Tempura. You love it. You may get your sushi rolls coated in it. And you’ve probably never made it yourself. Obviously, this is a food best left to the professionals, right?
Maybe, if you don’t like having fun at home or don’t like being able to coat whatever you want in tempura batter and frying it. I, on the other hand, want to fry whatever I want, and today, I want to fry meaty oyster mushrooms, drizzle them with faux honey, and dip them into a salty & sauce. If that sounds like a good idea to you too, then keep on reading my friend!
If you’ve ever looked into tempura before, you’ve probably seen that it’s regarded as being highly difficult to make, which may be the case if it weren’t for the internet, but because the internet does exist, you can successfully make tempura on your first try. before we get there though, it’s important to know what makes good tempura good.
Let’s use a bulleted list to share some info with you (I sure do love bullet points):
- Good tempura batters contain little gluten because gluten makes batter heavy and chewy, not light and crispy. To get around this, we use a mix of cake flour (low protein wheat flour) and rice flour, which obviously contains no gluten.
- Good tempura batters are light, which makes the final product crispy while keeping the focus on the ingredient. To achieve an impeccably light batter we use sparkling water, which imparts tiny little bubbles all throughout the batter.
- Good tempura is cooked quick, that way, the food doesn’t get overcooked or become greasy. To make sure these things don’t happen, we want to use at least 2 quarts of oil, fry in small batches, and carefully keep our oil temperature between 375-400° F. A large amount of oil allows for quick temperature recovery, frying in small batches prevents the oil from dipping in temperature, and 375-400° F will cook the mushrooms in under 1 minute.
- Good batter is always cold because low temperatures allow gluten to set at a slow pace, which will make our tempura crispy instead of gummy and chewy.
- One last thing: every tempura recipe I’ve read contains an egg, which is why we replaced it with a vegan egg by Follow Your Heart, which binds the batter and helps it brown.
Trust me, as you long you follow directions, tempura is a breeze to make – it’s quick, it’s simple, and it’s highly rewarding once you’re digging in!
If you like what your tastebuds are tellin’ ya, leave behind a nice rating, share your thoughts with us in the comments, or show us your creations by tagging @noeggsorham on Instagram.
Go Forth and Fry,
Honey Glazed Tempura Oyster Mushrooms (vegan)
Meaty oyster mushrooms fried in light & crispy tempura, drizzled with xylitol honey and served with salty & tangy dipping sauce.
- 20 medium sized oyster mushrooms
- 32 g cake flour (1/4 c)
- 30 g rice flour (1/4 c)
- 1/2 tbsp vegan egg powder by Follow Your Heart
- 6 oz (3/4 c) sparkling water, chilled
- 2 qts refined oil (refined coconut, soy, avocado, or canola all work)
- xylitol honey or apple honey
- 2 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1/2 tsp Sriracha paste
- Place oil in a large cast iron dutch oven (or electric deep fryer), snap on a candy thermometer, and bring temperature to 375° F over high heat.
- Ensure mushrooms are in separate pieces and not all clumped together. If there’s any moisture on their surface, pat them with paper towel to remove as much as possible.
- Set up an oil draining rig next to the dutch oven by placing a cooling rack on top of an upside down cookie sheet with a layer of paper towels in between them.
- Once the temperature of the oil reaches 360° F, it’s time to make your batter! In a medium bowl, whisk together cake flour, rice flour, and vegan egg powder until thoroughly combined.
- Pour in sparkling water and whisk until batter just comes together; about 10 seconds of whisking. Clumps are okay – it’s most important that you don’t over mix. Place bowl of batter into a larger bowl that’s filled with ice to keep it cold.
- Once temperature reaches 375° F, place first batch of mushrooms (about 6 at a time) into the batter and use tongs to coat them thoroughly. Pull one mushroom out using tongs, shake off as much excess batter as possible, place it in oil, and repeat for the rest in the batch.
- Note: anywhere in the 375-400° F range is okay, but you don’t want to go any higher or lower than that.
- Frying time varies, but you want to fry them until they’re just lightly golden, which is about 20 seconds, flip them and fry ’em on their second side, about another 20 seconds. Remove to draining rig using a spider (the tool, not the arachnid).
- Repeat steps 6, 7, and 8 until all of the mushrooms are fried. If you have guests waiting to eat, put out a batch every time they’re done because tempura’s best right out the fryer.
- Mix together all of the sauce ingredients in a small bowl. To serve, drizzle mushrooms lightly with xylitol honey and serve with sauce.