MAINS/ Series/ Sunday Supper

Easy Japanese Tempura with Dipping Sauce

Hello and welcome to Sunday Supper! Today’s Sunday Supper might not be a simple one-pan meal, but it is a rewarding Sunday cooking project. It’s not even that much of a project, really. Once I got going, it all went very quickly and before I knew it, we had a tray of beautifully light, crispy, crunchy, Tempura Veggies. And the tempura dipping sauce brought me right back to my favorite Japanese restaurant. Let’s do this Easy Japanese Tempura!

Easy, Japanese Recipe, Japanese Cuisine, Sunday Supper, Deep Fried, Vegetarian Recipe, Appetizer, Japanese Appetizer

Do not let this recipe intimidate you. Each step is very simple. The key is to be organized and compartmentalize each step. This is true with every recipe. No matter how many steps, or how complicated it reads, break it down into its smallest parts and focus on each part. Start organized, stay organized and you will not fail.

Start Organized: Gather your ingredients for each part and group them together. Prep and measure out the ingredients in their groups.

Stay Organized: Keep your cooking space tidy. Clean up trimmings, wipe up counter space and put away the containers of ingredients after you’ve measured them out. Organize the prepped ingredients and completed components in the order in which you will use them.

Dashi-based Tempura Dipping Sauce – Tentsuyu

Let’s start by making the dipping sauce. Traditional Tempura Dipping Sauce is a dashi-based sauce called Tentsuyu. Dashi is the base for many Japanese soups and sauces. It’s super simple: simmer Kombu (dried kelp) with 2 cups of water for 7 minutes. Off heat, add 1 cup of packed Bonito (dried fish) flakes. Steep the bonito in the Kombu broth for 15 minutes. Strain off the Kombu and the Bonito flakes and the resulting broth is the base for our dipping sauce.

We should have 1 cup of Dashi to add to the rest of our dipping sauce ingredients. In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring the dashi, along with mirin, soy sauce and sugar to a boil and then turn off the heat. Set this sauce aside until we are ready to serve the tempura.

Prep the Veggies

You can use any kind of veggies you like for tempura. I am using thinly sliced sweet potato, asparagus, green beans, and onions. Other great veggies include broccoli, mushrooms, eggplant slices or carrots.

Easy, Japanese Recipe, Japanese Cuisine, Sunday Supper, Deep Fried, Vegetarian Recipe, Appetizer, Japanese Appetizer

To get evenly fried sweet potatoes, I used my mandoline slicer on a setting between 1/8 and 3/16-inch setting.

Easy, Japanese Recipe, Japanese Cuisine, Sunday Supper, Deep Fried, Vegetarian Recipe, Appetizer, Japanese Appetizer, how to use a mandoline slicer

How to Set Up a Fry Station

Once we have the dipping sauce made and the veggies prepped, let’s get the oil heating and set up our fry station. Turn the oven on to 200 degrees and set a wire rack inside of a sheet tray. Take a second sheet tray and line it with paper towels. The paper towel-lined tray will catch the veggies from the fry oil, then we will transfer the veggies to the wire rack tray and pop it in the oven while we quickly fry the rest.

Easy, Japanese Recipe, Japanese Cuisine, Sunday Supper, Deep Fried, Vegetarian Recipe, Appetizer, Japanese Appetizer, how to set up a fry station

Pour 6 cups of peanut or canola oil into a Dutch oven, clip a candy thermometer to the side of the Dutch oven, and turn the burner up to medium-high. When the oil comes up to 380 degrees, we will make the batter. For the lightest and crispiest Japanese Tempura, we want the batter to be as cold as possible. This is why we make the batter at the last possible moment, just before frying. When the oil is at 380 degrees, turn the heat to medium and make the batter.

Easy Japanese Tempura Batter

Easy, Japanese Recipe, Japanese Cuisine, Sunday Supper, Deep Fried, Vegetarian Recipe, Appetizer, Japanese Appetizer

The batter is very simple: 1 cup of cake flour or all purpose flour, 1 egg and 1 cup ice cold water. Sift the flour into a bowl. Lightly whisk the egg just until the white and yolk are incorporated. Strain the ice water into the egg and lightly whisk together.

Add the egg and water mixture to the flour and very lightly whisk together to make a lumpy batter. The lumps will fry into light and crispy clumps on the veggies.

Ready to Fry

Easy, Japanese Recipe, Japanese Cuisine, Sunday Supper, Deep Fried, Vegetarian Recipe, Appetizer, Japanese Appetizer

My oil temp is at 400 degrees and my batter is ready and still cold. Keep the batter bowl as far away from the hot oil as possible, and let’s get frying. I am starting with the sweet potatoes because they will take the longest to cook through and fry. And even then, it’s only about 3 minutes.

Rather than battering one veggie at a time, I put the whole lot of sliced sweet potatoes into the batter and then pull them out one at a time and carefully let them loose in the oil. Stir with the skimmer to prevent sticking. I fried the battered sweet potato slices in two batches. You only want them to be very lightly golden. When they float to the top and are slightly golden around the edges, they’re ready to come out.

When you skim them out with a skimmer, place them on the paper towel-lined tray and sprinkle with Kosher salt. Check the temp on the oil, if it’s still in the 380-400 range, go ahead with the second batch and repeat the process.

When the second batch comes out let it rest on the paper towel-lined tray for a second then transfer all of the sweet potatoes to the wire rack tray and place the tray in the preheated oven to keep warm and crisp.

Repeat with the rest of the veggies. I went with the asparagus batch next, then the onions and finally the green beans. The asparagus, onions and green beans only took about 1-2 minutes in the hot oil. It all goes very fast, so I didn’t even bother adding the rest of the veggies to the tray in the oven.

