My dear friend – Yoriko Miyamoto took out some time to share with me recipes of some of her favourite childhood Japanese food. We spent the entire day cooking, tasting and laughing away in the kitchen.
I am a big, big fan of Japanese food because of the variation in the type of fresh ingredients used. A Japanese meal is light on the tummy, very healthy & very filling. My sons enjoy a Japanese meal out every now and then, and the list of the dishes they like is a bit long. I do plan to share recipes for each of those in course of time.
The first recipe that I want to share is the Tempura (which was also one of Yoriko’s favourites). Tempura is basically vegetables or seafood dunked in fresh batter and deep fried for a golden crust & crisp texture. The ingredient for tempura that I have chosen below is just a few of the many possible ingredients that can be used. Improvise with whatever you have at hand. All of these – firm white fish, lotus root, nori sheet, sweet potato slice, mushroom, egg plant & morning glory – make a great tempura.
Below you will also find the recipe for a home-made tempura dip. For this, choose a good quality shoyu – which is low on salt and alcohol. Shoyu is easily available at every supermarket in Thailand, under the imported sauces section. I also used a ready dashi or Japanese stock which is also easy to find under the same section in small packs. It comes in 2 varieties – the fish dashi and vegetable dashi. Or you can liberally add the usual stock you have at home.
• ¼ raddish
• 4 black shrimp with tail
• 4 white onion rings
• 4 broccoli florets
• 4-6 pumpkin slices
• 1 cup all purpose flour
• ½-1 cup icy cold water
• 3 cups cooking oil (I use coconut oil)
• 1/4 cup good quality *shoyu (Japanese soya sauce)
• 1 cup *dashi (Japanese stock)
• A pinch of salt
Recipe for the dip :-
1. Mix shoyu and dashi in a bowl. Add salt according to taste.
2. Grate a good amount of raddish.
3. Set aside.
4. Just before serving pour the liquid mix over raddish in a small bowl.
Recipe for the Tempura:-
1. Begin by, deveining the shrimp. Make a slit along its belly with your knife. Do not remove tail.
2. In a deep bottom pan, pour in a good amount of oil and heat.
3. Arrange the shrimp & vegetables on a platter next to the pan.
4. Prepare the batter by mixing the flour and water. Whisk just enough to mix the 2 ingredients without making the mixture too smooth. Leave it rough and thick.
5. Once the oil is hot, douse each ingredient into the batter to cover all parts. Then gently shake the ingredients so all excess batter falls back into the batter bowl leaving your ingredient with a thin layer of coating.
6. Carefully lower the ingredient into the hot oil. Fry up to 6 pieces together (or more depending on the size of your pan) for about a minute or until lightly golden & crisp.
7. Serve immediately with the dip prepared.