I had no freakin idea how easy it is to make tempura until I decided to try and looked through a few recipes. I settled on trying a very simple beer-batter tempura. Simply whisk together 1 & ½ cups of beer (the beer needs to be light in color), 1 & ½ cups of cake flour, and 1 & ½ teaspoons of salt and that’s it! Dip whatever it is you are frying into the batter, let the excess drip off, and drop it into some hot frying oil. I set my fryer to 375 degrees so that the batter would cook fast once dropped into the oil and not stick to the first thing it touches. If you are using a deep fryer do not put your tempura in the basket before dropping into the oil. Your items will stick to the basket and lose some of their fluffy crust.
I decided to just make a bowl of various tempura items that we would enjoy. I used shrimp (I couldn’t get jumbo shrimp at the time), green beans, large slices of portobello mushroom, broccoli, and yellow squash. I threw together a soy dipping sauce by adding a tablespoon of finely grated ginger and garlic to ¼ cup of soy. Then, I added a tablespoon of sesame oil, a couple of tablespoons of rice vinegar, and a teaspoon of sugar. Oh ya, and some green onions.
I was so surprised how quick and easy it was to put together a shrimp and vegetable tempura dinner… and it was delicious. This tempura batter turned out to be everything I could want in tempura and more. The amount of salt in it is perfect and the beer flavor is subtle but definitely present. If you want to make a regular tempura (although I don’t know why you would unless you are allergic to beer or are making tempura banana for dessert) you can just replace the beer with sparkling water.