SOURDOUGH TEMPURA ROOT VEGETABLES with PONZU DIPPING SAUCE.
SOURDOUGH TEMPURA ROOT VEGETABLES with PONZU DIPPING SAUCE
Trevor and Maddie live full-time aboard their 36-foot sailboat--cooking
in a small galley kitchen--near the Channel Islands. Sourdough tempura
is their go-to snack. They use surplus sourdough starter and seasonal
vegetables (warm-hued roots in winter, crunchy green veggies in spring)
and dunk the finished fried bites in a tangy ponzu dipping sauce.
A good selection of colorful vegetables (we used beets, purple sweet
potatoes, heirloom carrots, green onions, and green beans)
1 cup sourdough starter (see box below)
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
Sunflower oil, coconut oil, lard, or tallow, for frying
1. Prepare your vegetables by washing them thoroughly and cutting off
any tough ends; if they are not organic, be sure to peel them. Use a
rainbow of vegetables and cut them into different shapes. It's fun to
combine long green beans with thin disks of bright red beets, spears of
parsnips, and little squash crescents. Go wild and experiment! You
really can't go wrong.
2. For the tempura batter, mix the sourdough starter with the salt.
Slowly pour in water while stirring until your batter reaches the
consistency of heavy cream.
3. Mix in the baking soda.
4. Heat at least 4 inches of sunflower oil or the fat of your choice in
a large, heavy pan over medium heat. To check the oil temperature,
gently drip some tempura batter into the pan; if it sizzles
immediately, your oil is good to go. At this point, turn the heat down
to medium-low. Coat each vegetable piece well with batter and wipe them
gently on the side of the bowl to remove any excess before you fry.
Lower the vegetables gently into the hot oil, making sure to not
overcrowd the pan. They are done cooking when golden brown. Remove them
from the oil with a slotted spoon and place on an old towel to soak up
excess oil before serving with the dipping sauce.
A sourdough starter might sound like a lot of work, but making and
maintaining one is actually easy. Say good-bye to commercial yeast and
hello to soaked and fermented grains, tangy loaves, and rich dough. A
starter is essentially the result of fermented flour and water. Wild
yeasts from the air infiltrate the flour-water slurry, turning it into
an environment teeming with lactic acid and good bacteria. Bad bacteria
hate this environment. As long as you maintain daily feedings or
refrigerate/freeze your starter, it'll stay that way. Research how to
get your starter going online--it's simple. To maintain it, feed it
with 1/4 cup each of flour and water, dumping some of the starter out
each time if you're not using it. Oh, and don't forget to give it a
Ponzu Dipping Sauce
1 tbsp. fresh lime juice
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. lemon zest
1 tsp. samba/ oelek (chile-garlic paste)
2 1/2 tbsp. soy sauce
3 tbsp. rice vinegar
2 tbsp. fresh orange juice
1 tbsp. maple syrup
1/4 tsp. sea salt
Combine all of the sauce ingredients in a jar, put the lid on, and
shake well. Pour into a shallow dish for dipping and set aside.