July 21, 2012

Bocchan Kabocha Tempura/坊ちゃんかぼちゃの天ぷら

The other day, I got a box of tomatoes and other vegetables from my father, including one bocchan kabocha and three bei nasu (variety deriving from Black Beauty in the United States).
先日、父からトマトなどの野菜を一箱(ひとはこ)もらいました。坊ちゃんかぼちゃ一個と米ナス(米国のBlack Beautyに由来する品種)が三つ入っていました。

Bocchan kobocha is small (about 500 g in weight), and contains three to four times as much protein, beta-carotene, and sugar as regular kobocha.
坊ちゃんかぼちゃは小さくて(重さ約500 g)で、普通のかぼちゃと比べて、タンパク質、ベータカロチン、糖質が3~4倍も入っています。
Compare the size with my Shigefusa kitaeji petty knife with a blade length of 18 cm.
刃の長さ18 cmの重房鍛地ペティナイフと大きさを比べてください。

I decided to make tempura with the kobacha.

First, cut into quarters.

Then, cut into 5-8 mm thick slices.
それから、58 mm厚に切ります。

For kobocha tempura, the batter should be thicker than usual.

The same is true of satsumaimo (sweet potato) tempura.  Thick batter results in thick coating, which protects the ingredient while it is being deep-fried for a relatively long time.

Deep-fry at a low temperature of 160C for 3 min.


24 pieces of kabocha tempura:

After I deep-fried these 24 pieces, the batter almost ran out.  Instead of adding more flour and water, I used up the batter by making tempura with less batter.

To my surprise, all these pieces were eaten by my son while I was taking a shower.


Fräulein Trude said...

This pumpkin looked very good. Sadly we only have one variety of japanese pumkins which is from the same kind but not exactly the same.
So your son sneaked in and ate a lot before the others could. This is so typical boy.. I often called our son the criminal fridge cleaner..

Hiroyuki said...

Kiki: I grow four bocchan kabocha plants in the small yard around my house. I hope I can get some bocchan kabocha soon.

Everyone does the sneaking, including me (laugh). I had one piece of tempura while making 5 x 5 = 25 pieces, so the photo shows the remaining 24 pieces.

kbjesq said...

This looks delicious. I have two questions. First, did you cook the pumpkin before dipping it into the tempura batter? If so, please describe the cooking method. Second, did you serve a dipping sauce? If so, please provide the recipe. I enjoy your blog and I would like to hear more about your sauce ratos. Thank you.

Fräulein Trude said...

Hiroyuki: Sadly pumpkins need lot of space and our yard is already filled with herbs,flowers, fruit trees and bushes and crowded with my husbands tomatoes (this year he did quite a job, I am thrilled about the pink and green varieties) so as for pumpkins I planted some yellow pattypan squashs (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pattypan_squash) - they fit in smaller places: just in need on 1m2 each. Maybe next year I could order some bocchan kabocha seeds and give it a try.

Yangsze said...

Wow, your bocchan kabocha looks so delicious! I will have to see whether I can get the seeds here in the US. Is it really sweeter than regular kabocha? Your family is so lucky that you're such a good cook!

Hiroyuki said...

kbjesq: No cooking before dipping. Some people cook in a microwave before dipping, though.

I always serve a dipping sauce, which is a 4-5:1:1 mixture of dashi, soy sauce, and mirin.

Kiki: Thanks for the link. I have never seen or eaten them!

Have you ever considered growing squashes or similar vegetables vertically?

YSC: Store-bought bocchan kabocha are reliably sweet, but unfortunately, this particular bocchan kabocha, given to us by my father, was not sweet enough. The reason is, I think, is that it was not allowed to ripen after harvest.

Ruminating Roy said...

Hiroyuki, the wife and I absolutely love kabocha. They are certainly not the most hard to get vegetable here in Texas, but I tend to horde them when I get them. I have even taken pains to plant a few seeds, though I doubt they will fruit for me (I am terrible at growing things, especially compared to your rented garden plot).

To that end, your tempura looks and sounds amazing! It is always the simplest, easiest things that you post that get me into the kitchen, and I really do owe you a debt of gratitude for what you post here!

Hiroyuki said...

Ruminating Roy: Thank you for such a toughing comment on such a casual post of mine!

Fräulein Trude said...

Hiroyuki: Growing pumpkins vertically? Never thought about it. Guess it can be made if there is a fence or wall.