Pour the oil into a high-sided pan and heat it. To check that the oil is ready for frying, dip a wooden skewer into the pan and, if tiny bubbles start to form immediately, this is when to start frying your tempura. Plunge the vegetables into the oil and let them fry for a few minutes until the batter is crisp. Using a spider strainer, remove the fried vegetables and place them on a sheet of absorbent paper or special oil-absorbing paper. When all the vegetables are ready, serve them with a bowl of soy sauce on the side or simply seasoned with a pinch of salt.
Useful tips and interesting facts
There are numerous ways of preparing batter for Japanese tempura. Some contain egg or wheat flour and the results are always interesting. This recipe is particularly well suited to those who are intolerant to gluten and is perfect for a vegan dinner. Tempura vegetables are cooked for such a short time that they retain their nutritional properties intact and the actual frying is over so quickly that it cannot be described as heavy or indigestible. You can prepare an excellent vegetable stock for risotto with the leftover asparagus stalks and make a velouté soup out of the unused courgette and aubergine pulp. To obtain a perfectly crisp tempura, use very cold sparkling water and, if you can, cool the batter bowl as well. The thermal shock created by the heat of the oil produces an exceptionally crisp tempura.
For a change, you could add prawns to your dish of tempura: remove the shell but not the tail before frying. Other excellent ingredients include chicken or beef cut into strips. On the other hand, when it comes to vegetables, you can give free vent to your imagination and try them all, apart from leaf vegetables and those which would take too long to cook, such as root vegetables.