Tempura with Japanese Seven Spice

This Japanese classic was originally introduced to Japan by the Portuguese in the 15th century. The light crisp batter perfectly retains the flavour of the vegetables and seafood within. Our Japanese spice blend is a perfect addition.

Serves4-6 Origin Far East
Preparation 30mins Heat rating (Mild)
Cooking 30mins Ease (Average)
Vegetarian No


1-1 tsp Japanese Seven Spice
Enough cooking oil for deep frying (this will depend on the size of your pan) or use a deep fat fryer.
1 egg beaten
250ml ice water
150g flour
3 tbsps dry white wine
3-4tbps flour for dredging lightly
For dipping:
3 tbsp Japanese soy sauce
1 tbsp white wine
½ tsp sugar or
1 tbsp mirin
¼ tsp ginger powder

Vegetables & Fish
The list below are some suggestions, choose 2-3 vegetables and 1or 2 seafood items for variety and interest.

Carrots, cut into thin sticks
Aubergine, thinly sliced
Courgette, thinly sliced
Mushrooms, halved, or whole if small
Fine green beans, whole
Asparagus, bite-sized (deep-fry 3 or 4 sticks together)
Spring onions to dip in batter along with one other vegetables eg, green bean or asparagus.
Butternut squash/pumpkin/chestnut squash, bite-sized thin slices
Mange-tout/snow peas, whole
Cod, bite-sized
Shrimp, peeled, whole. Dip shrimp in the batter by holding the tail fin, and fry two or three at a time.
Scallops, whole if small
Crab, break shell and expose meat before dipping in batter
Squid, sliced into rings or strips


Prepare the seafood and the vegetables before making the batter.
To make the batter: Using ice cold water is a must. This keeps the batter from becoming sticky. Beat the egg and mix with water. When you add the flour, whisk quickly just to mix it in evenly. Add the seven spice to the batter and stir. Sticky batter results in oily tempura.

Heat the oil to 180C. Dredge the prepared fish and vegetables in flour before dipping in batter.Dip the vegetables or fish in the batter and place them in the oil. If it is difficult to handle the vegetable chunks, you can use a tablespoon to drop them in. Do not fry too much at a time, in order to maintain the temperature. Take the tempura out of the oil just when the batter gets SLIGHTLY brown. Vegetables usually take less than two to three minutes. Remember: the thinner the vegetable, the faster it cooks. For fish, the time to pull it out is when the batter turns very slightly brown. Drain the tempura on kitchen paper. Sprinkle a little seven spice over the hot tempura

To make the dipping sauce mix the soy, white wine, mirin (or sugar) and ginger powder.

Serve immediately as a starter or with rice as a main alongside a well flavoured bowl of Miso soup.

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