Tempura is one of the earliest, and most glorious, examples of crosscultural cuisine. Batter-fried fish was first introduced to Japan by the Portuguese in the seventeenth century. Since that time, the Japanese have altered and perfected their version of the European idea to make what the world now admires as tempura.
I’ve recombined Eastern and Western elements here to create a crisp appetizer. Zucchini is new to the Japanese, and so are American pumpkins, though a squash called kabocha that’s somewhat like our jack-o’-lanterns is native to Japan, an Oriental touch of ginger livens up the dipping sauce.
In a small saucepan, mix the sauce ingredients together and heat through.
Wash the zucchini, then slice off about
Slice the zucchini into sticks approximately
Pour the ice water into a metal bowl, where it will stay chilled longer. Sift all of the remaining flour, baking powder, and salt together in a separate bowl. Sprinkle the flour mixture over the water, stirring to just barely incorporate. Lumps are fine.
Your oil should be at least
Keep the sauce warm on a very low flame, or reheat just before serving. Serve the vegetable bundles immediately, arranged around a bowl with warm dipping sauce.
© 1985 Elizabeth Andoh. All rights reserved.