January 7: National Tempura Day
Hawaii has a large population of Japanese immigrants and tourists. Islander grew up among Japanese neighbors. She also was selected at her university to participate in the competitive Japanese Exchange Teachers (JET) Programme (she declined the JET Programme offer but accepted Highlander’s marriage proposal that same year!). Japanese culture—and cuisine—have long been of interest to her.
Now Islander has an excuse to post a blog recipe of her favorite Japanese comfort food, shrimp and vegetable tempura, on National Tempura Day. And because the Japanese-style, lightly battered, fried shrimp and sliced vegetables are easy to prepare, tempura is a tasty and terrific dish that can be served on any day!
(Adapted from Suite 101)
- 1 dozen jumbo shrimp, raw, peeled and deveined
- 1 large sweet potato, washed, peeled and sliced into ¼-inch thickness
- 1 onion, peeled, sliced and separated into rings
- other favorite vegetables and mushrooms
For the batter
- 1 egg white, lightly beaten
- ¾ -1 cup ice cold water
- ¾ cup mochiko (sweet rice flour)
- ½ cup flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- salt and white pepper to taste
- vegetable oil for frying
Straighten out the shrimp by making small cuts in the undercurve. Lay them flat to dry on paper towels. Slice the vegetables.
Make the batter by beating the egg white with ice cold water in a small bowl, then pouring the liquid into a larger bowl of mochiko, flour, baking powder, salt and white pepper. If the batter is too thick, add a bit of the ice cold water at a time until a desired dipping consistency is reached.
Coat the vegetables in the batter, letting the excess drip back in the bowl, and fry in hot oil, being careful not to splatter. Avoid overcrowding in the fryer. Cook until golden. Remove and drain on paper towels.
Dip the shrimp in the batter and fry in the same manner. Serve hot with steamed rice or sushi and tempura or soy sauce.
- Mushrooms and other vegetables, such as beans, potatoes, broccoli, eggplant, zucchini, etc. can be used to make tempura.
- Serve the tempura with a favorite dipping sauce. Specific bottled tempura sauce as well as mochiko (sweet rice flour) can be found at Asian markets or in the Asian-ethnic aisle of major grocery store chains.