Scallop and Vegetable Tempura/帆立と野菜の掻き揚げ
Assorted vegetable and sea foods fry is called kakiage in Japanese. The word kaki came from gather-up (かき集める) or put together (組み合わせる). Then the word “age” (no this is not how old you are but is pronounced ah-geh) means fry, so that whole meaning is gather-up to fry. This is a great recipe to have when you have left over vegetables which you want to get rid of sooner rather than later. The small amount of tempura batter is used for light, crisp tempura.
There are many varieties or versions for kakiage recipe (see my other kakiage recipe)-no surprise! because there is almost no limit on what goes into kakiage ( I don’t recommend zucchini though, it tends to get soggy and too soft). Today, I had scallops, carrots, onions, eringi, and sweet potatoes but shrimp, green beans or burdock roots are also tasty additions. You could make a vegetarian version if you like. Be whatever.
This original recipe was featured in a free magazine I picked up at an Asian market. Currently residing in Seattle, Gourmand Shinya used to own restaurant and former chef, contributing to the ‘Earth Cooking’ (地球料理) in the YOUmaga magazine. I like his no egg, maple syrup as a sweetener recipe for the earthiness.
Ingredients for 4-6 patties
Soy sauce 4 Tablespoons
Sake 2 Tablespoons
Water 2 Tablespoons
Maple syrup 2 Tablespoons
Mix everything in a small sauce pan. Bring to boil at medium high heat, then simmer for 2-3 minutes at low heat to remove alcohol. Set aside.
- 5-6 Scallops or 1/2 pound, slice into 3-4 times each.
- Small sweet potatoes or orange yam- peel and cut in thin match sticks and soak in water for 5-7 minutes.
- 1 medium carrot - cut in thin match sticks, try to cut in same size as sweet potato.
- 1 large eringi - cut into thin strips
- 1 small onion cut thin and separate.
- Flour 1/2 cup
- Cold water 1/2 cup
- 3 Tablespoons of flour or 2 Tablespoons of corn starch
- Flour 1/2 cup
- Cold water 1/2 cup
- Sea salt about 1/2 teaspoon
- Oil for frying – oil should come up at least 1 inch in a deep heavy skillet.
- Sesame oil 1-2 Tablespoons (optional)
- Heat oil at medium high heat (temperature is about 355F). Add sesame oil for extra aroma.
- Without over mixing,combine the 1/2cup of flour, cold water and salt to make batter-Don’t mind the flour mixture’s lumpiness. Set it aside.
- Mix all vegetables and meat in large bowl.
- Sprinkle the 3 Tablespoons of flour or 2 Tablespoons of corn starch in and combine well.
- Divide vegetable in 4 or 6 sections.
- In a separate bowl, put 1 section of vegetable mixture in.
- Add about 2 Tablespoons of flour mixture, stir just until combined (do not over mix).
- Gently slide in the whole bowlful of vegetable mixture and fry for about 3 minutes. Use a large slotted spoon or watch-ma-call-it? (there’s a picture of it above) to ever so gently turn over. Cook until crisp and golden in color.
- Lay on the paper towel to remove excess oil. Pour some of sauce over and eat while it’s hot!
We had kakiage over udon noodle but having it over cooked rice is also fantastic! Here I used thin cut of long green onion (東京ねぎ) as a condiment. Plunge in ice cold water to make crisp.Gourmand Shinya suggestion of hamburger style is I think chic! In this case I will use lots of arugula or spinach instead of lettuce.
For my birthday last week, a group of friends took me for a birthday lunch. It was way fun! Then for supper, my husband, my son and I went to a nice restaurant. Whew, I had a cook-free day for a change. Nice! The next day, my Japanese friends and I had an another birthday lunch (which I forgot to take a camera). Doubly nice! But my waist is expanding.
I have left over chestnut cream since I made my husband a Mont Blonc Cake for his birthday. I baked chestnut cream madeleine. Talk about losing weight. But the cream is expensive, why you want that to go bad? The rose in this photo is called ‘Sugar Moon’ the winner of ‘2012 Best Fragrance’ category.