My sister is a tempura monster. She can single-handedly demolish a mountain of tempura prawns, and still have room for more sushi and the mandatory post-meal mochi. I prefer kakiage – lengths of different vegetables encased in a tempura batter, drizzled with a sticky and sweet soy sauce. Here is my spin on vegetable tempura: I use panko breadcrumbs, which may not be traditional, but is a lovely way of adding crispiness without deep-frying. Frying the panko first gives them a lovely golden colour – something that doesn’t happen if you pop them into the oven straight from the packet.
Use gluten-free breadcrumbs, and rice flour instead of plain flour.
First prepare all the vegetables: peel the sweet potato and cut into 5 mm thick wedges, then slice the eggplant into 2 cm thick wedges. Trim the green beans and slice each baby corn in half lengthwise.
Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan and fry the breadcrumbs until they are evenly golden and crispy, then transfer to a wide, shallow bowl and season with half of the salt. Sift the flour into another bowl with the cayenne, turmeric and the rest of the salt, then toss well. In a third bowl, stir together the soy milk and lemon juice, then leave to sit and thicken for at least 5 minutes.
Dip each vegetable into the flour bowl, toss to coat, then shake off any excess and dip into the soy milk mixture. Finally, coat well with breadcrumbs and place on the baking tray.
When all the vegetables are coated,
Meanwhile, put all the dipping sauce ingredients except the mirin into a small saucepan. Add
Serve the tempura veggies with the dipping sauce on the side – and eat immediately, before the tempura loses its crunch.
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