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Tempura Vegetables (Gluten-Free)


Photo: CC/norwichnuts

I never thought I would get to eat tempura again, once I went gluten-free. Then I found this recipe. Not only is the following tempura batter recipe gluten-free, it is also, egg-free, dairy-free, corn-free, nut-free, and soy-free. In fact, there are so few ingredients in this batter, that most diets can probably eat it safely. Tempura can be made for breakfast, lunch, dinner or dessert. I don't like to eat too many greasy or fried foods, so I like to eat tempura as a side dish combined with rice and a salad for a more balanced meal. This is a thin, but crispy batter, which is a nice light alternative to other heavier tempura batters.


Tempura Vegetables (Gluten-Free)
Batter Serves: 6

Tempura Ingredients:

  • 2 cups rice flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 cups cold carbonated water

Vegetable Ideas:

  • Sweet Potato
  • Yams
  • broccoli
  • carrots
  • cauliflower
  • asparagus
  • mushrooms
  • zucchini
  • eggplant
  • bell peppers

Serve with traditional Tentsuyu dipping sauce

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Ingredients:
¼ cup gluten-free vegetable stock, or dashi if you have it
1 Tablespoon Sugar or sugar substitute
¼ cup gluten-free Tamari
1 Tablespoon Rice Vinegar
¼ cup Water

Heat all the sauce ingredients in a small pan until the sugar is dissolved. Set aside to cool.

Note: The thicker the vegetable, the longer it will take to cook. You may want to blanch thicker vegetable like sweet potato before frying. Softer vegetables like mushrooms and eggplant do not require blanching. Also, try to cook like-sized pieces to avoid over or under cooking. I cut my vegetables into approximately 1 inch pieces in length, and ¼ inch in width. Avoid overcrowding your veggies and leave plenty of room to keep them from sticking together. Also if you use meat, be sure your meat is cooking thoroughly to avoid eating raw or undercooked meat.

When you drop a batter coated veggie in, little pieces of batter will explode off the veggie outward like tempura fireworks. These pieces indicate that your batter is hot enough. The veggies should cook for 40 seconds to 1 minute and feel crispy when you knock them around. You don’t need them to be golden brown, so don’t wait for that.

To make:

  1. Preheat vegetable or high heat oil in a deep pan to approx. 350 F.
  2. Combine the dry ingredients in a medium size mixing bowl.
  3. Add the carbonated water and whisk until smooth.
  4. Lightly dip ingredients in the batter and immediately fry them until crispy. It takes longer to fry vegetables than to fry seafood.
  5. Drain tempura on a rack or paper towels.
  6. Serve right away with gluten-free soy sauce or your favorite dipping sauce.
  7. Tempura is best served fresh and hot.

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