Beer Batter Tempura
Yes, we love our vegetables -- but we also love our fried things, especially during football season. Enter the unhealthy but undoubtedly delicious tempura, the ultimate combination of crispy vegetables and fried batter goodness we crave.
The tempura recipes you'll find online call for anything from ice water, to seltzer, to vodka to mix into the batter; obviously, we went for a beer. We used a balanced amber ale for our recipe, but you could also try a hefeweizen or even a saison (like our Jalapeno Saison) to add a little more flavor to the batter. Like we found with our Moroccan Beer Battered Onion Rings, the proteins in the beer give our vegetables an extra crisp we couldn't resist!
We used chopped up asparagus and zucchini "fries" for our tempura, but you can easily substitute your favorite veggies: green beans, sweet potatoes, broccoli, yellow squash, whatever you prefer. The more veggies you have, the more you have to feed a hungry crowd. Whip up an aioli for dipping (our beer aioli recipe is below), or serve with a dumpling or tempura sauce.
What You Need
- 1 cup of mayonnaise
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 1 12-ounce bottle of amber or hefeweizen beer, plus 3/4 cup for aioli dipping sauce
- 2 cups of all-purpose flour, plus extra for flouring
- 2 tablespoons of kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon of garlic salt
- 1 teaspoon of paprika (optional)
- 1 stalk of asparagus, halved
- 2 zucchinis, sliced or cut into "fries"
- 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
- 1 lemon, halved (optional)
What You Do
- Mix mayonnaise, 3/4 cup of beer, and garlic in a small bowl for the aioli. Add salt or lemon juice to taste. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the beer, salt, garlic salt, and paprika (optional). Gently mix beer into flour; wait for foam to die down, about 15 to 20 minutes. You want to break up the large clumps of flour, but not over-mix. Lumps are OK!
- Wash and slice your vegetables, and coat in extra flour.
- Heat oil in wok or large-bottomed skillet over low to medium heat, until the temperature reaches 350 degrees Farenheit. Dip your vegetables in small batches in the batter to lightly coat (tongs make the process less messy).
- Carefully place the veggies in the wok, being careful to not place them too close to each other (as they will stick together). Fry in batches until the veggies are golden brown, about 3 to 5 minutes. You may add more oil as you fry, but be careful to not add too much throughout, as the vegetables will get oily. Place on plate covered in a paper towel, to absorb the extra cooking oil.
- Transfer vegetables to large plate or serving platter. Squeeze half of a lemon over vegetables, if desired, and serve with aioli dipping sauce, tempura sauce, or dumpling sauce. Makes 4-6 servings.