Tempura must have a light crispy batter. Some recipes suggest using seltzer instead of water, and using baking powder to achieve this, but these ingredients did not exist in the Edo period and they are not necessary. The key to making a perfect tempura is to keep the batter ice cold,and not to mix it too much.
Tempura Batter Ingredients:
Chilled White Flour
First make the egg wash by beating the egg and adding the same amount of ice water.
Keep this extra cold. Add chilled flour in a cold bowl and add the egg wash and lightly
mix the batter. Do not whip the batter so it becomes too consistent. It should be
lightly mixed so some flour remain unmixed. Use immediately or place in the refrigerator
while not in use.
Test the oil by dropping batter in the kettle. If it sinks to the bottom, and quickly floats back
up, then it is ready. The oil should be about 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Make sure the ingredients are patted dry. Then lightly cover the ingredient with the batter.
(Also see: Shrimp Tempura Recipe)
Pay attention to the sound of the frying. The pitch of the sound will become higher as the
tempura becomes ready.The bubbles will become finer as well.Drain on a grill