January 20, 2011


(A great meatless meal)
Vegetables with a high starch content, like potatoes, deep-fry well. More delicate things, or ingredients with a high water content, benefit from being plunged into batter before frying.
Japanese tempura batter is great for vegetables. But before you make the batter, chop the vegetables, of you choice, into bite-sized pieces, then briefly parboil the really hard ones. Heat about a quart of oil (your preference) to 350 degrees. While the oil is heating make the batter: carefully combine 1 2/3 cups ice cold water (preferably left in the freezer and taken out just before it freezes) first with two egg yolks, then with 1 cup of flour. Don’t fret over any little lumps; stirring for too long or too vigorously will ruin the batter.
Now dredge the vegetables first in flour, then in the batter you just mixed (2). Let the excess drip off, and lower pieces into the hot oil. If the surface is just coated, that’s good, because otherwise the oil cools off too quickly. After 1- 2 minutes, everything should be cooked and crispy, and now you can scoop it out with the skimmer (3), set it on paper towels to absorb the excess oil, and season with salt. We like Soy sauce. (You can keep the vegetables warm in a very low oven, if desired). Bring the oil back up to the correct temperature and continue deep-frying the remaining vegetables.

Jan Emery

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