this.


  1. You are inspiring me to make some tempura.

  2. All part of my secret plan to make the world a tastier place ;)

  3. I think one way to get the batter stick is to lightly dust the veggies especially with rice flour just before dipping them. When you parboil them they can get a bit more juicy on their surface even if you carefully drain and pat them dry. I think parboiling breaks down the surface cells and the juice seeps surface ward imperceptibly when youre not looking :-)

  4. I think you're right Connie. I just read about that on another blog too.