This video - How to make Perfect Tempura (RECIPE) -天ぷらの作り方
- on the TabiEats YouTube channel, is my favorite video showing how to make Tempura.
Because it’s not to long, it also shows how to make Tempura Sauce [天ぷらつゆ, Tempura tsuyu] aka 天つゆ Tentsuyu, how to prepare shrimp so it stays straight, and how to make a simple type of Tempura Kakiage [かきあげ], which is shredded vegetables.
On their blog, which is in Japanese, they call it 炭酸水天ぷら, Carbonated Water Tempura. But the key to good Tempura batter is to make it with ice cold water, plain or carbonated, not to thick. And keep it cold by sitting the bowl of batter in a bowl of ice to keep it cold. Why? Because that is needed to make the tempura crispy.
If you open the video in a separate tab you can expand the video description and read the ingredients and instructions in English or Japanese.
I had never heard of the Perilla Leaf they used. It is aka Shiso (紫蘇, しそ), apparently from the Mint family. The red shiso (赤じそ) is said to be anise flavored. It’s used to to dye pickled plums or pickled ginger. But it is not as popular as the green shiso, which strangely is written with the kanji for blue (青しそ、青紫蘇). Maybe it’s one of those deals where the native language you speak controls your perception of color, I know native French speakers see more shades of green than native English speakers. Strange but true. The green shiso or green perila is said to have a bit of a cinnamon flavor. Not available where I live afaik, and I have yet to try just Mint leaves that are available. However, I’ve read that the green perilla grows wild in Tennessee. Perhaps elsewhere too.
If you tried the Kakiage Tempura, and liked it. You might find the next video of interest. It shows a more complex mix of vegetables plus shrimp
サクサク天ぷら「かき揚げ」の作り方 - How to make Kakiage Tempura.
Crispy Tenpura [kakiage] how to make.
The same advice applies. Open the video in a separate tab, expand the video description to see the ingredients and instructions in English.
Mitsuba is a type of parsley, as is Japanese Chervil. Not available where I live. Just substitute something similar.
Kakige is also good served as Kekigedon, aka Kakiage bowl. かき揚げ丼 Kakiage donburi.
The Kakiage is served on top of a bowl of rice.
Anyway, recommended. Experiment with different vegetables. A favorite is sweet potato. And for a pleasing colors, use red or yellow peppers where the batter is only applied to the inside surface, fry it with the shiny side of the pepper un-coated with batter.