May 11, 2011

Tempura Making/天ぷら作り

On May 9, I decided to make tempura for supper. I first made tentsuyu (dipping sauce for tempura) well in advance, at around two o'clock in the afternoon, by combining dashi, soy sauce, and mirin at a ratio of 5:1:1.
800 ml dashi (800 ml water + 1.3 tsp instant dashi)
160 ml soy sauce
160 ml mirin
I used mirin-like seasoning, not real mirin (which contains alcohol), so I just brought the mixture to a boil, turned off the heat, and let it cool.
If you use mirin, you first evaporate the alcohol by boiling for some time.

Note: A ratio of 4:1:1 is more common.
出汁 800 ml(水800 mlに出汁の素小さじ1.3)
しょう油 160 ml
みりん 160 ml

注: 4:1:1という割合のほうが一般的です。

Main ingredients for tempura (tane or tendane):
The sansai (edible wild plant) in the upper right corner is kogomi or kogome (ostrich fern fiddlehead). Luckily, I found kogomi sold at a low price, 98 yen a pack, and I just had to buy two! All my family love kogomi! The sansai in the lower right corner is yomogi (mugwort), which I picked up in my yard.

Cut each sweet potato crosswise or diagonally into 1-cm rounds, soak in cold water for at least 5 min., and drain.
I usually have tempura with soba (buckwheat noodles), and that night's supper was no exception.

Tempura pot with canola oil in it:
I measured the depth of the oil, and it was about 4 cm.  I think that 5 cm is usually considered a minimum depth, and I'd say that 3 cm is a bare minimum.

I don't like to use sesame oil to make tempura because of its distinctive flavor.  Besides, sesame oil is very expensive!

To be continued.
I've been rather busy these days, and I have to write about tempura making in several separate parts.


Sissi said...

I'm looking forward to read the rest of your tempura recipe. Until now I have been making only asparagus tempura (it's the season here and I feel like I could have asparagus every day) and I will be very happy to learn from you how to prepare other ingredients. Can you imagine I have never cooked sweet potatoes in my life?
(By the way, thank you for the visit and the kind comment on my blog, it cheered me up this morning!).

Kiki said...

Strange, are there are some transcontinental mind links possible? Today, during lunch break, I visited an asia food market near my workplace and bought tempura batter mixture, o-sake, sweet potatoes, soba. Guess what I am going to cook tomorrow? I can't believe it.
I am going to use green and white asparagus too (prizes dropped quite nicely). I have never picked fresh mugwort before (and we have lots of it growing wild around here), only the dried herb for the traditional goose seasoning. Hope you will find some spare time to inform us.

Sissi said...

Kiki, you have just made me realise that mugwort is not a strictly Japanese plant. I have checked on internet: it grows everywhere! I live a bit far from the forest, so am not sure if I can pick it one day...
You really must communicate with Hiroyuki through telepathy :-)

Hiroyuki said...

Sissi: Imo ten (sweet potato tempura) is a must in my tempura meal!

Hiroyuki said...

Kiki: But it isn't that we made tempura on the same day, right (laugh)?
I am very sorry I could not make fukinoto (butterbur sprout) tempura. Fukinoto is now out of season.