Growing up in Seattle, there is a Japanese spot in every neighborhood. I became absolutely addicted to tempura - a batter that you can dip anything into and create a thin, shatter-like crust around it. The KEY to a great tempura is to fry using a flavorless oil like soybean oil (commonly labeled as vegetable oil), which is genius when you want to shine a light on the natural flavor of whatever you are frying up. Plus, soybean oil is grown sustainably, by U.S. farmers, so you can feel good knowing it’s American grown. For more soy-centric recipes, head over to my buddy, the Soy Connection!
soy oil for frying
handful of herbs (whatever you have, parsley, cilantro, mint, thyme...etc.)
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 ½ cups seltzer water (chilled)
2 teaspoons turmeric
meyer lemon wedges
Pick your favorite veg...green beans, radishes, artichokes, edamame, asparagus, rainbow carrots, snap peas, onion petals , endive, mushrooms, broccoli, whole chilies (pierce the skin to let oil escape), tofu...there’s no wrong answer here!
Place a large pan over high heat and add about 2 inches of soy oil. Heat your oil to about 350 degrees.
Toss in a handful of your favorite herbs and fry for a minute.
Cut your veg as desired, or leave them whole, however you’d like.
In a bowl, combine the flour, seltzer water, egg, turmeric, and a pinch of salt. Stir until just mixed, don’t overwork it, resist the urge, some lumps are ok.
Dip each veg into the batter, allowing any extra bits to drip back into the bowl, and place into the soy oil. Work in batches so you don’t overcrowd your pan or lower the temp of the oil. Make sure your batter stays cool while you’re working, we like to toss a clean, cold ice pack in the bowl.
Cook until the outside is nice and crispy, about 1-2 minutes, then drain on paper towels. Hit them with salt.
Serve on newspaper with tons of meyer lemon wedges and topped with your crumbled, fried herbs.