No13 [Cooking] Tempura-Soba
Tempura-Soba (Deep fried prawns and vegetables in batter with soba noodles in a hot broth)
Perhaps one of the most popular noodle dishes in Japan, Tempura-Soba is a perfect marriage between the nation’s two favourite dishes ‘tempura’ and ‘soba noodles’.
Soba is made from buckwheat flour, often mixed with another ingredient such as wheat flour or yams, which helps to hold the noodles together. Buckwheat contains rutin, so people love eating soba for it’s health benefits too.
Tempura is deep fried fish and vegetables in a light batter. They are very fluffy and crispy on the surface, but the inside is tender and juicy. The secret of successful tempura making lies in creating a large difference in tempura between the ingredients and the oil. The colder the ingredients, the lighter and crispier the batter becomes, so it is important to keep the batter mix cold with ice cubes. Don’t try to fry too many tempura at the same time, as it would reduce the oil temperature rapidly. Using dried soba noodles and tempura batter mix, Tempura-Soba is surprisingly uncomplicated to make. You can follow the recipe below and try it at home.
– 75g tempura batter mix / 110ml ice cold water
– minimum 5 cm depth of vegetable oil in a deep frying pan / 2 large prawns
– Your choice of vegetables (aubergine, green peppers, mushrooms etc would be suitable)
For the broth
– 350cc vegetable stock or dashi
– 80cc mirin
– 2 tbsp sugar
– 1 tsp sake
For soba noodles
– 150g soba noodles
– chopped spring onions shichimi spices
How to prepare:
1. Dry off 2 large prawns without the shells and your choice of vegetables with a kitchen towel and keep them chilled until use.
2. Pour 110ml of ice cold water into a mixing bowl.
3. Add a half packet (75g) of Tempura Batter Mix.
4. Stir quickly until the flour is moistened (chopsticks are ideal for stirring). Do not overmix. The batter is perfect when small flour lumps appear at the surface of the mix. For best results place the bowl of inside a larger bowl filled with ice.
1. In a frying pan, heat at least 5cm of oil to about 120-180°C.
2. To test if the oil is hot enough, carefully drop the little of the batter mix. If it sizzles and floats to the surface, the oil is ready.
3. Dip the ingredients in batter and then drain to remove any excess. Place gently into the hot oil. Fry in batches to avoid lowering the temperature. Fry until light golden brown on all sides. Drain on a wine rack or paper towel hen sprinkle with salt for additional seasoning before serving immediately. Always check food is throughly cooked before serving.
1. For the soup, mix all of the soup ingredients together in a sauce pan, bring to a boil, then keep warm at a slow heat until the noodles are cooked.
2. Place a noodle into a large, deep pan of boiling water and simmer for about 5 minutes. The noodles should be cooked through to the centre but still quite firm, Drain and serve immediately in a bowl, pouring soup over the noodles and placing the tempura on a top with chopped spring onion and shichimi spices.