Japanese home cooking: Tempura
I spent a week at my parents' home for the holidays. During my visits, my mother always indulges me with the Japanese home cooking I grew up with. Last night was no exception: she served a delicious meal of tempura.
Tempura is a very popular Japanese dish made of vegetables and/or seafood that have been battered and deep-fried. Ingredients in traditional tempura include bell pepper, carrot, eggplant, green beans, pumpkin, sweet potato, prawn, shrimp, and white fish. Really almost any kind of vegetable and seafood will do, but in keeping with the Japanese culinary tradition, the use of seasonal, fresh ingredients is key.
I recently discovered that the origins of tempura can be traced back to the Portuguese. During the 16th century,
Tip: Drying the surface of the ingredients completely helps keep the batter crisp as well as stick better to the ingredients. Also, most recipes don't call for this, but my mother lightly flours the ingredients before dipping them in the batter. To do this: Place about 1/2 cup of flour in a paper bag. Place a handful of ingredients at a time in the bag, close, and shake to coat.
Heat vegetable oil (about 4-6 cups) over high heat until it reaches 375 degrees.
chewy and dough-like when fried, ver-mixing results in activation of gluten)