Tempura is well-loved by many and widely recognized in different parts of the world. It is delicious on its own yet suitable to be served in a variety of ways, be it with noodles or rice. Tempura can be made from a huge selection of vegetables, seafood or even meat. Although it is deep-fried, tempura is light and crispy. Those who aren’t fond of eating their veggies will most likely loved it as tempura.
Once mastered, tempura is relatively easy to make. I used to make tempura batter in several ways such as using a mixture of all purpose flour, egg and cold water or plainly using store bought tempura flour. But, after I tried to make tempura batter with mayonnaise, I never turn back to use the former method. Using mayonnaise to make tempura batter is the easiest method and yield the best result, at least in my opinion! I learnt to use mayonnaise to make tempura batter from one of the bloggers, Chopstick Chronicles. From my experience, the ratio of flour to mayonnaise doesn’t need to be exact – whether it is a little less or a little more, it turns out good every time!
Kakiage is one of the tempura I usually made since I constantly have its ingredients in my kitchen. And probably, it’s the same for you too! However, kakiage is not the easiest tempura to make…it is easier to make other kinds of tempura than kakiage but what I love about kakiage is its natural sweetness that derives from using a mixture of vegetables. I only use carrots and yellow onion to make kakiage although other ingredients such as mushroom, shiso leaves or burdock roots can be added to enhance the flavor. But a mixture of carrots and onions are just as good!
Several other pointers to take note in order to make a successful kakiage:-
- Cold Water – Use only cold (chilled) water for a light and crispy tempura.
- Do not overmix the batter – The flour doesn’t need to be thoroughly mixed so to prevent too much gluten from forming. So, it is perfectly fine for the batter to be lumpy! That’s how my batter looks like!
- Flow/ consistency of batter – If batter is too thin, it will not coat the vegetables well enough and may cause the mixture of carrots and onions to separate when frying. It may also end up being too soft or soggy. But if batter is too thick, the vegetables will be heavily coated and too much batter cause tempura to taste ‘heavy’. Remember, kakiage should be light and crispy with a thin coating of batter on the vegetables.
- Heat temperature – The oil should just turns hot when frying. When a pair of chopsticks is inserted to the oil, it will produce a nice sizzling sound. A low temperature will cause the vegetables to separate whereas a high temperature will cause the kakiage to brown too quickly. Adjust the temperature accordingly throughout frying. Kakiage should be pale golden color. Check periodically to ensure that it doesn’t turn brown.
- Flat ladle – Use a flat ladle with holes to drain excess batter. But if you follow my recipe exactly, a flat ladle (without holes) works too since the portion I made for the batter is just enough to coat the portion of vegetables that I used.
Watch the youtube video below on how to make kakiage:-
For a copy of the written recipe, please download the recipe in pdf file as follows:-