Matsuri’s tempura consists of a selection of fresh prawns and vegetables deep-fried in a thin layer of light and crispy batter. It is served with a traditional dipping sauce made from dashi (soup stock), soya sauce and mirin (a sweet cooking sake). You will also find a small pyramid of daikon (Japanese radish) topped with ginger on the plate with the tempura which should be mixed into the dipping sauce before eating. Dip each piece of tempura into the sauce briefly so that it does not lose its crispiness, and enjoy.
Did you know?
Tempura is also served with salt in Japan instead of the dipping sauce. At Matsuri restaurants we offer a matcha (Japanese green tea) and salt dip. If you would like to try this alternative way of eating tempura please ask the waitress next time you order.
All ingredients in Japanese cuisine are carefully selected for taste or nutritional value. In this dish the daikon is served with the tempura as a digestive aid because it helps to break down the oil present in the batter.
Tempura restaurants in Japan use a secret blend of oils to deep fry with to give their tempura an individual flavour. This oil can be a mixture of vegtable, soya bean or sesame oil.
Tips for Making Light and Crispy Tempura Batter
1 egg yolk
250-280g tempura flour
- Sieve the tempura flour to aerate it.
- Add ice cubes to the water and whisk in the egg yolk. (This ensures an icy cold temperature.)
- Lightly whisk the flour into this liquid. The flour does not need to be beaten in until the batter is smooth; rather, the undissolved flour gives a nice texture to the batter.
- Coat the ingredients in flour before placing them in the batter.
- Heat the oil to the perfect temperature – test the temperature by dropping a little bit of batter in to the oil. If the batter sinks to the bottom and immediately rises to the surface then it is the correct temperature.
- Listen to the sound of, and look at the size of, the bubbles in the oil to judge when the food has been cooked to perfection. The bubbles become smaller and the pitch of the bubbles gets higher when the tempura is cooked.