Those of you afraid of frying? You can do this. Those of you who fear that life will never be as good without gluten? You can do this. For those of you fear this food is too “fancy” for you or your family? Remind them it’s fried food. You can do this.
Pay attention. Don’t burn yourself. Don’t overcrowd the pot.
Use our gluten-free flour for best results.
To quote Charles Duhigg, “When something doesn’t work, it’s not a failure. It’s an experiment that gave you some data. The only way it ever becomes a failure is if you don’t learn what you can from it.”
Prepare to fry. Set a large pot over high heat. Pour in the oil. Add a thermometer to be able to read the heat. Line a cooling rack with 2 layers of paper towels.
Make the batter. Whisk together the flour and salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, wish together the egg and club soda until they are smooth. Pour in the egg and club soda. Hold the bowl of batter in one hand and a pair of chopsticks in the other. Shake the bowl and swirl the chopsticks around in the batter until it is barely combined. There might even be little clumps of flour still not mixed. That’s okay.
Batter the vegetables. Immediately, add 7 or 8 vegetable slices to the batter. Start with the thickest vegetables first. Toss them around to make sure they are coated. Using a Chinese spider or slotted spoon, add them to the hot oil, slipping them into the pot just above the surface of the oil.
Fry the tempura. As soon as the battered vegetables are in the hot oil, turn up the heat to keep the temperature as close to 350° as possible. Using the chopsticks, move the vegetables around in the oil, separating them and flipping them to make sure they are fried evenly. Tempura vegetables that are done rise to the surface. Fry until the batter is crisp and blonde, 1 to 4 minutes, depending of the thickness of the vegetable.
Move the tempura with a slotted spoon onto the paper towels and let them dry.
Repeat with the remaining vegetables, battering them just before frying them.
pickled ginger dip. Combine 1 cup mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons of pickled ginger, and 1 tablespoon of rice wine vinegar, plus salt to taste, in a food processor until everything is combined and frothy.
Feel like playing? If you feel comfortable making tempura, try making kale tempura. Take the bottom, woody part of the stem off but leave just enough of a nub to have something to hold. Hold the kale stem and dip the leaf into the batter and swirl it around to coat it. Drop it into the hot oil. It will make an enormous, scary sound. Don’t worry. That’s just the water in the kale reacting with the oil. You don’t need to agitate the kale as much as you do the smaller vegetables. Turn it once, to be sure to avoid burning.
Remember that you don’t have to throw away the oil after you have made tempura. Let it cool completely. Pour it through a funnel into a large container. Keep that in your cupboard as your fry oil. Use it for frying until you can’t see the bottom of the pot when you pour it in.