They keep saying that spring is right around the corner. The only reason I believe anyone is because I am starting to find spring vegetables. The first of the asparagus. Tiny, baby lettuces. Sweet peas and miniscule radishes.
And that makes me want tempura. I love tempura-ed vegetables. Normally, I indulge in winter vegetables: onions, cauliflower, sweet potato, dense hearty vegetables. But tempura should be light and I like it with lighter vegetables too.
You can’t let tempura batter go to waste. As I don’t find a tempura pancake very tasty, I will start dipping anything in tempura batter. I have had success with cheese, bits of cooked sausage, also any vegetable. Things like tomatoes I imagine would work best whole rather than in pieces.
This can also be great when you are have a casual crowd over for dinner. Everyone can stand in the kitchen and grab things to fry. Nothing bonds people like fried dough!
Adapted from an unknown source as it is hand-written in my mother’s cookbook
1 large egg
1 c ice-cold water
1 c flour, sifted
1/2 tsp baking soda
Put the egg in a bowl and beat until smooth. Slowly add ice water, beating as you do.
Add all the flour and baking soda at once. Stir 4-5 times. DO NOT OVERMIX! The batter should be lumpy.
Set batter aside for 10 minutes while heating up the oil for deep-frying.
Dip in vegetables and other things to fry. Drop a few pieces into the oil at a time to keep the temperature from dropping significantly. Gently turn the pieces to ensure that they become golden on all sides. Remove from oil and drain on paper towels. Season and serve.