The fact that we grow and eat our own vegetables doesn’t necessarily mean we’re always eating them roasted, mashed, steamed, grilled, raw, or drinking them juiced- in other words, “healthy” methods. We like them fried too! That’s right, I said it: FRIED. Yep, in oil, even. Stir fried, sautéed, and almost deep fried- in batter! Our favorite fried method: Tempura!
- 1 cup of flour
- 1 ½ cup sparkling water (or beer)*
- 1 egg
- Olive Oil
- Sesame Seed Oil
*Sparkling water gives a lighter, fluffier crunch to the tempura. Beer (I used Corona), adds a slightly heavier texture and browner finish. Both are tasty!
Earlier on in the day, I placed a clean metal mixing bowl in the freezer. The colder the batter, the better it will stick to your vegetables when frying. The contrast between the super hot oil and cold battered veggies will create a successful outcome. The egg and sparkling water, or beer, should be chilled prior to use.
Clean, prepare, and dry all of your veggies being used. I chose green beans, purple cauliflower, carrots, and zucchini from our garden. I picked the ends off of the green beans, cut the cauliflower into little floret chunks, peeled and sliced the carrots lengthwise, and halved the zucchini slices.
In a frying pan, add enough olive oil to fill about ¼ inch deep (or slightly more). Add a few swirls of sesame seed oil. Heat up the oil at medium high and let it get hot while you mix up the batter. You may want to cover the pan with a mesh splatter guard.
In a chilled bowl, whisk the flour, egg, sparkling water (or beer), and a couple generous pinches of salt.
Test the oil by dipping one vegetable piece in the batter and carefully placing it in the pan. If it fries up crisp right away, then the oil should be hot enough. Dip your veggies in the batter, making sure they’re completely covered, and carefully add them to the pan. Turn the vegetables over when one side is brown and crispy. The vegetables will cook rapidly, so be attentive the entire time. As the tempura veggies are ready, one or a few at a time, transfer them to a wired cooling rack or oil absorbing paper. Paper towels can be used as well, but be careful not to let your vegetable tempura sit too long as they will lose their crispiness.
Serve as a side or an appetizer with my Easy Tempura Sauce. Most importantly: