OK, so this may not be the healthiest way to consume your veggies but as a one-off it’s REALLY tasty! When I first made these I did so as a starter, which in hindsight was a bit of a mistake as everyone was too full to eat the rest of the dinner! Now I like to cook up a big batch, serve with a couple of dipping sauces and a great movie!
(Serves 4 as a starter or 2 as a main)
- Big pile of chopped up veggies – I used carrots, broccoli, peppers, baby sweetcorn and onion but you can pretty much use whatever you have in the kitchen
- Pan with enough vegetable oil to cover the veggies (I cook mine in batches so as not to use too much oil but if you have a deep-fat fryer then you can do them all at once)
For the batter:
- Cup of plain flour
- Teaspoonful of bicarbonate of soda
- Sparkling water – add to create the constancy you need (see below)
- Sea salt and pepper to season
- Mix the batter mix in a big bowl – the consistency should be liquid but thick enough to stick to the veggies.
- Heat the oil up in the pan – it needs to be pretty hot so the veggies don’t absorb too much oil and go soggy but not so hot that it’s smoking
- Add the batter mixture-covered veggies a few at a time and fry until the batter is a pale golden colour
- Place the cooked tempura on a few sheets of kitchen paper to absorb any excess oil
- Serve with dipping sauces and enjoy!
Note: If I’m feeling lazy then I’ll just serve the tempura with ready-made sweet chilli or hoisin sauce for dipping but often I’ll make up my own, which is super-quick and easy:
- Approx 3/4 soy sauce to 1/4 Chinese cooking wine
- Chopped fresh garlic
- Chopped fresh ginger
- Chopped red chilli (with or without the seeds depending on how hot you like it)
- Small squeeze of agave syrup for a hint of sweetness