Kakiage is a type of tempura made up of a mix of sliced vegetables and sometimes seafood. The name kakiage comes from how it’s made – namely by mixing (kakimazeru) and frying (ageru) different ingredients together. You can eat it as an appetizer on its own, or serve it on top of a bowl of rice, soba or udon.
Kakiage is a very popular type of tempura to make at home. Perhaps that’s because it allows you to turn the leftover veggies in your fridge into something beautiful and delicious. Or maybe it’s because deep-fried veggies are more forgiving than deep-fried anything else. Either way, the final dish is more than the sum of its parts!
An important element of washoku is to consider the visual aspect of your food. Some people use a cooking ring to make their kakiage perfectly circular, but I prefer the wild fuzzball aesthetic 😉
Another way to increase kakiage’s visual appeal is to use ingredients with contrasting colours. And it just so happens that the humblest of pantry staple vegetables often do just that.
Our recipe below uses onion, carrot and green bean. If you’re feeling adventurous you can add or substitute with the ingredients below, or whatever else might tickle your fancy. Just remember to cut your ingredients into a similar shape/thickness so everything cooks evenly.
- shiitake mushrooms
- sweet potatoes
- burdock root
- snow peas
- sakura ebi
- 「PREP」Make tempura batter. Peel the carrot and onion, and cut the tops off the green beans. Cut carrot and onion into thin slices. Cut the green beans into 1-2cm long pieces.
- Put the cut veggies in a bowl, add the flour and lightly mix.
- Heat the oil to 175ºC. Add the flour-coated veggies to the tempura batter and gently mix until just coated.
- Use a ladle and cooking chopsticks to scoop a clump of batter-coated veggies and lower it into the deep-frying pot*. Use the chopsticks to scatter and mix the veggies, then gather them together again. A mesh skimmer comes in handy here.
- Fry for 1-1.5 minutes per side, then remove from oil and drain on a paper towel-lined rack. Serve hot, with tentsuyu for dipping.
Did you make this recipe?
Please let us know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and tag @oishiwashokurecipes on Instagram and hashtag it #oishiwashokurecipes.