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Vietnamese food is about the balance of flavours, of sweet, salty and sour – there is no measuring device that can ever match your own taste buds.

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Trying To Cook More Japanese: Vegetable Tempura Recipe & Matsuri

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My favourite food to eat out is Japanese. I love sushi. I love Japanese bento boxes, dumplings, teriyaki dishes… I can easily eat Japanese food every day so I’ve made a promise to myself to cook more Japanese at home and experiment with the Japanese/ Vietnamese fusion. But firstly, try to conquer some of the favourites and basics.

It so happens that I have recently been working as a food stylist on a commercial shoot with a few Japanese recipes and therefore got to master the tempura batter. I love ordering tempura in restaurants and didn’t realise how easy it is to do at home.

Thanks to Wholegood for supplying the vegetables

Here is a basic recipe for vegetable tempura

Vegetable Tempura

For the batter:
2 or 3 litres oil for deep frying (rapeseed/sunflower/vegetable)
100g plain flour
1 tbls cornflour
chilled sparkling water
pinch of salt (could be flavoured with shiso/ or other dried herbs)
ice cubes

a selection of vegetables, sliced 5mm

i.e.tenderstem broccoli, courgette, aubergine, carrot, pak choi, elderflower etc

dipping sauce
soy sauce, a dash of mirin, chilli oil
daikon radish

Wash and chop the vegetables into bite size pieces. Dry with kitchen paper.

In a deep pan heat the oil to 190C.

In a wide bowl stir together the flour, cornflour and salt. Add the sparkling water and stir until smooth, you are looking for about the same consistancy as pancake batter.

Add 3-5 ice cubes to keep the mixture cold. (the cold batter mixture and the hot oil makes  it crispy)

Individually dip, and well coat a piece of vegetable and gently lower into the hot oil using long wooden chopsticks.

Repeat this process being sure not to overcrowd the pan, 5-6 at a time is probably the maximum.

When slightly golden remove from the oil and place on a tray lined with kitchen paper to drain off the excess oil.

To make the dipping sauce, peel and finely grate about 0.5cm of the daikon radish into a small bowl and mix a little miring and chilli oil with soy sauce.

TIP: Make a little batter at a time because it needs to be freshly made and cold or your tempura will be soggy.


I was recently invited to eat at one of my favourite Japanese restaurants, Matsuri in St James’s. They do sushi, all the favourites and Teppan-yaki,  where the chef cooks on an iron grill in front of you. We had this amazing beef – Galician Beef T-Bone Steak – From a Japanese breed of cattle, with such great marbling, like Waygu – it was amazingly delicious! As was the black cod, sushi & tempura! My favourite thing, which is their egg fried rice is a must have!

It is definitely somewhere I  love going as a treat with a loved one or a best friend. Highly recommended!

Matsuri means “festival”, it is a joint partnership between Central Japan Railway Company, the major Japanese high speed train operating company, and Kikkoman, the world’s most famous soy sauce company.


Matsuri, 15 Bury Street, London SW1Y 6AL

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With thanks to FML Public Relations