Crunchy Veggie Tempura

Crispy and airy veggie tempura was a treat for my teething Munchkin.

Munchkin has three new bottom teeth peeking through her gum making her particularly picky about food textures. I can almost feel the discomfort by just watching her trying everything on her high chair table just to spit them out, even cheese and strawberries, eventually reaching for a tostada.

So I decided to fry up tempura for a crunchy snack. I don’t like deep frying at home due to the amount of oil wasted, but this time, I had fun experimenting with green vegetables. I chose asparagus, broccolini, and kale for this little kitchen experiment and threw in a half of sweet potato just in case all fails.

Cut to the chase; broccolini was the winner, to my surprise. Not only that Munchkin happily munched on every single piece of broccolini, but also those bushy heads held the batter pretty well. Kale didn’t keep the batter on as well. Asparagus fried up well but Munchkin flat out refused them.

To make veggie tempura:

a handful of asparagus, a handful of broccolini, two handfuls of kale leaves, a half of sweet potato, 1.5 cups whole wheat pastry flour, 1 cup cornstarch, 2 cups cold water, 1/2 tsp salt, 2 cups cooking oil for deep frying

a. Wash and cut the vegetables and pat them with a kitchen towel. Vegetables should be dry, not soggy.

b. In a plastic bag, combine 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour and 1/2 tsp salt. In a bowl, whisk 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour, 1 cup cornstarch, and 2 cups cold water.
* I added just a tiny bit of salt since I wasn’t going to dip the tempura in soy sauce when serving to Munchkin.

c. Heat the oil in a deep pan or wok. (Oil will splatter a bit.) In small batches, place the veggies in the plastic bag and shake to coat. Take out one piece at a time, dip it into the liquid batter, and place it in the heated oil. As soon as the veggie hits the oil, tiny bubbles will form around it. If not, the oil isn’t hot enough. On the other hand, if the oil is too hot, it can splatter all over so be careful and do not let your toddler near the stove.

d. Fry for about 3 minutes until tempura becomes crispy.

It cooks quickly, and I had no time to take photos of the tempura frying.

In the end, I had one messy kitchen to clean and one happy toddler who dozed off while munching on the tempura.

Crunchy Veggie Tempura

Crispy, crunchy, airy vegetable tempura. Broccolini, asparagus, kale, and sweet potato. A treat for teething toddlers. 

Course Appetizer, Snack
Servings 3
Author whiteblankspace

Ingredients

  • 1 handful asparagus
  • 1 handful broccolini
  • 2 handfuls kale
  • 0.5 sweet potato
  • 1.5 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 2 cups water cold
  • 0.5 tsp salt
  • 2 cups cooking oil for deep frying

Instructions

  1. Wash and cut the vegetables and pat them with a kitchen towel. Vegetables should be dry, not soggy. 

  2. In a plastic bag, combine 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour and 1/2 tsp salt. In a bowl, whisk 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour, 1 cup cornstarch, and 2 cups cold water. 

  3. Heat the oil in a deep pan or wok. (Oil will spatter a bit.) In small batches, place the veggies in the plastic bag and shake to coat. Take out one piece at a time, dip it into the liquid batter, and place it in the heated oil. As soon as the veggie hits the oil, tiny bubbles will form around it. If not, the oil isn't hot enough. On the other hand, if the oil is too hot, it can splatter all over so be careful and do not let your toddler near the stove. 

  4. Fry for about 3 minutes until tempura becomes crispy.

Recipe Notes

* I added just a tiny bit of salt since I wasn't going to dip the tempura in soy sauce when serving to Munchkin.
* Flat kale leaves won't hold the batter well. Use very curly kale or skip the kale and add more broccolini. 

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