Appetizers, Recipes

Vegan Vegetable Tempura

Tempura, everyone’s favourite fried vegetables. Tempura is a light and airy batter typically found in Japanese restaurants. The batter is often made with iced sparkling water, flour, eggs, baking soda, starch and oil. Obviously there is one very big issue in that batter for vegans; eggs. We took to the kitchen to a just as light and airy Vegan Vegetable Tempura.

Tempura is a staple for us. Anytime we’d go out to sushi restaurants, tempera was a must. Everything from yam tempura to shrimp and pumpkin. We’re ordering it as an appetizer plus we’re also probably ordering some yam tempura rolls. However being vegan makes this much more difficult and it’s a dish we’re simply not prepared to give up. Instead we make our own homemade tempura – which is actually easier than it sounds.

It’s a simple batter, that’s very thin. It’s super important that it not be thick as you won’t get the light and fluffy batter that’s the tempura signature. This means you need to have a higher ratio or wt to dry ingredients than normal batters. In this recipe we’re using ice cold soda water as the carbonation helps keep it airy. You can use ice cold tap water if you’d like, you just won’t get as fluffy a batter. Whatever water you choose it’s key for it to be ICE COLD. Which means whenever you’re not using the batter bowl – keep it in the fridge.

To replace the eggs that are typically used in tempura, we used everyone’s favourite bean water: AQUAFABA. That’s right this magically bean water not only makes delicious Chocolate Mouse and Marshmallow Fluff but also tempura! A light whisk gives the aquafaba a frothy consistency, equivalent to that of egg whites. We got this technique from restaurants around Toronto that are beginning to use it in place of eggs. We love when restaurants want to be more vegan friendly.

Check out the full recipe and video below.

Vegan Vegetable Tempura

Course Appetizer
Cuisine Japanese, Sushi
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 6 people

Ingredients

Tempura Batter

  • 1/4 cup cold aquafaba
  • 1 cup ice cold soda water , plus more to thin batter
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • pinch salt
  • pinch brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3 tbsp oil

Vegetable Tempura

  • 1/2 crown broccoli , chopped into bite sized florets
  • 1 medium sweet potato , sliced into 1/4" rounds
  • 150 grams green beans , ends trimmed
  • 1 bunch green onions , chopped into 3" pieces
  • 1 bunch chives
  • vegetable oil , for frying

Instructions

  • Important tip: Anytime you are not using the tempura batter make sure to keep it in the fridge. It needs to be ice cold to work out the best. 
  • To make the tempura, add aquafaba to a medium bowl and vigorously whisk until foamy. Add the soda water while continually whisking to keep the foam. Add the flour, salt, brown sugar and baking powder and whisk until smooth. Add the oil and mix until smooth - if the batter is thick add another splash of soda water to thin it out. It should be like a crepe batter. Store in the fridge until ready to use. 
  • In a dutch oven or a deep pot pour in the vegetable oil until it's about 2" deep. Heat until 350F. 
  • Add the chopped vegetables to the batter and coat. Place individually in the hot oil and fry until golden brown or about 3-4 minutes. Remember not to over-crowd the oil as this is a serious safety hazard. Check out our deep frying safety tips for more information. 
  • Place fried tempura on a plate with paper towel to absorb any extra grease. Serve with soy sauce or spicy mayo. 

How to make Vegan Vegetable Tempura