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Preparing Tempura Batter
In addition [link widoczny dla zalogowanych], the mixing technique of making Tempura batter is critical. It is not mixed too thoroughly, allowing lumps of flour to fall to the bottom. Then when dipping the food morsel into the batter, dip it all the way to the bottom with the final result being a combination of thin and lumped-flour batter. The Japanese mix briefly with chopsticks so as allow this to happen.
According to foodtimeline.org,, in the last part of the sixteenth century [link widoczny dla zalogowanych], Catholic missionaries brought the recipe to Japan. The technique became popular in Edo, now Tokyo, in the 1770's, and was developed further and became extremely popular as a street food sold at street stands, where the people could eat while standing and without using chopsticks. Fresh bits of fish, prawns, and a variety of vegetables were deep-fried on a skewer and eaten on the spot. It was a delicious and affordable food for commoners. By the 19th century, it began appearing in restaurants, which illustrates that tempura had come to be appreciated by persons of a higher social standing.
Dashi is a Japanese kelp stock difficult to make. There is a dashi instant powder available at Japanese markets, but a satisfactory substitution is a light chicken or vegetable stock.
Basic Tempura BatterIngredients1 egg1 cup ice water (or iced seltzer or no sodium club soda for lacy batter.)1 cup all-purpose flourDirectionsBeat an egg in a bowlAdd ice water, very coldAdd sifted flour and mix lightly, being careful not to overmix.
Syl.com, Tempura – Japanese Invention, Jun., 17, 2008, Retrieved Nov. 13, 2009,
Tempura Dipping Sauce1 cup dashi soup stock¼ cup mirin¼ cup soy sauce½ TB sugar
Mirin is a sweet Japanese cooking wine. Substitute with dry sherri or marsala with a small amount of sugar, approx. ¼ tsp. to ¼ cup The History and Culture of Japanese Food, Naomichi Ishige [Kegan Paul:London] 2001 (p. 246), Retrieved Nov. 13, 2009,
Most food historians agree that deep-fried shrimp was probably first invented by Portuguese cooks. Catholic dietary regulations required that practitioners of the faith did not eat meat on particular days such as Lent, and the Portuguese developed the technique deep-frying seafood in response.
shrimp, scallops, squid, chicken pieces, green bell pepper, eggplant, satsumaimo (sweet potatoes), shiitake mushrooms, kobacha (squash), renkon (lotus root), onion rings [link widoczny dla zalogowanych], and many other vegetables.
There are some very important requirements of making Tempura batter. The water must be ice-cold. The cold water will help keep the batter or food from absorbing too much oil. Also, the batter must be used immediately after it is prepared. If making a large amount of Tempura, mix batter a little at a time, use that amount, then make more batter. If it sits too long it will turn thick and get warm.
There are other, more complicated Tempura batters than that described below, using only the egg yolk, for example, and different flours. This recipe however, makes a delicious and quick batter and is lighter than a traditional fried fish batter.
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