Vegetable and Beancurd Tempura

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


    as an Appetiser or Side Dish

Appears in

Preparation Time: 35 Minutes
Cooking Time: 10 Minutes

This version of tempura originated in the kitchens of The Oriental in Bangkok. The classic Japanese tempura originally derived from a word meaning ‘to season’ but now it has come to mean coating fresh foods in a light, delicate batter. Most of the Preparation Time is taken up with draining the beancurd.


  • 100g (4 oz) fresh firm beancurd
  • 100g (4 oz) cauliflower
  • 100g (4 oz) courgettes
  • 100g (4 oz) carrots
  • 100g (4 oz) aubergines
  • 50g (2 oz) Chinese long beans, runner beans or haricots verts, trimmed
  • 100g (4 oz) onions
  • 100g (4 oz) small button mushrooms
  • plain flour, for dusting
  • 600 ml(1 pint) groundnut (peanut) oil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  • 2 egg yolks
  • 300ml (10 fl oz) iced water
  • 200g (7 oz) plain flour, sifted


  1. Drain the beancurd and cut it into small 2.5cm (1 in) cubes. Set on kitchen paper to drain further for 30 Minutes.
  2. While it is draining, prepare the vegetables. Cut the cauliflower into small florets about 4cm (1½ in) wide. Cut the courgettes, carrots and aubergines into thin slices 10cm (4 in) long. Cut the beans into 10cm (4 in) lengths. Thinly slice the onion. Wipe the mushrooms but leave whole. Dust all the vegetables lightly with flour, shaking off all the excess.
  3. Heat the oil in a large wok until it is hot. While it is heating, make the batter. In a medium-sized bowl, lightly beat the egg yolks, then add the iced water and mix lightly twice. Then add all the flour at once, beating a few times until the batter is just combined but still lumpy.
  4. Dip the vegetables in the batter and deep-fry in several batches until golden and crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon, drain on kitchen paper. Repeat with the remaining batches.
  5. When all the vegetables are cooked, turn onto a warm platter. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and serve at once.