I love tempura, and as a crunch junkie its a fantastic way to add texture to vegetables. Whilst not being the healthiest way to eat them, these make a delicious starter or snack.
Who doesn’t like a very crispy fried onion ring?
I wanted to take the crunchiness up a notch, but I couldnt find panko crumbs, so I pondered over a few alternatives and thought ‘why not take rice crackers and grind them up? So that is exactly what I did.
I also wanted to add a bit of spice to the batter as this can often be a bit lacking.
This is what you need to make a batch of tempura batter for aprox one small head of broccoli broken up into florets and a few onion rings. Just keep making batter if you run out and want to fry more vegetables.
You can use any kind of vegetables. I think courgette, onion rings, broccoli, cauliflower, peppers and mushrooms work really well.
What you need to make this:
- 250ml ice cold soda water
- 1/2 cup flour (plus 2 Tbs) and a bit extra for dusting
- 1/2 cup corn flour
- 2 tsp Chinese 5 spice
- 1 packet rice crackers (100gm) original flavour or a cup of panko crumbs
- sunflower oil for frying
- 100 – 150gm small vegetable pieces
How to make these:
- Heat enough oil in a deep pot
- cut the vegetables into small pieces or onion rings
- in a bowl dust the vegetables in flour
- lightly mix the dry ingredients, spice and soda water together using a whisk (it will be quite thin and a bit lumpy)
- in a food processor grind the rice crackers to a fine crumb, or use a cup of panko crumbs
- when the oil is hot, dip the floured vegetable pieces into the batter and then dip them into the crumbs to lightly coat and drop into the (this is a bit messy, so work quickly and close to the hot oil)
- turn the vegetables over when brown on one side
- scoop out with a slotted spoon and drain on a few layers of kitchen paper
All the exotic flavours of fennel, anise, cloves, cinnamon, black pepper and cardomom of the 5 spice makes the vegetables a little more exciting.
Serve immediately with soya sauce or this chilli-lime dipping sauce