This is the Japanese batter-fried vegetables and seafood which has become well-known outside of Japan. When making tempura one should be sure to observe three important points.
1.Use the freshest of ingredients. Tempura is only lightly fried so the original freshness of the food becomes more important.
2.Keep oil at a constant temperature. This will ensure even frying and help attain the light touch tempura is known for.
3.Try to keep the batter lumpy.
This may seem strange for those used to making smooth batter. With tempura the goal is to achieve a lacy, thin, golden fried coating and not a thick, pancake-like casing. A lumpy dough facilitates this thin coating. Also, make the batter just before you are ready to begin, don't let the batter sit. Make sure all the things to be fried are thoroughly dry. Pat dry with cloth if necessary. You may dredge them lightly in flour. This allows the batter to adhere better.
Select fresh seafood, fish and vegetables. Carrots, sweet potatoes, onion and shiitake mushrooms make good choices
1 C dashi
1/3 C mirin
1/3 C Kikkoman Light Color Soy Sauce
1 C grated giant white radish (daikon oroshi)
Few T finely grated fresh ginger
2 C ice water
2 C sifted flour
-Select fresh seafood, fish and vegetables of your choice. Remove any shells, bones and skin. Cut into bite-sized pieces.
-Prepare the dipping sauce by combining ingredients over heat and bringing just to a boil. Keep warm.
-Grate radish and ginger. Keep warm.
To Make Batter:
-Make the batter in two batches, the first just before you are ready to begin deep-frying, as you are waiting for the oil to heat. In a mixing bowl, lightly beat 1 egg yolk, pour in 1 C of ice water and beat. Add 1 C sifted flour. Stroke a few times with chopsticks or fork until ingredients are lightly mixed. The batter should be lumpy. Make the second batch when first is gone.
-The oil should be fairly hot, 170C/340F. Test by dropping a little batter into oil, it should descend below surface then rise up to top.
-Have the trays of food, flour for dipping and batter near you. Also have racks for draining the fried tempura. Dip food in flour using fingers, then dip in batter. Lay in hot oil and fry until golden (around 3 minutes), turning for even cooking. Retrieve with slotted spoon or chopsticks and drain before transferring to serving plate.
-Tempura should be served as soon after frying as possible. Usually plates are lined with absorbent paper to catch excess oil. Place a few of each seafood/fish and several vegetables on plate and serve.
-At the table pour hot dipping sauce into small bowl, mix in grated daikon and a bit of grated ginger. Dip tempura in sauce and eat.