Oriental vegetable fritters

These fritters are a version of the Japanese tempura–vegetables deep fried in a batter. Tempura batter is different from other fritter batters because it contains no oil or butter and must be used immediately.


serves 4
1 large cauliflower, broken into bite-sized florets
2 bunches large spring onions, trimmed and halved lengthways
500 g (1 lb) carrots, halved lengthways and cut into 6 cm (2 1/2) inch lengths
vegetable oil, for deep-frying


100 g (4 oz) plain flour
1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 egg yolk
200 ml (7 fl oz) cold water

dipping sauce

3 tablespoons tomato puree
1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons clear honey
4 tablespoons chicken stock


1. Make the dipping sauce: stir together the ingredients for the sauce, then divide the mixture between 4 tiny dishes or ramekins. Set aside.

2. Make the batter: sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt and ginger
into a bowl. Beat the egg yolk with the cold water and add gradually to the flour, stirring with a wooden spoon, to make a smooth thin batter.

3. Heat the oven to 130C/250F/Gas 1/2. Heat the oil in a deep-fat frier to 190C/375F, or until a cube of bread browns in 50 seconds.

4. Dip the vegetable pieces a few at a time into the batter. Transfer them to the hot oil with a slotted spoon and deep-fry for about 3 minutes or
until golden brown, turning once with the spoon. Remove from the pan with the slotted spoon and drain well on absorbent paper. Arrange on a warmed large serving platter and keep warm in the oven while frying the remaining vegetable pieces in the same way.

5. Serve the fritters as soon as they are all cooked: provide each person with a bowl of sauce so that they can dip their vegetables into it.

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