Alongside sushi and ramen, tempura is a favorite in Japanese cuisine. The crispy, crunchy batter coats everything from seafood to vegetables and has been around since the 16th century. In fact, the concept was introduced by Portuguese missionaries in Nagasaki who used to deep-fry using flour and eggs during religious periods when Catholics refrained from eating meat.
Tempura batter is typically light and made from flour, eggs, and iced water. If you’re making your own, here are some tips to help.
Feel the Vibes
While your item is frying, it can be difficult to know when it is done. One way is to check how big the bubbles are—if they are large, it means there is still a lot of moisture and the item is not yet cooked through. Another way is to hold the item with chopsticks and feel the vibrations. Big vibes indicate that there is still some cooking to go.
Take the “Oy” Out of Oil
Greasy tempura is not ideal. Oil from frying can cling to your tempura when taking it out, so pull out each piece out slowly, at an angle, to prevent this.
Don’t Let Leftovers Go to Waste
If you have leftover batter, put it to good use by drizzling it into the hot oil and creating crunchy bits. When dusted with icing sugar, they make a delicious ice cream topping.