I'm really excited as this was my first time making it, and so couldn't wait to post it up.
I've been dreaming about making tempura for a long time. So much so the other night I couldn't sleep; I must've gotten hungry just thinking about food. So I decided to search the internet for recipes that could make good the ingredients I already had.
Note my tiny kitchen with the ingredients :
1) 150ml chilled water (can be water with ice cubes too)
2) 100gm tempura flour
3) pepper/ししとう*, string mushrooms/えのき*, seaweed/のり* (can be lotus root, pumpkin, bitter gourd, fish or eel)
Looks very minimal right?
Add the tempura flour to the chilled water into a bowl and mix it. The mixture doesn't have to be smooth.
Prepare the ingredients : For the pepper, remember to pierce the middle with a toothpick (to release the air when frying?!). I decided to separate the clump of enoki into tiny bunches and wrapped them with seaweed (so that it would hold well when fried).
Cover the ingredients with the tempura mix, and put into the boiling oil - not too many at one time so they don't clump together. Wait for a few minutes until it gets crispy, then take it out and place them on a plate lined with paper towels.
Note that, if the oil is not hot enough, the tempura will end up soft and lumpy. Sufficient heat will ensure a crispy texture.
I like my tempura a little crunchy on the outside, soft in the inside. To preserve the crispness, I recommend sprinkling with flavoured salt (try the yuzu lemon or the ume plum). You can dip into the usual tempura dip/tsuyu too.
Not wanting to waste the remaining oil, I decided to chop some onions and fry them. Now I also have home-made onion oil! It may look a bit dark here; but that's because there's a lot of onions in there! Plus it smelt really good! Can't wait to sprinkle some onto stir-fry vege or mihun soup (^.^)V
* 獅子唐 【ししとう】 (n) green pepper
*えのきたけ; えのきだけ; エノキタケ; エノキダケ 《えのき茸; 榎茸》 (n) (uk) enoki mushroom (long, thin and white); Flammulina velutipes; winter mushroom
*海苔 【のり(gikun)】 (n) nori (edible seaweed, esp. species Porphyra tenera and others of genus Porphyra, usu. dried and pressed into sheets); laver; (P)