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Vegetable Tempura

These deep-fried fritters are based on kaki-age, a Japanese dish that often incorporates fish and prawns as well as vegetables.

ingredients

serves 4
2 medium courgettes
1/2 medium aubergine
1 large carrot
1/2 small Spanish onion
1 egg
120 ml (4 fl oz) 1/2 cup iced water
115 g (4 oz) l cup plain flour
salt and ground black pepper
vegetable oil, for deep-frying
sea salt flakes, lemon slices and Japanese soy sauce (shoyu), to serve

method

1. Using a potato peeler, pare strips of peel from the courgettes and aubergine to give a striped effect.

2. Cut the courgettes, aubergine and carrot into strips about 7.5 - 10 cm ( 3 - 4 in) long and 3 mm (1/8 in) wide.

3. Put the courgettes, aubergine and carrot into a colander and sprinkle liberally with salt. Leave for about 30 minutes, then rinse thoroughly under - cold running water. Drain well.

4. Thinly slice the onion from top to base, discarding the plump pieces in the middle. Separate the layers so that there are lots of fine, long strips. Mix all the vegetables together and season with salt and pepper.

5. Make the batter immediately before frying. Mix the egg and iced water in a bowl, then sift in the flour. Mix briefly with a fork or chopsticks. Do not overmix; the batter should remain lumpy. Add the vegetables to the batter and mix to combine.

6. Half-fill a wok with oil and heat to 180°C (350°F). Scoop up one heaped tablespoon of the mixture at a time and carefully lower it into the oil. Deep-fry in batches for about 3 minutes, until golden brown and crisp. Drain on kitchen paper. Serve each portion with salt, slices of lemon and a tiny bowl of Japanese soy sauce for dipping.

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