Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Onion-flower tempura

This has been a big hit in our family. The helping below looks sparser than I would have liked. Stealthy fingers got to the plate before I managed to take a photo ...

- 1 cup standard grade flour
- 1 cup water
- 1 egg
- Salt to taste (anything from a pinch to a teaspoonful)
- Cooking oil (I like olive oil, but whatever you normally use)
- A handful, a bowlful, or a basketful of onion weed flowers - as much as you feel like

To prepare the onion weed flowers
Unless you are really worried, don't bother to wash them.

Cut the flowers off their stalks 1 - 2 centimetres below where the flowers join the stalk. This holds the clusters together, and gives you enough stalk to grip when you dip them in the batter.

To make the batter
Chill the water till it's icy cold. You can put it in the freezer for a bit, or add ice cubes to bring the temperature down more quickly. It has to be really, really cold.

Whisk the egg in a bowl.

Add the icy water and whisk some more.

Add the flour and salt, and mix gently and briefly with a spoon. You want to just barely mix it in - and don't worry too much about lumps.

Use the batter immediately.

To cook
Put about half a centimetre of oil in a frying pan, and heat to medium high.

Once the oil is very hot, dip each flower into batter then drop it into the oil.

When a battered flower is lightly browned on one side, turn it. They won't take very long.

Remove each battered flower as soon as it's lightly brown on both sides, and place on a paper-towel-lined plate.

To serve

Eat unadorned or with a dipping sauce. Soy sauce, or something based on it is nice.

Trouble shooting

If the tempura comes out at all soggy, try hotter oil or even colder batter, or both.

A bit about onion weed
Local wild plants gallery


Heather said...

Oooo yum! I might try that on the weekend - our garden's full of onionweed. I discovered your blogs after your thing on National Radio, and I'm excited to find a like-minded Kiwi :-) I live in Auckland and I follow Sharon Astyk's blog a bit and love foraging. I've even made a solar box cooker (with four reflectors) and made bran muffins in it this afternoon in about an hour and a half. They're amazing, aren't they? By putting ours on a steep angle to catch the sun I even made a pavlova back in June - took about 4 hours, but it worked :-)

--Heather :-)

Johanna Knox said...

Thanks for this Heather - and I've just been enjoying looking through your blog as well. A steep angle - what a good idea ...

Heather said...

Thank you :-) You've inspired me to have another go at posting to my blog. I have a chronic illness that leaves me with very little energy, and so I had let it slide, but you've got me rehearsing my next post in my head!

As to the solar cooker, there's some pics of it on the angle cooking the pavlova on my husband's blog at:


that might give you a better idea of what I mean.


--Heather :-)

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