|I love the vibrant colours of these vegetables!|
I love to use bright and colourful vegetables in my cooking. They are visually pleasing and eating a colourful range of fruits and vegetables daily is also good for our health. Over here, I have red (bell pepper), white (enoki mushrooms), green (lady's finger and parsley), orange (carrot) and purple (sweet potato). Not only are these vegetables healthy and delicious, I think brightly-coloured vegetables also helps to lift one's mood and energy level!
|Kakiage Udon, or Mixed Tempura Udon, served with clear soup or Japanese curry|
I used these colourful vegetables to prepare mixed tempura to go with Udon, served 2 ways: clear soup (dashi) and Japanese curry.
To make the mixed tempura:
You need very little amount of each type of vegetables to make the mixed tempura. So, this is one good recipe to "clear" some leftover vegetables from your fridge. For me, I used about half a carrot, a small piece of sweet potato, a small chunk of sweet bell pepper, one small lady's finger, one to two stalks of parsley etc. I made 3 big pieces of mixed tempura with the vegetables shown in the top picture. Try to cut all the vegetables into the same size to ensure even cooking. If you like, you can also add some crab sticks or shrimps into the mixed tempura.
1) Prepare the tempura batter in a mixing bowl. I used ready-mix tempura flour: 60g flour mix with 100ml water.
2) Add in all the vegetables and mix well. You just need a thin coat of tempura batter for the vegetables. Divide the tempura mixture into individual portions. Place one portion of tempura mixture in a rice bowl.
3) Heat sufficient oil in wok for deep-frying. When oil is moderately hot (test: immerse a pair of wooden chopsticks in the hot oil and bubbles will form around it), slide the tempura mixture from the bowl into the hot oil. Flip the tempura over to the other side after 30 to 40 seconds. Fry both sides till golden brown and drain on kitchen paper. Repeat for the remaining tempura batter.
|Preparing your own tempura udon at home|
To make the clear soup (dashi):
About 1/4 bonito flakes; 2 cups water; 1 tbsp mirin; 2 to 3 tbsp Japanese soy sauce (or to taste) - I used sukiyaki sauce.
Put water in pot and bring to boil. Add the bonito flakes and boil it gently for about 5 minutes. Sieve the stock and discard the bonito flakes. Add in the mirin and soy sauce. The dashi is ready.
To make the Japanese curry:
Half a onion, cut into small wedges
Half a carrot, cut into small chunks
2 instant Japanese curry stock-cube
Heat a little oil in a pot and stir-fry the onion till translucent. Add in the carrot, about 3.5 cups of water and the curry cubes. Cover and let it come to a boil, then lower to medium-low heat and cook till carrots become soft. I added 2 tbsp of mashed pumpkin to thicken the curry gravy (this is optional).
To serve the Mixed Tempura Udon:
Cook fresh udon in boiling water (per instructions on package), drain and place in individual bowls. Pour clear soup base or curry gravy over the udon and top with crispy tempura. For clear soup udon, you may want to serve the tempura separately to prevent it from turning soggy.
I will be sharing this recipe with Cuisine Paradise at her hosted event, June $20 Budget Meal - Noodles.
Estimated cost to prepare the above meal (serves 3):
Udon ($3.00) + bonito flakes/curry stock cubes ($1.50) + mixed vegetables ($1)
Total estimate cost: $5.50