Sweet potato tempura
Fast food
Vegetable and halloumi yakitori
Katsu aubergine
Leek and cheese gyoza
Seaweed and potato patties
Sweet potato tempura
Fried cabbage rolls
Pumpkin korokke
Cheeseless pizza
Tofu and courgette pizza
Japanese curry
Introduction :: Soups and dashi :: Egg dishes :: Sushi :: Fast food :: Noodles and rice :: Side dishes :: Desserts
Serves 4, vegan
Tempura originated from the Portuguese missionaries that visited Japan during the 16th Century and has adapted to the tastes of the Japanese people to become a wholly Japanese dish today.

Essentially tempura should be light, fluffy and non greasy and usually includes egg white, flour and iced water but I have developed a vegan version over the years that I now almost always use instead.

Use any vegetables you wish. I used long thin slices in this recipe because I like the look of it.

For the batter
3 tbsp plain flour
1 tbsp cornflour
½ teaspoon salt
1 tbsp vegetable oil
150ml (5floz) water

1 large sweet potato
1 courgette
Make the batter first by mixing the ingredients in a bowl and whisking it all together. The oil is essential for making the batter more crispy so don't leave it out.

Peel the sweet potato and using a potato peeler peel off long strips of each of the potato and the courgette.
Heat some oil to about 180°C (356°F) in wok or an electric deep fat fryer.

Dip the vegetables in the batter and deep fry them in small batches until the batter is crispy. Drain on kitchen paper.

There is a traditional tempura dipping sauce but to be honest it is great just served with salt and lemon juice or a blob of mayonnaise.

I have included the dipping sauce recipe below if you wish to use it.

Tentsuyu sauce
225 ml (1 cup) dashi stock
3 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp mirin
3 teaspoons sugar

Bring the dashi to the boil and add the other ingredients. Stir together and simmer for a few minutes and then take it off the heat. Serve hot or cold. This sauce will keep for days in the fridge.
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Mirin is a sweetened sake with a similar taste to a sweet sherry. It is used a lot in Japanese cooking and used in many recipes in this book so it is worth seeking out a bottle. Lots of supermarkets now stock mirin and you will more than likely find it in your local Asian grocer. It can be quite expensive but no more than a good sherry.
Dashi is the basic stock for Japanese soup making. It usually contains bonito or dried tuna flakes which gives the stock it's depth of flavour. As a vegetarian substitute for tuna flakes it is usual to use dried shitake mushrooms instead. This will lead to a more subtle stock with a slight colouration from the brown mushrooms. These mushrooms can be found in all Asian stores.