Tempura Vegetables with Dipping Sauce
1 medium zucchini sliced in thin sticks
Brush a 9-inch round pie plate with melted butter or oil.
1 red pepper seeded and cut in wedges
3 large mushrooms quartered
1 fennel bulb cut in wedges with root attached
1/2 medium eggplant thinly sliced
oil, for deep frying
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon medium dry sherry
1 teaspoon sesame oil
few shreds fresh ginger or scallion
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cold water
salt and ground black pepper
Prepare all the vegetables and lay them out on a tray, together with sheets of paper towel for draining the vegetables after cooking.
Mix the sauce ingredients together by whisking them in a bowl or shaking them together in a sealed jar. Pour into a bowl.
Half fill a deep frying pan with oil and preheat to a temperature of about 375F. Quickly whisk the batter ingredients together but don't overbeat them. It doesn't matter if the batter is a little lumpy.
Fry the vegetables in stages by dipping a few quickly into the batter and lowering into the hot oil in a wire basket. Fry for just a minute until golden brown and crisp. Drain on the paper towel.
Repeat until all the vegetables are fried. Keep those you have cooked, uncovered, in a warm oven while you fry the rest. Serve the vegetables on a large platter alongside the dipping sauce.
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