Preparation / Directions:
Before you begin here a few essential tips to remember: you'll need a deep thick wall pan ( wok o.k. ), filled with 1 inch of peanut oil preferred ( Never lard or shortening ),slice vegetables thin enough for even cooking, fry in small batches and never crowd, and have the temperature of the oil from 340F for vegetables or 360F for fish. Cold water in batter is a must to keep the flour from being sticky .
Do a trial try of frying so you'll know how long vegetables or fish need to cook. Author did not mention poultry but I surmise it would be cooked as the fish is. Vegetables and fish were the initial things cooked this way in the history of tempura due to their trade with the Portuguese and Dutch merchants.
Make the batter: Beat egg with water. Mix in flour and whisk quickly. Set aside.
Make the tempura dip: Boil the dashi no moto ( this is a dried soup stock from fish or poultry usually contained in tea bag type of packing )in the water for 2 or 3 minutes. Turn off the heat and add all the remaining ingredients. Prepare the vegetables or fish but cutting into rings, strips, cubes etc.
For fish, dredge in flour before dipping in batter. Vegetables are just dipped into the batter. Let excess batter drip off with either fish or vegetables.( meanwhile you will have had the oil preheated in the pan to the right temperature for either fish or vegetables Drop into oil by hand or use a tbs for vegetable cubes. Take the vegetables or fish out of the oil when slightly browned. Serve the tempura with the Tentsuyu dip along with rice.
Place rice in a bowl, top with tempura and a few tbs. of the tentsuyu dip.
Or serve tempura over Japanese noodles ( soba ).
Note: all Japanese ingredients may be found readily in most supermarkets or gourmet grocers today. Also, there are other variations in frying tempura; this is one basic historic method. Prior to using peanut oil, sesame seed oil was used mainly when tempura first became popular in Japan, over 400 years ag