Kakiage Tempura Recipe

A plate of kakiage tempura
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Ratings (26)
  • Total: 30 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 15 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings (serves 4)
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
209 Calories
8g Fat
26g Carbs
8g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 servings (serves 4)
Amount per serving
Calories 209
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 8g 11%
Saturated Fat 2g 8%
Cholesterol 59mg 20%
Sodium 499mg 22%
Total Carbohydrate 26g 9%
Dietary Fiber 4g 13%
Protein 8g
Calcium 86mg 7%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Kakiage is a popular kind of tempura in Japan, especially in the home because different ingredients (usually leftovers) are mixed together in tempura batter before deep-frying. Various vegetables, onion, carrot, burdock root, trefoil, mushrooms, and all kinds of seafood can be used - there are no restrictions.

The main difference between kakiage and other forms of tempura is that whole eggs are used for better consistency and taste. Kakiage is often served over a bowl of freshly steamed rice.

In restaurants, depending on the level of the chefs, all kinds of kakiage are served and make for hearty meals. Shizuoka has a specialty that everyone in Japan wishes to sample.

Ingredients

  • 1 onion (thinly sliced, about 2 cups)
  • 1/2 large carrot (cut into thin strips, 1/2 cup)
  • 1/4 lb. scallops (shredded)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup water (ice)
  • 1 cup flour (all-purpose)
  • 1 tbsp. vegetable oil (for frying, or as needed)

Steps to Make It

  1. Cut the vegetables into thin strips, about 2 inches each, and all of the same size. Cut the seafood, whether cuttlefish or shrimp or tuna, into the same size strips.

  2. Beat an egg in a large bowl.

  3. Add ice water in the bowl. Add sifted flour in the bowl and mix lightly.

  4. Heat oil to 340 F in a deep pan.

  5. Add onion slices, carrot strips, and scallops in the tempura batter, and mix together.

  6. Take a scoop of the mixture with a large spoon and slip into the oil.

  7. Shape the piece, using chopsticks or a cooking tong until firm.

  8. Deep-fry until browned on both sides.

  9. Drain and serve with tempura dipping sauce.

Cooking Tips

  • The difference between good and bad tempura lies in the batter itself. You don’t want to have a soggy oily tempura that leaves you with a greasy taste in your mouth. You want the tempura to be light and crispy, having a good crunchy sound on the first bite and keeping you wanting more. Here's how:

  • Always mix the tempura batter with chopsticks or a spoon, never a whisk. Overmixing the batter can make it heavy.

  • Only use icy-cold water for the tempura batter to make it stick together better and absorb less oil.

  • The oil must be hot before you drop in the batter. Test it first with just a bit of the batter. If the batter floats to the surface with a slight frying sound, the oil is ready.

  • The vegetables and the seafood should be cut to the same size to create a consistent texture.

  • If you keep the tempura to a smaller size, you'll get a better crunch, and the inside will be fully cooked.

  • Drain all the excess oil after frying the tempuras. You don’t want to have oily tempuras.

  • Tempura is best when eaten fresh. If you make it before-hand, or if you have some left over, you can heat it again by dipping it in the hot oil for just 30 seconds to make it crispy again.