Monday, January 23, 2012

Comfort Foods Turned Vegan: Veggie Tempura

Veggie Tempura may not be a comfort food for you, but it definitely is for me.  Japanese food is my favorite.  We ate it in my house a lot when I was a kid.  My Aunt Mickey used to come stay with us for several weeks at a time.  She was Japanese and though I don't have too many memories of her, I do remember that she seemed like magic and I have a few vivid kitchen memories.  For instance, she was the first person to let me use a steak knife.  I made a veggie sandwich so tall I could hardly eat it.  I sliced all those veggies myself, though, so I had to eat them even though it wasn't the best sandwich ever...

Can you see how magical she was?  I think she'd like my vegan tempura!  Jill still has excellent posture and as for me?  Hands on the hips is still my signature pose for photos.

 I've made veggie tempura before.  Back when I ate meat I used to make chicken tempura with a sweet honey sauce.  Now I make it for friends if they want it, but I cook the veggies first.  I went about two years without tempura because, well, it's sort of time consuming, and the recipe I used to use called for egg white.  Well, last week J and I decided we should make tempura and eggroll wraps for the non-vegans, (everyone but me!), and I started looking for a new recipe.  Oddly, the one I used was from - I've never used their recipes before, but this one was quite delicious!  

Veggie Tempura 
I altered it to make it gluten free, so I'm writing the version I used

1 cup rice flour 
1/2 tsp salt 
1/2 tsp sugar 
1 tsp baking powder 
1 cup water 
3 tbsp vegetable oil 
oil for frying 
mixed veggies, any kind (I used broccoli, snap peas, green peppers and carrots)


Combine the flour, salt, sugar and baking powder. Slowly add the oil and water until smooth and creamy. Chill for at least 15 minutes. 

Heat several inches of vegetable oil in a wok or large frying pan over high heat. Dip the vegetables in the batter, then drop in the oil. Allow to cook for about 3 minutes, until crisp and lightly golden brown. Drain on paper towels. (I tossed them in a large frying pan with my Agave Sauce.

My Agave Sauce

1/4 cup agave nectar
1/8 cup ketchup
pinch of salt
1tbs rice vinegar

Combine everything together in a large frying pan or wok and heat on medium until boiling. Stir frequently and adjust measurements according to your own desires.  

I added bean sprouts on top to make it look lovely, and I think it did!

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