Friday, April 22, 2011

Tempura Thursday

Yeah, we know Tempura Tuesday would sound better, but that's not how it went down. When we do tempura, we go all out. No use in stinking up the kitchen and making a mess with the oil if you're not going to get serious about it.

We've been calling the green leaves "sesame leaves", but some searching makes it sound like they're perilla or shiso in Japanese. Basically, it's Japanese basil. It seems like whenever we get tempura at restaurants this is always one of the bits you get.

We laugh now at our horrible attempts at tempura before we came to Japan. We're no experts now but we know enough to use ice water when making the batter and not make it too thick. We're not making onion rings - although, in a sense, we are, aren't we? Yummy!

We're obsessed with this tempura paper that we buy at the dollar store which soaks up the oil. Also at Daiso we buy oil filter papers so we can clean and reuse our oil. Brilliant.

The sauce we make is just a basic tempura sauce, but it tastes like Japan to us now. I think it's this recipe. Japanese sauces are really sweet. We use a vegetarian dashi stock bouillon cube we get at the organic store the next town over.

We're always kind of subconsciously hoarding ingredients that people have brought or sent us or that we've bought in a big city. But now that we're leaving much earlier than we thought we're pushed to try to use these things up over the next few weeks. I have an almost full bottle of blackstrap molasses, so in that vein, I made ginger snaps and these gingerbread scones (with carob chips and orange flavored cranberries (thanks Gina!).

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