Gluten Free Vegetable Tempura

Gluten Free Vegetable Tempura

Gluten free vegetable tempura is a light and crispy side dish that can be enjoyed with every Japanese meal.

My version of gluten free vegetable tempura came to be because my son’s best friend Ken is half Japanese and they spend a lot of time at each other’s places. Ken’s mom (the Japanese half) would cook delicious Japanese food. Recently Ken moved to Japan and so my son was very sad – not only because his bff moved away, but also because he would not get delicious home cooked Japanese food. I had to attempt to learn some recipes to keep him happy. Tempura is one of those favourites of his. Since gluten does not work too well with me, I had to try and make his (an my favourite) side dish gluten free.

Gathering the ingredients

Tempura is easy to make – once you get the hang of frying. Vegetable tempura can be made with pretty much any vegetable. I have tried it with cauliflower, asparagus, crimini mushrooms, Chinese eggplant, okra to name a few. This time I used acorn squash, sweet potato and broccoli.

Peel and slice the sweet potato into 1/4 inch slices. Peel, remove the seeds and pith and slice the acorn squash into 1/4 inch slices. Chop the broccoli into bite size pieces and set aside.

Vegetables for tempura
Peeled and sliced vegetables for tempura

In a large sauce pan, heat oil to about 350 degrees F. You will need about 1 1/2 litres of oil. If you don’t have a thermometer to check the oil temperature, you can check the readiness of the oil by dropping a couple of drops of the batter into the oil. Once you drop the batter into the oil and if it goes to the bottom and settles, the oil is not ready. If the batter rises right away and sizzles a lot, it’s too hot. The best temperature is when the batter goes to the bottom and rises gradually.

Making the batter

In a medium sized mixing bowl, make the batter. Mix 1 cup rice flour, 1/4 cup tapioca flour, 1 tablespoon corn flour (if using) and a pinch of salt. Break an egg directly into the bowl and mix. Add 3/4 cups of water to the mix and set aside. The consistency of the batter should be such that when you dip the vegetables into the batter, the vegetable should be coated – not too thick a coat. The batter should not drip off the vegetable very quickly. It should stick to it.

Once the oil has heated to the correct temperature, dredge the vegetables with some tapioca flour. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of tapioca flour on the vegetable and dust off any access flour before you dip it into the batter.

Tempura vegetables dredged with tapioca flour
Tempura vegetables dredged with tapioca flour

Frying the gluten free vegetable tempura

Now you are ready to fry the tempura. Line a baking sheet with paper towel and place a cookie rack on the tray. This will prevent your tempura from getting soggy while you are frying more.

Dip one piece of vegetable into the batter at a time and drop them into the oil. Do not drop too many pieces into the oil at one time. This will cause two issues – one: the oil will cool down very quickly, and two: the pieces will get stuck to each other and not have space to move around and fry evenly.

Vegetables in batter
Vegetables in batter

Fry the tempura till it looks crisp and starts to brown a little. Each vegetable takes a different amount of time to cook. The sweet potatoes should take about 6-7 mins. The squash should take about 5-6 mins. And the broccoli should take about 3-4 mins to cook.

Fried tempura
Fried tempura

Fried gluten free vegetable tempura on cookie rack
Fried tempura on cookie rack

Once you are done frying all of the vegetables, serve with a tempura dipping sauce. Enjoy warm. This gluten free vegetable tempura is our favourite and I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

Gluten Free Vegetable Tempura

Course: SideCuisine: JapaneseDifficulty: Easy
Servings

4

servings
Prep time

10

minutes
Cooking time

20

minutes
Total time

30

minutes

Gluten free vegetable tempura is a light and crispy side dish that can be enjoyed with every Japanese meal.

Ingredients

  • 1 sweet potato

  • 1/4 acorn squash

  • 1/2 head broccoli

  • 1 cup rice flour

  • 1/4 cup tapioca flour

  • 1 tablespoon corn flour (optional – this makes the tempura crisp)

  • 1 egg

  • 3/4 cup water

  • pinch of salt

  • 2 tablespoons tapioca flour or corn flour for dredging

  • Oil for frying

Directions

  • Heat the oil to 350 degree F. ** See note.
  • Peel the sweet potato and cut into 1/4 inch rounds.
  • Peel and slice the acorn squash into 1/4 inch slices.
  • Chop the broccoli into bite size pieces.
  • In a medium sized bowl, combine the rice flour, tapioca flour, corn flour (if using) and salt.
  • Crack the egg into the flour and mix.
  • Add the water and mix well to form a batter.
  • Once the oil has reached the desired temperature, dredge the vegetable with the 2 tablespoons of tapioca or corn flour and dip into the tempura batter. Dip one piece at a time and quickly drop into the oil.
  • Turn the vegetables over once to ensure even cooking on both sides. Each vegetable takes a different amount of time to cook. The sweet potatoes should take about 6-7 mins. The squash should take about 5-6 mins. And the broccoli should take about 3-4 mins to cook.
  • Line a baking tray with paper towel, place a cookie rack on the tray and place the cooked tempura onto the rack. Placing the tempura on the cookie rack keeps it from getting soggy.
  • Serve warm with tempura dipping sauce.

Notes

  • – Try using cauliflower or Chinese eggplant, or mushrooms.
    – If you don’t have a thermometer to check the oil temperature, you can check the readiness of the oil by dropping a couple of drops of the batter into the oil. If the batter goes to the bottom and settles, the oil is not ready. If the batter rises right away and sizzles a lot, it’s too hot. The best temperature is when the batter goes to the bottom and rises gradually.

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