Mark worked outside for most of yesterday. He cut down a tree we needed removed, re-screened the sliding door in anticipation of Spring, and cleaned parts of the driveway. It was a lot of manual labor, so I volunteered to cook dinner. (I toiled inside doing laundry and the like, and ferrying the kids here, there, and everywhere!) I have been craving tempura recently, so decided that was what I wanted to try. Besides, we bought a deep fryer a few months ago and I hadn’t had a chance to play with it!
I used a recipe from “Quick and Easy Vegan Comfort Food” by Alicia C. Simpson as my jumping off point. I often drool over the recipes in this cookbook, but hadn’t tried any. Now I’m excited to move on to some of her others! I also watched a video online about making vegan tempura, so I took a few of those tricks and incorporated them into the recipe.
1/2 cup soft silken tofu
1 1/4 cups rice flour (I used a mix of both white and brown rice flours)
1 1/2 cups ice water (with ice chunks in it)
2 tbsp sea salt (I used pink, my current favorite)
In a blender or food processor, puree the tofu until it is really smooth. Put it in a bowl. Add the flour and whisk together. Then add the ice water and whisk together well. Salt heavily and whisk again.
I dredged the veggies (letting them sit in the batter for a moment) and then dropped them into the oil I had heated to about 375 degrees. The video I watched said that you are not trying to get the vegetables to be brown, simply white and puffy. You can use almost any vegetable in this batter. I had bought green beans specifically to tempura them, but we liked them the least. Our favorite, by far, was the broccoli. I think it was because the “nooks and crannies” could hold the batter the best. In second place were some green onions, and then the baby carrots and portabella mushrooms were probably tied for third place. I served it with white rice and lots of different sauces for dipping. The kids preferred sweet & sour sauce, while the adults liked some asian dipping sauces from Trader Joe’s. (There were also fresh blueberries on the table, to round things out a bit!)
Mark pulled up Japanese pop music on the computer and so we enjoyed another meal that helped us EAT around the world!