Once all the veggies were fried, I pulled the sweet potatoes out of the warm oven and tossed everything together on a sheet tray lined with fresh paper towels.

Easy, Japanese Recipe, Japanese Cuisine, Sunday Supper, Deep Fried, Vegetarian Recipe, Appetizer, Japanese Appetizer

Easy Japanese Tempura

To serve, I spooned rice into wide shallow bowls and poured the dashi Tempura Dipping Sauce into individual small pinch bowls. I set out the tray of Easy Japanese Tempura to let everyone serve themselves the veggies.

Easy, Japanese Recipe, Japanese Cuisine, Sunday Supper, Deep Fried, Vegetarian Recipe, Appetizer, Japanese Appetizer

Light, crispy Japanese Tempura Vegetables! This recipe is 100% worth the effort. So satisfying! Mix it up with your favorite veggies, or add shrimp too! This dish feels really special and restaurant-worthy – an impressive, yet casual meal.

Thank you so much for joining me today for Sunday Supper! I hope you give this Easy Japanese Tempura a try. Try another one of my favorites, Chicken Katsu – cooked in the air fryer. What is your favorite Japanese Restaurant dish? Let me know in the comments below, or reach out on Instagram! Take care and be well, xo Kelly

Easy, Japanese Recipe, Japanese Cuisine, Sunday Supper, Deep Fried, Vegetarian Recipe, Appetizer, Japanese Appetizer

Easy Japanese Tempura

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Loading...
Dinner, Main Course, Appetizer Japanese
By Kelly Djalali Serves: 4-6
Prep Time: 40 Minutes Cooking Time: 15-20 Minutes Total Time: ~1 Hour

Light and crispy Japanese Tempura vegetables with a Dashi Tempura dipping sauce is and easy restaurant-worthy Sunday Supper.

Ingredients

  • Dashi Broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 2-inch square piece of Dried Kombu Kelp
  • 1/2 cup Dried Bonito Flakes, packed
  • Dipping Sauce
  • 1 cup Dashi Broth
  • 1/4 cup Mirin
  • 1/4 cup Soy Sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp. Sugar
  • Vegetable Tempura
  • 1 Bunch Asparagus, woody stems removed
  • 1 large Sweet Potato, peeled and sliced 3/16-inch thick
  • 1 White Onion, sliced into 1/2-inch thick rounds
  • 1 Bunch Green Beans, ends trimmed
  • Other veggies to consider: broccoli, eggplant, carrots, mushrooms
  • Tempura Batter
  • 1 cup Cake or All Purpose Flour
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 1 cup Water
  • Ice cubes, for chilling the water
  • 6 cups Peanut or Vegetable Oil, for frying

Instructions

Dashi Broth

1

In a small saucepan, combine the water the piece of Kombu. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer for 7 minutes.

2

Off heat, add the dried Bonito flakes and let steep for 15 minutes.

3

Strain the broth and discard the Kombu and the Bonito flakes. Set the broth aside.

Dipping Sauce

4

In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring the dashi, along with mirin, soy sauce and sugar to a boil and then turn off the heat. Set this sauce aside until ready to serve the tempura.

Fry Station Set Up

5

After the dipping sauce is made and the veggies prepped, set up your fry station with a paper towel-lined sheet tray and a separate sheet tray with a wire rack placed inside. Turn the oven to 200 degrees to keep the sweet potato tempura warm and crisp.

6

Pour the 6 cups of oil into a large Dutch oven and set up a candy thermometer to monitor oil temperature. Turn burner to high and heat oil. When oil reaches 380 degrees, reduce the burner to medium-high and make the batter.

Tempura Batter

7

Sift the flour into a bowl. Lightly whisk the egg just until the white and yolk are incorporated. Strain the ice water into the egg and lightly whisk together.

8

Add the egg and water mixture to the flour and very lightly whisk together to make a lumpy batter. The lumps will fry into light and crispy clumps on the veggies.

Fry the Veggie Tempura

9

Start with the sweet potatoes; add the sweet potato slices to the batter and toss to coat. Then carefully add the battered sweet potato slices one at a time until half the batch is frying. Fry until the batter is puffy and the veggies float to the top, they will only be lightly golden. About 3-4 minutes.

10

Use a spider skimmer to transfer fried veggies to the paper towel-lined sheet tray and sprinkle with Kosher salt. Repeat with the rest of the sweet potatoes. Transfer the sweet potato tempura to the wire rack sheet tray and place in the oven.

11

Check the oil temp. We want to maintain a temp of 380-400 degrees.

12

Repeat the batter and fry process with the rest of the veggies, sprinkling Kosher salt on the veggie tempura when they come out of the oil.

13

When all the veggies are fried, combine all the veggies with the sweet potato tempura on a large tray or serving dish.

14

Portion the dipping sauce into individual cups or pinch bowls.

15

Portion rice or noodles in a wide shallow dish, let everyone serve themselves the tempura vegetables.

You Might Also Like

  • Terry
    January 30, 2022 at 10:52 am

    Good morning this looks really good. I haven’t made tempura in so long. The dipping sauce sounds really good as well. I will add this to next weeks menu I will keep you posted. I remember when you were little we used to take you to Happy House and we ordered you tempura all the time you loved it. Have a great Sunday ❤️? Mom

    • Kelly Djalali
      January 30, 2022 at 11:18 am

      Hi Mom, I remember Happi House! I think there is one left in the South Bay. This tempura is easy and it does remind me of Happi House! ? Have a great Sunday, xo Kelly