Kakiage, which means "gathered and deep-fried" in Japanese, is a tempura made with sliced vegetables and sometimes seafood. This light and crispy tempura combines shrimp, onions, carrots and herbs and looks similar to a fritter. I serve it with sea salt and lemon wedges or with soy sauce, with rice and pickles on the side and fruit for dessert. Read more about this tempura recipe.

EatingWell.com, June 2021

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Credit: Rick Poon

Recipe Summary test

active:
1 hr
total:
1 hr
Servings:
4
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Ingredients

Shrimp & Vegetables
Tempura Batter
Frying & Serving

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • To prepare shrimp & vegetables: Cut each shrimp crosswise into 5 pieces. Blot with paper towels to dry. Julienne carrots into thin matchsticks about 2 1⁄2 inches long. Slice onion into similar-size matchsticks.

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  • To prepare tempura batter: Whisk egg and ice-cold water in a medium bowl. Set aside 2 tablespoons cake flour in a small bowl. Sift the remaining 1 cup cake flour and potato starch (or cornstarch) into another bowl. Add the sifted flour mixture to the egg mixture. Using a whisk, draw the number 8 in the batter to lightly combine the egg and flour mixtures. Repeat a few times but do not overmix, because you will wake up the gluten and the batter will turn heavy. It is OK to leave a few small lumps of flour in the liquid. Test the thickness of the batter with a pair of chopsticks or a spoon: Scoop a little batter and let it drip off the chopsticks or spoon. If it does not drip easily, the batter is too thick; adjust by adding 1 or 2 more teaspoons of water. Place ice cubes in a bowl or basin; set the bowl of batter on the ice so it remains cold while frying the fritters. Keep the batter away from the heat.

  • Combine the sliced shrimp, vegetables and herbs in a medium bowl. Add the reserved 2 tablespoons flour; toss to coat the shrimp and vegetable pieces evenly.

  • To fry tempura: Line a sheet pan or large plate with paper towels. Combine grapeseed oil and sesame oil in a 2-quart Dutch oven or a deep heavy-bottomed 9- or 10-inch frying pan (see Tip). You should have enough oil in the pan to reach about 1¼ inches in depth. Clip a deep-fry or candy thermometer to the side of the pan. Heat the oil to 335°F. It's crucial to keep the temperature of the oil stable and hot. To find the right temperature, drop a pinch of batter into the hot oil. If it falls halfway down and sizzles up, it is a little too hot, but still good for frying most seafood and vegetables. If it falls to the bottom and then sizzles to the top right away, it is right for all foods. Test again, until the optimum temperature is reached.

  • Place about 1/4 cup of the flour-coated shrimp and vegetable mixture in a small (teacup-size) bowl. Add about 2 tablespoons of the chilled tempura batter to lightly coat the vegetable mixture. Slide (do not drop!) the mixture into the hot oil from the side of the pan. Quickly spread the mixture with a pair of chopsticks to make an oblong or round fritter. Add only 1 or 2 fritters to the pot at a time to allow movement and maintain the optimum temperature while frying.

  • When the fritters turn slightly crisp and the bubbles nearly subside, flip them over. Fry until lightly golden on both sides. Remove the fritters with a slotted spoon or chopsticks, letting excess oil drip off before transferring to the prepared paper-towel-lined pan. The kakiage will continue to cook a little while resting, so be careful not to overcook it. Repeat the procedure with the remaining shrimp, vegetables and batter.

  • Serve the tempura immediately with sea salt, lemon wedges and/or soy sauce, if desired.

Equipment

Deep-fry or candy thermometer

Tip

Use a heavy pot or pan; thin aluminum pans do not work. It should be about 3 inches in depth to hold the oil; shallow and thin pans will result in initial high temperature and sudden lowering of temperature when frying.

Nutrition Facts

515 calories; fat 29g; cholesterol 229mg; sodium 167mg; carbohydrates 35g; dietary fiber 1g; protein 28g; sugars 2g; niacin equivalents 3mg; saturated fat 4g; vitamin a iu 2852IU; potassium 442mg.
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