In Japan, tempura over rice is simply called tendon. It's a shortened word for tempura donburi. You can certainly use any veggies, herbs, fish, seafood for the topping. Normally, large shrimp along with several varieties of vegetables are made into tempura. I like using shiso leaves. Shiso is sometimes called perilla in English and is often used in sushi restaurants - looks like big leaves somewhat similar to large basil leaves but with more texture. I love the taste of shiso and although some people compare shiso leaves to mint, I don't find them similar. Some of the vegetables you can use for tempura include (but not limited to) Japanese eggplant, sweet green Japanese pepper called shishito, kabocha pumpkin, onion, carrots, zucchini, shiso leaves, mushrooms, shitake mushrooms, sweet potato, potato, green beans, and leafy veggie, etc. I am revising this recipe to change the batter ingredients to US measurement for easier preparation. .
- 6 cups cooked medium-grain rice (Japanese sushi style rice)
- 8 (1 ounce) shrimp, in shells without heads
- 4 fresh shiitake mushrooms
- 1 medium yellow onions or 1 medium white onion
- 4 shiso leaves (or any other veggie of choice)
For Tempura Sauce
- 1⁄2 cup dashi
- 3 tablespoons mirin
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 egg
- 1⁄2 cup ice water
- 1⁄4 cup flour, plus
- 2 -2 1⁄2 tablespoons flour
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 ice cubes
- vegetable oil, for deep-frying
- flour, for dusting
- Remove shell from shrimp and devein, leaving tails. Cut off the tip of tails. Score underside (stomach side) of shrimp using a knife at several places to flatten. Use your fingers to flatten out completely after scoring.
- Trim stems from shitake mushrooms and shiso leaves.
- Remove skin from onion, and cut into 1/4 inch rings (like onion rings).
- Place tempura sauce ingredients in a pan and bring to a boil and simmer 2-3 minutes. Keep warm.
- For batter, combine egg and ice water in a bowl, add flour combined with cornstarch and mix very lightly. Place two ice cubes in the mixture to keep it cool and to improve the batter texture. Do not over mix.
- Preheat oil to 350 degrees F. Dust shrimps and vegetable pieces with extra flour for dusting, then coat with tempura batter and deep fry. Fry few pieces at a time to keep the oil temperature constant.
- Tempura pieces are done when they are lightly colored and crisp looking. Do not over cook.
- Place approximately 1 1/2 C cooked rice each into 4 bowls and place tempura pieces evenly onto hot rice and sprinkle some sauce over the rice tempura bowl.
This was an ok starter recipe, but I was disappointed that the veggies did not stay crisp. After about a minute of cooling off, the outside coating was soft (I like mine crispy).
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I've wanted to try one of your authentic Japanese recipes for a long time, and this was a sensational place to start. I've never made tempura at home before, and am delighted to know it is so easy to prepare. Your instructions are excellent. Today I used prawns, red bell peppers, onions and dried shiitake mushrooms that I'd soaked in hot water. The tempura sauce is the perfect finishing touch for this dish. I will make this often in future, and will try a variety of ingredients. Thanks so much!