Vegetable Tempura

Yield: 6-8 servings
Course: Entree, Side Dish
Cuisine: Japanese


  • For frying:
    • Peanut or cold-pressed sunflower or safflower oil
  • For batter:
    • 1 large egg yolk
    • ¾ cup very cold sparkling water, plus more if necessary
    • 1 cup cake or pastry flour, plus more for dredging
  • For vegetables:
    • 1 medium sweet potato, sliced ¼-inch thick
    • 1 small Japanese eggplant, thinly sliced
    • 1 medium zucchini, thinly sliced
    • 1 medium yellow squash, thinly sliced
    • Broccoli, trimmed and separated into florets
    • Snow peas
    • Wild mushrooms, such as oyster or maitake, separated into bite-size pieces
    • Shishito or Padron peppers
    • For serving ideas:
    • Tempura Dipping Sauce, for serving
    • Granulated sugar, for serving


  1. Heat 2 inches oil in a wok or heavy pot over medium heat to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix yolk with water using fat wooden chopsticks.
  3. Add the flour all at once and mix just slightly. There should be large lumps of flour and a rim of flour dust around the bowl. Over mixing will result in a heavy batter coating. It is best to mix the batter in this amount, and repeat as necessary.
  4. Prepare ingredients, dry them, and dredge lightly in flour before dipping in batter.
  5. When oil is hot, dip the vegetables one at a time into batter to coat completely, and then allow excess to drain into bowl.
  6. Working in batches, about 6 pieces at a time, and using a spider, carefully submerge vegetables in oil. Cook, turning once, until light golden, puffed and cooked through, about 3 minutes for most vegetables. They should be tender when pierced with the tip of a paring knife.
  7. Transfer to a baking sheet fitted with a wire rack to drain.
  8. Serve with dipping sauce. To serve sweet potato tempura for dessert, sprinkle with sugar and serve immediately.