Kakiage Tempura


We were introduced to Japanese food during our teenage years as the then young "Empress Dowager" was working as a part-time waitress in a Japanese restaurant.
This kakiage tempura was probably the only Japanese dish she learnt and cooked for us.

Kakiage is a kind of tempura which different ingredients are mixed together in tempura batter before deep-frying. Various vegetables, mushrooms, and seafood can be used.

I understand now why our "Empress Dowager" cooked it so often then, it is easy cooking and uses vegetables most family will have at home. As a matter of fact, this is the "rescue" dish for me, and I am sure for our Empress Dowager as well. Each time the greens run low or out, we will serve this dish.

At the institution where I was volunteering recently, I was scratching my head as to what side dishes to go with the teriyaki chicken that was already grilling in the oven. Then I spotted a basketful of onions at one corner and a beautiful bag of carrots in the fridge and remembered my "rescue" dish.

I can't resist and help myself to the fried kakiage the minutes I dished it out.
As I took the first bite, I was reminded again just how crispy good this tempura.

Just need to remember 2 important points, we will need cold water for the tempura batter for the crunch effect and do not over mix the batter, flour lumps are totally acceptable.

If our "Empress Dowager" can cook this dish, you can too!

You will need:

2 carrots, cut into stripes
2 onion, cut into half round
200gm all purpose flour
1 egg yolk
300-330ml of cold water
pinch of salt to taste
enough oil to deep fry

1 cup dashi (dried kelp) stock
3 tablespoon mirin
2 tablespoon sake
3 tablespoon shoyu (soy sauce)
2 teaspoon sugar

PREPARE TEMPURA SAUCE: Heat all ingredients for sauce in a sauce pan and bring to boil. Set aside or when it cools, store in the fridge (warm-up the sauce in the microwave before serving)


1. Cut the vegetable

2. Pour flour into a deep bowl and gradually mix in cold water, add egg yolk and stir briskly.

3. Preheat oil in wok (drop a tiny bit of batter to the preheat oil. When the batter bubbles and floats up, the oil is ready for deep frying)

4. Coat the vegetables with the batter and deep fry till golden brown. Serve immediately with tempura sauce.

Cooks' Note:
  • Keep warm in the oven if not ready to eat immediately.
  • Keeping the tempura batter ice cold at all time is important.
  • The batter should be runny or just a thin coat over the vegetables, not a thick coat.

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