Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the tempura truly were free? Well, it’s not. It will cost you something to purchase the ingredients, but at least you can do it GUILT free. I have been craving tempura since last week’s post, Sweet Potatoes with Balsamic Kale. I grabbed my favorite tempura vegetables and experimented with a gluten free (and vegan) batter. I cannot believe how well it turned out. Better than the box mix tempura, by far! It was crispy and had a fantastic color and flavor. I did two batches using two different types of gluten free, all-purpose flour. I found that the flour whose primary ingredient is rice flour produced a better batter. I used Trader Joe’s all-purpose, gluten free flour mix. Scroll down for the tempura recipe, as well as a dipping sauce.
Ingredients for Vegetable Tempura
- 1 cup all-purpose *gluten free flour
- 3/4 cup cornstarch
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. baking soda
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- 1 cup cold water
- 5 cups assorted sliced vegetables such as- carrots, sweet potato, broccoli, and sugar snap peas (or green beans)
- canola oil for frying
Ingredients for Dipping Sauce
- 1/3 cup mirin
- 1/4 cup tamari or gluten free soy sauce
Directions for Dipping Sauce
- In a medium size bowl, combine mirin and soy sauce or tamari sauce. Stir. Set aside.
Directions for Vegetable Tempura
- In a large, shallow bowl combine flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, salt and water. Mix with a whisk until batter is lump free. The consistency should be similar to thin pancake batter. Add a little water or flour to reach the right consistency. Place in refrigerator while preparing vegetables (at least 15 minutes).
- Slice vegetables.
- In a large, shallow sauce pan or fry pan, pour about 2 inches of canola oil. Heat oil over high heat until a small drop of batter instantly sizzles and floats to the top.
- Remove batter from refrigerator. Dip vegetables, one at a time, in the batter, allowing the batter to drain off for about a second (you do not want a thick coating). Place directly into hot oil (about 4 to 6 pieces can fry at a time, do not overcrowd). Fry on one side for about 20-30 seconds or until there is a faint hint of brown on the edges. Turn over vegetables and fry for another 20 seconds or so. (You may want to fry longer, but I like my veggies to still have a little bite to them).
- Remove fried veggies to a rack with a paper towel underneath, to drain.
- Serve immediately with dipping sauce.
COLD WATER! Make sure you use cold water in the batter and store it in the refrigerator according to directions. For some reason, this produces a wonderful, crispy batter.
REHEATING! These reheat quite well. Preheat oven to 275° F. Place tempura on a small rack, directly on the oven rack (for air and heat to circulate around). Heat for 5 to 10 minutes, or until hot to the touch. Serve with dipping sauce.