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Tempura Heaven

Tempura Heaven

November 20, 2009

Occasionally, we have this dish. And each time, new ingredients are on the menu. This time, we had (clockwise from top): 1.) luffas and Italian edible gourds; 2.) onion rings; 3.) halved Anaheim chiles; 4.) sliced Thai eggplant; 5.) tamarind/chile/garlic/shrimp sauce 6.) fresh shiitake mushrooms; 7.) nuoc cham; 8.) the sweet/hot dipping sauce we made from our homegrown chiles; 9.) smelt; and 10.) okra. Except for the mushrooms, all the veggies were homegrown. (Not visible: a bowl of ten-tsuyu dipping sauce -- a mix of dashi, soy sauce and mirin.)

Jeff always makes his own batter from flour, water, an egg, and ice cubes. The little boxes at the store are not only outrageously priced, they taste nothing like his. His takes two minutes to whip up--about the same as packaged--and the flavor is ten times better.