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.
- 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)
- 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.
- Beat an egg in a large bowl.
- Add ice water in the bowl. Add sifted flour in the bowl and mix lightly.
- Heat oil to 340 F in a deep pan.
- Add onion slices, carrot strips, and scallops in the tempura batter, and mix together.
- Take a scoop of the mixture with a large spoon and slip into the oil.
- Shape the piece, using chopsticks or a cooking tong until firm.
- Deep-fry until browned on both sides.
- Drain and serve with tempura dipping sauce.
- 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.
|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
|Total Fat||8 g|
|Saturated Fat||2 g|
|Unsaturated Fat||5 g|
|Dietary Fiber||4 g|