Monday, July 5th, 2010
Tempura batter is one of those things that can easily go wrong. There are many techniques and recipes out there on how to make the perfect crispy tempura batter. I have yet to try them all. I'm going to start with an all purpose tempura batter for vegetables and I'll update this post with tempura batters for seafood and also a vegan batter.
The type of batter you use also depends on what you're deep frying. For example, seafood cooks faster therefore the batter should be lighter so that the seafood doesn't over cook. If you're deep frying root vegetables or any thing that requires a longer frying time, you'll want to use a thicker batter.
The temperature is also very important. As a general rule, seafood should be deep fried at a higher temperature for a shorter period of time and vegetable tempura should be deep fried at lower temperatures for longer.
The thicker eggy batter is easier to use and is also more versatile.
Egg Tempura Batter Ingredients
1/2 an egg
50 grams or a little less than 1/2 cup of sifted flour.
1/4 cup of ice water
1/2 teaspoon of rice vinegar
Egg Tempura Batter Directions
1) Put 1/4 cup of crushed ice and water into a measuring cup.
2) Add the vinegar and give it a swirl.
3) Mix the egg with chopsticks and cut the egg with the chopsticks. Don't beat it.
4) Add the egg to the measuring cup until you have 1/3 cup including the water, vinegar and ice mixture.
5) Add the water, ice, vinegar, egg mixture to the flour and mix it with chopsticks. Don't use a whisk because it will become sticky and heavier. Give the mixture about 20-25 turns. There may be a few lumps but that's ok.
50 grams of flour or a little less than 1/2 a cup.
Sift the flour twice.
Measure 1/4 cup of ice cold water including 1/2 teaspoon of rice vinegar.*
Add half of an egg to the measuring cup. The mixture should not exceed 1/3 cup.
Add the egg, water, vinegar mixture to the flour.
Mix lightly with chopsticks about 20-25 turns.
*If you use crushed ice, the batter may end up a little too thick so you should add about a tablespoon extra of cold water and the total mixture will exceed 1/3 cup including the egg.
I use this batter for renkon
, shitake mushrooms, herbs and most vegetables. The temperature for these vegetables should be around 160-170 degress Celsius or about 320-340 degrees Fahrenheit. If you use a lot of oil to deep fry, the temperature should be easier to control but if you're only using a little, it will be a lot more difficult. Mix the oil to make sure that you're getting an accurate reading of the temperature.
Cooking thermometers like this are useful.
Vegan Tempura Batter
100 ml flour (yes ml is a weird way of measuring it but I figured it was better than saying 0.4 cup of flour but you could round it off and use a half cup.)
1/2 cup of water
1 teaspoon of vinegar
Vegan Tempura Batter Directions
1) Mix water and vinegar in a bowl. Slowly add in the flour and mix with a whisk for 30 seconds.
*Please note that for a super crunchety batter, make sure you add the vinegar before you add the flour otherwise it won’t be nearly as crunchy. Scientist people might be able to understand the chemistry behind this but for some reason the vinegar does something chemically to the water that makes it crunchy.
2) The temperature for the oil depends on what your are frying and is the same for the eggy tempura batter.
This batter works well with vegetable kakiage.