Tempura veggies

These crunchy, crispy and delicious veggies are easy to make as long as you are super-careful with the hot oil… Please read the warning below before you start!


Fresh from the garden: zucchini, zucchini flowers, capsicum, eggplant, carrot
Recipe source: adapted from a recipe by Damian Heads in Ready Steady Cook


  • Bowls – big, small
  • Chopping board & knife
  • Paper towel, plate
  • Zip-lock freezer bag
  • Rolling pin
  • Tea towel
  • Measures –  jug, cup
  • Whisk
  • Saucepan
  • Tongs, slotted spoon
  • Serving plates

  • Vegetable or Rice Bran oil, for deep frying
  • 1 cup self-raising flour
  • 3 ice cubes
  • 200-300ml soda water
  • A selection of veggies: bokchoy, zucchini, zucchini flowers, capsicum, eggplant etc


What to do:

  • Pre-heat the oven to 150C and line a baking tray with paper towel.
  • Wash the vegetables thoroughly, separating any leaves and drying well. Slice any firm vegetables into thin strips or slices. If using zucchini flowers, check to make sure there aren’t any ants or bugs inside each flower & remove the stamen.
  • Take 3 ice cubes from the freezer and zip into a plastic freezer bag.  Place the bag onto the chopping board, cover with the tea towel and bash a few times with the rolling pin to form crystals.
  • Measure the flour and 200ml soda water into a big bowl, add the crushed ice and then whisk to make a batter – do not over mix, the flour should still be a little lumpy. If it’s too thick then add a little more soda water but you’ll need it to be thick enough to cling!
  • Pour the oil into a medium saucepan until one-third full. Heat over medium-high heat until hot. SEE WARNING!
  • Using tongs, dip each vegetable piece into the batter allowing excess to run off, then carefully lower one at a time into the pan to deep fry, until a few are cooking at the same time in batches. Fry for a minute or two, then scoop out with the slotted spoon on to the lined baking tray and place back in the oven with the door slightly ajar.
  • Finish all the veggies – then divide among serving plates & eat hot!


  • Whenever working with hot oil, take extreme care and keep small children and pets well away.
  • Never leave hot oil unattended. Never fill the pan more than half way with oil.
  • Make sure any saucepan handle is turned in & not overhanging the stove.
  • Drop food to fry in carefully, using tongs – and make sure the food isn’t wet or the water will make the oil spit!

Notes: Why do we need to take care around hot oil and never leave the pan unattended? Why can we not fill the pan more than half full? Why should the handle be turned in?


Bashing out the ice-cubes for tempura

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