HOW TO CREATE A FUSS-FREE JAPANESE TEMPURA MEAL

Last weekend, I tried my hand at creating another Japanese meal. This time, it was unhealthy, it was greasy (but really not that much), but my entire family loved it anyways.

Either my sister and I have great estimation skills when it came to portions, or the food was really yummy. I choose to think it’s the latter : )

We created six dishes that day, along with Japanese rice (another attempt to make full use of the expensive rice phwoah).

If you prefer a slightly easier four step plan, check out my previous post. But read on anyway 😀

#1 JAPANESE RICE

I used Kokuho Rice which can be purchased from Cold Storage.

Cook time 20-30 minutes

1. Cook the sushi rice as you would for normal rice (that is, rinse the grains. I used 1 cup of sushi rice to 1.5 cups of water in the rice measuring cup, and cooked them in a rice cooker).
2. Once it’s cooked, and while it’s hot, remove the rice from the cooker and mix it with 1 to 1.5 tablespoons of sushi seasoning.
3. Let it cool to room temperature – my sister likes to fan the rice for some reason.

#2 JAPANESE SALAD

This one is so easy, you wouldn’t believe it either. Take your local cabbage and shred it with a vegetable shredder, opt for the side which shreds it into thicker, longer pieces. We chopped up some Japanese cucumber and garnished it on the top. For additional colour, use your local cabbage and purple cabbage and mix it up. Proceed to place on serving plate, and top with mayonaise or coleslaw.

#3 TEMPURA GALOREEEEEE

And this is where you indulge. We used whatever we had that was in the fridge, and somehow ended up going vegetarian.

I used crab sticks (leftovers from the pack that we used for my sushi roll), zucchini and shitake mushrooms. As for the prawns, we cheated and used the frozen battered ebi prawns which we got from the store. I really love the tempura recipe from RasaMalaysia and which I’ve included below. The batter was light, and not too overwhelming despite it being deep fried. Do visit her site for more yummy recipes.

Tempura Batter:
1/2 cup plain flour
1/2 cup corn flour or rice flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg yolk
2/3 cup ice cold water
Oil for deep frying

1. Sift together the dry ingredients and set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, beat the egg slightly and mix with the ice water.
3. Stir in the dry ingredients. Stir only until mixed; mixture will be slightly lumpy.
4. Dip vegetables into the batter and deep fry until golden brown.
5. Fry ingredients a few at a time. Too big a batch may change the temperature of the oil.
6. Drain on paper towels and served immediately.

Collated these points when preparing we were preparing batter and deep-frying
– Ensure your water is cold. And when you’ve combined all the ingredients, don’t like the mixture turn warm.
– When you think your oil is hot enough, do a quick test first by placing a chopstick in the middle of the pan/wok. If bubbles emerge around the chopstick, the oil is ready.
– Always make sure your ingredients are dry, if not, use a paper towel and pat them. When submerging wet ingredients in oil, it tends to create a splatter and the last thing you want is a messy kitchen, and even worse, burns on your hands.
– Drain your ingredients from the oil, but don’t keep it out in the open for too long. These fried items are best served hot.

#4 Edamame

Once again, fool proof method is to use NTUC Fairprice’s house brand for these. Simply boil water, and pour the water over the beans in a separate bowl. Then cover till cooked.

Complete the meal with cold Japanese brown rice tea. It was a really hot day plus the tea helps to cleanse your system of all the consumed oily food. To more Japanese meals!

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