Gluten-Free Tempura Vegetables (Crispy Fried)
These easy-to-make gluten-free Tempura Vegetables are an assortment of vegetables that are lightly fried in a delicious and crispy coating. They make the perfect appetiser, side dish, or as part of a main meal. Let me show you how to make them.
It always feels like a special treat when we make crispy fried vegetables, especially because they're one of the most popular mezes (tapas) in Greece. Often when ordering this appetiser in Greece, a minimal approach is taken and the vegetables are coated only in flour and then fried rather than dipping them into a batter. Either way, what's not to love about our favourite vegetables being fried into a crispy golden shell?
Watch How to Make It
Keeping the Batter Cold
A cold batter is one of the keys to making anything crispy when it is fried. Therefore, ice-cold water and a cold egg are added to the batter, and then gently whisked before placing into the fridge for about 10 minutes to further chill. In fact, you could measure the flour needed, and then add them to the fridge for an hour or so before combining it with the water and egg to further chill all the ingredients.
Do not overwork the batter as it will create a heavier dough. Simply whisk until most of the lumps are combined but do not worry if all lumps are not broken down.
The Oil needs to be HOT
Firstly, the depth of the oil needs to be at least 2cm and the temperature about 170C / 350F. If you do not have a thermometer, you can tell by placing the tip of a wooden spoon into the oil. If small bubbles start dispersing around the spoon, then it is ready.
Do not overcrowd the frying pan
This is also vital for crispier results. As the cold batter is added to the frying pan, the temperature of the oil decreases leading to a less crispy batter. Adding too many vegetables and overcrowding reduces the temperature too much and makes it difficult to keep the oil hot.
How to ReHeat the Tempura Vegetables
This easy-to-make gluten-free Tempura Vegetables is perfect when served warm. If there are leftovers, add them to an air-tight container and reheat them the following day.
Place them in a pre-heat oven (220°C fan forced / 240°C conventional oven / 374°F) and onto a lined baking tray. Bake for 4 or so minutes on each side and serve immediately. An air fryer is also a great option.
Otherwise, try them cold as we have enjoyed them straight out of the refrigerator!
How to Make Tempura Vegetables
Make the Batter: Begin by making the tempura batter so it can be placed into the refrigerator for 10 minutes (not longer than 10 minutes).
Prepare the Vegetables: In the meantime slice up all the vegetables.
Heat the oil for 2-3 minutes prior to cooking.
Dip and Cook: Dip 4 pieces of vegetables at a time into the tempura batter, shaking off excess, before adding them gently into the oil. Repeat until the frying pan is full but not overcrowded. Fry for approximately 2-3 minutes per side (eggplant may need longer). The tempura batter should stay a light golden rather than a deep golden brown.
Drain: Transfer and drain the tempura vegetables onto a large tray (preferably a wire rack) that has paper towels over it, to absorb any excess oil.
Serve: Serve on its own or alongside dipping sauces. Why not try my Cheat's Aioli Dressing as a dip?
Other Appetiser Recipes:
Gluten-Free Tempura Vegetables (Crispy Fried Vegetables)
Prep and Chill: 20 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Pieces approximately 50
Needed: Preferably a large frying pan 30cm
1 large red capsicum (bell peppers), sliced into 1cm thick strips
1 eggplant, sliced 5mm in round slices
4 small zucchinis, sliced 5mm lengthways
PLUS choose one from the following
8 zucchini flowers or 8 button mushrooms (sliced in half) or 16 round or flat green beans
Total slices of vegetables: 50+ pieces
150g (1 cup) gluten-free self-raising flour
80g (½ cup) white rice flour
400ml (1 ½ cups) ice-cold water
1 jumbo egg (70g) from the fridge (not at room temperature )
1 teaspoon sea salt
Cooking oil (sunflower oil, light avocado oil or olive oil)
Dips to serve alongside:
1. Prepare the tempura batter. Add self-raising flour and rice flour into a wide bowl and mix. Next, pour in the cold water and whisk to combine. Finally, add the egg and continue mixing until the batter is smooth. Place into the refrigerator for 10 minutes.
2. In the meantime, prepare the vegetables. Begin by slicing the zucchini, capsicum, and last the eggplant. Also, prepare your fourth optional choice of vegetable.
3. Heat the cooking oil in a wide base frying pan (making sure the depth of the oil is 2cm in the frying pan).
4. Dip each vegetable into the tempura batter, gently shake off any excess batter and carefully place into the frying pan. Do not overcrowd the pan or the oil temperature will drop and not allow the batter to be extra crispy. Fry until golden and then turn over to fry the opposite side. Cooking will take approximately 2 minutes per side (eggplant may need longer).
5. Remove from the oil and drain on a paper towel. Repeat with remaining vegetables and batter. If the pan needs more oil, simply top it up and heat before continuing to cook.
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Recipe and Photography Margaret Pahos for @CreateCookShare