Japanese vegetable tempura is a very tasty finger food typical of Japanese cuisine.
It is a mixture of vegetables wrapped in a very light batter which, after frying, is very crisp and dry.
It is rather easy to prepare and is perfect to serve for an aperitif, a buffet or in case you want to enjoy a dinner of true Asian cuisine.
- 2 cups 00 flour
- 2 cups sparkling water
- 2 egg yolks
- Salt to taste
- 1 zucchini
- 2 artichokes
- 1 yellow pepper
- 1 carrot
- 1/2 cauliflower
- seed oil to taste
To prepare the vegetable tempura, clean the cauliflower, which will then be blanched for a few minutes. Remove stem and leaves. Divide the florets and rinse them carefully and then boil in a pot with plenty of salted water for about 3 minutes. After cooking time, remove them with a skimmer and put them to drain.
Clean the other vegetables. Take the zucchini and rinse it under running water, check it and cut it into sticks. Proceed in the same way with the carrot. Rinse also the bell pepper, remove the petiole, the inner filaments and seeds, then cut into sticks too.
Once these vegetables are ready, place them in the fridge and clean the artichokes. Cut the stem and remove the outer leaves, peeling them off with your hands, until to reach the tenderest part. Cut off the top of the artichoke, to remove the tip, and divide it in half. Dig with a knife the inside of the artichoke to remove the hay and then make slices.
Immerse them in a container filled with water and lemon juice to prevent them from blackening. Once the artichokes are clean, transfer them to the fridge.
Prepare the batter. For this operation it is necessary that the liquid ingredients, therefore the water and the eggs, are completely cold. Only in this way, in fact, the batter will undergo a thermal shock in contact with the boiling oil which will allow it to be more crisp and light than the classic batter for fried food.
Pour in a bowl the water, the yolks and the flour all at once. Add a pinch of salt and stir for a few seconds, just to mix the ingredients sufficiently. The batter should not be completely smooth but must have lumps, which will give a characteristic shape to the vegetables during cooking.
Transfer the batter into the refrigerator and heat the abundant seed oil in a large pan in the meantime.
Soak the vegetables in the batter (the artichokes must be drained and dried thoroughly) and then fry them, browning each side well. When the vegetables are well crunchy, remove them from the oil and let them drain on paper towels. Serve hot and accompanied by soy sauce.
Store the Japanese vegetable tempura for one day at most. The ideal is to consume it hot after cooking. For an optimal result, keep the oil temperature at 350°F and fry a few vegetables at a time in a pan with high sides.