Tempura: the secrets and alternatives to prepare the perfect Japanese batter

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Elia Tabuenca García
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Tempura is a typical dish of Japanese cuisine. The traditional dish is made by frying fish and vegetables in batter. Vegetarians and vegans can easily prepare the perfect batter for tempura vegetables by following the directions of the original Japanese recipe and possible alternatives.

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La Tempura is a typical dish of Japanese cuisine. The traditional dish is made by frying fish and vegetables in batter. Vegetarians and vegans can easily prepare the perfect batter for tempura vegetables by following the directions of the original Japanese recipe and possible alternatives.





Maybe you didn't know that the word tempura is not a term of Japanese origin, but Latin and linked to the Christian tradition. According to tradition, tempura was born thanks to the first contacts between the Japanese, Portuguese sailors and Christian missionaries.

Christians abstained from eating meat for three days at the start of each season. On Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays they ate only fish and vegetables. These periods were called 'tempora' and hence the word 'tempura' was born. It may also be that the word tempura comes from the Portuguese, 'tempero', which means spice or seasoning.

Read also: VEG SUSHI: 10 TASTY RECIPES

Index

The original Japanese tempura recipe

According to the original Japanese recipe, tempura is prepared with only 2 ingredients, namely XNUMX/XNUMX cup rice flour e very cold water, preferably sparkling. To get the perfect Japanese tempura you will need:

  • 100 g of cold water, preferably carbonated
  • 100 gr of rice flour

You will have to mix the ingredients quickly with the help of Japanese chopsticks. If there are any small lumps left, it doesn't matter, as they will help make the tempura crisp. At this point you can keep your batter in the refrigerator for 15-30 minutes before using it to coat the ingredients to be fried. You will have to fry quickly in abundant and well heated oil.

The tempura must always be crunchy and dry. You may have noticed that the original version of the Japanese tempura batter è vegan and gluten-free, since it is made from rice flour and does not contain any ingredients of animal origin, not even eggs. Here the complete recipe.



Read also: EGG-FREE BAKERY: 5 VEGAN RECIPES (WITH GLUTEN-FREE ALTERNATIVES)

The best vegetables to prepare in tempura

Among the best vegetables to prepare in tempura we find courgettes, courgette flowers, carrots, green beans, peppers cut into strips, aubergines always in strips, broccoli and cauliflower divided into florets, asparagus, pumpkin cut into sticks and if if you want to experiment, try the tempura sage leaves.

Secrets and alternatives for making crunchy tempura

Let's find out what are the secrets to preparing one light and crunchy tempura practically perfect. You will have to pay particular attention to the temperatures of the ingredients and the tools to be used for preparation and cooking.

Check the oil temperature

To understand if the oil is ready to start frying it will be enough for you do a very simple experiment, that is, pour a small amount of batter into the pan. If the batter falls to the bottom and then rises quickly browning and becoming crunchy then you can get to work.

Read also: VEGETARIAN RECIPES: 15 EASY DISHES FROM STARTER TO DESSERT

Use cold ingredients from the fridge

The ingredients that will be the protagonists of your tempura, for example the vegetables, must come from directly from the fridge. A thermal shock must be generated between the hot oil and the cold ingredients, which is the secret to obtaining a crunchy tempura. It is precisely for this reason that we suggest you keep the batter in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes before using it.

Vary the ingredients of the batter

If you have not achieved good results with the classic Japanese batter based on water and flour only, you could experiment with a more conventional batter to be prepared with 1 egg yolk, 100 g of sifted flour, 100 ml of frozen water and 1 pinch of salt. Here the complete recipe.



Another variation of the original Japanese tempura recipe involves using beer per replace sparkling water and possibly the chickpea flour instead of rice flour.

Use sesame oil

The traditional frying of tempura in Japan takes place withsesame oil, which is one of the secrets to giving tempura its characteristic taste. There are also those who use sunflower oil or soybean oil to fry tempura, but if you want to fully respect the rules of Japanese cuisine, you should give preference to sesame oil. Sesame oil is a vegetable oil extracted from sesame seeds that contains a powerful antioxidant, sesamol.

Use a saucepan, not a pan

To fry the tempura use a saucepan, not a pan. The reason is very simple: the oil would not be deep enough in the pan. Fry a few pieces at a time to prevent the oil temperature from dropping and ruining your tempura. To help you fry you can use kitchen tongs instead of the classic perforated spatula or skimmer. Place the temperature on absorbent paper as you prepare it. Serve it and enjoy it while it is still hot and crunchy.

Look at the video with the chef's secrets to prepare the perfect tempura and in general to improve your way of frying.

You know other tricks and secrets to prepare the perfect tempura?

Marta Albè

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