The vegetable tempura you see pictured here is what I learned to make in Culinary school, and it is what you will find in most Japanese restaurants – at least those in Southern California. It is light, airy, crunchy, and simple. The dipping sauce is also simple. This recipe is part of this month’s Family Dinner Book Club celebrating the book The Peace Tree of Hiroshima.
Simple food is what we found all over Japan when we travelled there a few years ago. I sort of knew that Japanese food was understated and mellow, but I didn’t fully appreciate it until I was there amidst the natural beauty and tradition of Japanese culture.
This light and fluffy tempura is also what we found in Japan. However, we also found a few different styles of tempura! I was not expecting that. We had tempura that had a thicker coating and was tossed in some sort of sauce. I wonder if that was a regional variation, or if that was catering to the Western palate. I don’t know, but I do know that it was all tasty.
Vegetable tempura is a great way to get some veggies into your kids bellies. Yes, it is deep fried, but it is a quick fry, and the veggies maintain a nice al dente crunch. Bonus if your kids enjoy dipping! I made the traditional tempura dipping sauce, and I added my own Japanese-inspired dipping sauce that I like to use on rice bowls, fried rice, noodles, the sky is the limit!
What vegetables will you turn into tempura?