Wednesday, 26 March 2008

Vegetable Tempura with Ponzu Sauce

5 tablespoons flour
5 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sparkling water
1 lb. assorted vegetables
1/2 cup ponzu sauce*

  • In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda and salt. 
  • Add the sparkling water and whisk until the batter is smooth. 
  • If the batter is too thick, add more sparkling water (gingerly!) to thin it out.
  • Cut the firm vegetables such as carrots and sweet potatoes into 1/8 inch slices. For softer vegetables, 1/4 inch will do.
  • Pour enough oil into a medium saucepan to measure about 2 inches. 
  • Attach a deep-fry thermometer to the pan and heat the oil to 350F. 
  • Line a plate with a double layer of paper towels.
  • Working in batches, drop a few slices of vegetables into the batter. Stir gently to coat.
  •  Using tongs or chopsticks, lift the food from the batter, allowing excess batter to drip back into the bowl. 
  • Carefully add a few pieces to the hot oil, making sure not to overcrowd the pot. 
  • Turn vegetables occasionally and fry until lightly golden on all sides, about 1 to 1 1/2 minutes.   
  • Let temperature heat back up to 350F in between batches. 
  • Transfer tempura to paper towels. 
  • Season with salt and serve with ponzu sauce.

*Ponzu Sauce 

1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon mirin (sweet rice wine)
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • Combine all ingredients in a bowl. 
  • Cover and chill.