Vegetable Tempura with Chile Dipping Sauce

The Illustrated Quick Cook

Vegetable Tempura with Chile Dipping Sauce

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    Ingredients

    2 tbsp rice wine vinegar 2 eggplants, sliced into thin rounds
    2 tbsp soy sauce 2-3 zucchini, cut into sticks 2½ in (6 cm) long and ½ in (1 cm) wide
    1 tbsp olive oil 2 red bell peppers, seeded and coarsely chopped
    1 tbsp granulated sugar about 2 cups vegetable or sunflower oil for frying
    1 garlic clove, finely grated ¾ cup all-purpose flour
    2 fresh Thai or other red hot chile peppers, seeded and finely chopped 1 tbsp cornstarch
    sea salt and freshly ground black pepper ¾ -1 cup ice water

    directions

    Prep: 15 min Total: 30 min (Quick)
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    • 1

      First, make the dipping sauce. Whisk together the vinegar, soy sauce, oil, sugar, garlic, and chiles, and season with salt and pepper.

    • 2

      Once you have prepared all the vegetables, pour the oil into a wok, and heat until very hot but not smoking.

    • 3

      Meanwhile, make the batter. Whisk together the flour, cornstarch, and ¾ -1 cup ice water. Don't over-mix; it doesn't matter if the batter is a little lumpy.

    • 4

      Drop a little of the batter into the oil, to test whether the oil is hot enough-it should sizzle right away and become crisp. Dip the vegetable pieces one by one into the batter, and shake away the excess batter. Carefully add to the oil, a few at a time, and fry for 2-3 minutes until golden and crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon, and keep warm on a baking sheet lined with paper towels until all the vegetables are cooked. Serve immediately with the chile dipping sauce.

    notes

    For a perfectly crisp tempura coating, the oil needs to be very hot and the batter light, so don't overwhisk the batter or crowd the wok.

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