I’m now at the summer cottage, and enjoying every bit of my summer holiday. The weather isn’t that great – it feels more like autumn than summer. But the peace and quiet makes up for it – and of course this view makes it all worthwhile.
I have been juicing every day and has made my first vegan dinner here. I was inspired by Hugh Fearnly-Whittingstall from River Cottage to do my take on this great dish.
Meatlovers won’t miss their meat – and you will have your kids eat more veg as well.
Vegetable tempura with pickled cucumber and salad
I have had tempura at many japanese restaurants and always wonder how to make it. A few weeks ago I watched Hugh’s show on TV – and I found out that tembura is very easy to make! And when made with vegetables it is vegan and alkaline too. I altered Hugh’s recipe a bit and made it with other vegetables – the result was superb!
You might think that tempura is an unhealthy dish because of the batter and oil, but if you make it like I do and use the right ingredients for the batter and use sunflower oil for frying – preferably organic – it is actually not that bad as it fried for a very short time and the batter is very thin. I think that is a very good way to have kids and non-vegetarian people eat more veg.
I served it with pickled cucumber and a salad of cabbage, spring onion (the green bits left over from the tembura), red onion and tomato dressed in a dressing of olive oil, lime and salt.
You can use almost all vegetables – they just need to be cut to a size where you would normally be able to cook it by boiling/steaming for about a minute.
Mushrooms – in quarters
Zucchini – 1/2 cm slices
Spring onions – the top green bits and the ends cut off – and a cut made in the middle (see picture)
Red onions – thin slices less than 1/2 cm thick
The best things is to cut it hours before cooking so they will dry a bit – if you don’t have time for that just make sure to pat dry with paper towel.
…. And now for the BATTER (this is enough for a looot of veggies – way to many for 2 people for sure)
The batter should be made when you are ready to do the frying. Before making the batter get your salad, pickled cucumber, rice, table setting etc. ready. Tembura is best if it is served immediately. You should also have some paper towel or a rack ready for the cooked tempura.
1 cup of spelt flour
½ cup of corn flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon fine salt (himalaya or seasalt)
½-1 cup af ICE COLD sparkiling water
Mix the dry ingredients well and whisk in the sparkling water – a few lumps are OK – the key is to not mix to long and to keep the mixture cold. The consistency should be like cream – or pancake batter.
Heat the oil in a good saucepan – there should be around 4 cm of oil in the pan – heat the oil so that you can brown a peace of bread in 1 minute.
Coat the vegetables in the batter and put them into the oil – be very careful. It takes 60 to 90 sec in total to get ready (turn the veggies once) – the batter should be light golden but not brown. You can coat more veggies at a time – but only put a couple af veggies at a time in the hot oil.
When ready place on rack or on paper towel. If the temburas have gone cold during cooking you can put them back in the oil for a few secs before serving – but the best way is just to cook it once and serve immediately. You can also put it in the oven for 5 minutes on 200 degrees (celsius). The oven trick also work well for the leftovers the next day.
My recipe for pickled cucumber
½ fresh chili (or 1 teaspoon of dried chill flakes)
Different fresh herbes – I used what I could find the garden – dill, basil and mint
1 teaspoon of salt
4-5 pepper corns
Juice of 1 lime
½ cup apple cider vinegar
1-2 tablespoons of honey
Cut the cucumber in quarters – take out the seeds and watery bit of the cucumber – cut in to small pieces. Put the rest of the ingredients in a saucepan, bring to a boil and boil for about 3 minutes – let it cool for 10-15 minutes. Pour over the cucumber a leave in the fridge for at least half an
hour before serving – stir a couple of times.
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