My husband and I stayed in for New Year's Eve last night and were in bed by 10pm, but I still wanted to make our dinner a little bit special. Tempura is one of my favorite foods, yet I make it only a few times a year. I think I finally hit on the perfect batter this time around; it stayed nice and crisp yet wasn't too greasy. I'll eat pretty much any vegetable tempura-style, but what I made was (pictured left to right) onion, sweet potato, mushrooms, tofu, brussels sprouts, and carrots.
My batter consisted of:
3/4 c all purpose flour
1/4 c rice flour
2 T cornstarch
1 1/4 c ice-cold sparkling water
The batter should be whisked together until just combined; some lumps are fine, and over-mixing will make the batter chewy.
I fried the vegetables in a mixture of canola and vegetable oil at around 365° just until the batter was cooked through. I set a cooling rack lined with paper towels on top of a cookie sheet and kept it in the oven at 175° for the finished vegetables; this way, everything was still warm and crisp when it was time to eat.
Yes, the two of us made it through this entire pile, though we joked that next time we should tempura some Tums tablets as well.
We rang in the East coast's New Year at 9pm our time, celebrating in proper geek style with cats on our lap and the Scrabble board in front of us.