So Simple It’s Silly: Kabocha Tempura w/ Ginger Ponzu Dipping Sauce

So Simple It’s Silly is a series of incredibly easy sweet and savory recipes. Minimal ingredients, great short cuts and not at all time-consuming.

For as long as I can remember, Tempura has been my favorite thing to eat when at a Japanese restaurant. When the piping hot plate of crispy fried vegetables sets down on the table, my chopsticks flies faster than a prey stalking her dinner, plucking my favorite bite off the plate before anyone else has a chance to lift their chopsticks. Yes I am that obsessed with that ethereal airy crunchy batter that clings so lightly to its host. Yes, it’s that good. What is my favorite bite you ask? Kabocha of course! Also known as Japanese pumpkin is the Asian variety of winter squash, it has a beautiful sweet taste and when cooked is incredibly fluffy and light in texture.

I’m not sure why it took me so long to make my own, I think I was afraid I’d suck at it so bad that it would ruin the food for me forever (as if!!). Kabocha like most squashes are hard to get into if you don’t have experience. I suggest a sharp knife, some elbow grease (or a big strong man), a towel under your cutting board so it doesn’t move accidentally and patience. After going through those steps, it’s freakishly easy to cook and so delicious when piping hot! The tempura batter should only be made when you’re ready to fry, tempura batter waits for no one! It is the Diva of the food world, you wait for her always! I add ice cubes to my batter to insure it’s always ice-cold. I usually have to stop myself from trying to make it every weekend, especially now when Kabocha is particularly amazing. I love fried foods!!!

Kabocha Squash, 2-3lbs, cut, peeled and sliced
Kosher Salt
Vegetable Oil

Tempura Batter:
1 cup All Purpose Flour
1/2 cup Rice Flour
2 tbsp Corn Starch
1 1/2 cup Ice Cold Water
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Salt
Ice Cubes
Extra flour for dredging

Ginger Ponzu Sauce:
1 tsp Ginger, minced
1 tbsp Low Sodium Soy Sauce
3 tbsp Ponzu Sauce
1 tbsp Sesame Seeds

1. Cut Kabocha in half, remove seeds (I find using a metal ice cream scoop is the easiest way), cut each half into quarters, peel (it’s easier to peel quarters than a whole half), and slice 1/4 inch thick length wise.

2. Add all ingredients for Ginger Ponzu Sauce into a bowl and set aside.

3. Bring Oil to 350 degrees

4. Sift dry ingredients for tempura batter into a large bowl. Stir in water quickly, batter should be thin and lumpy. Add 2-3 ice cubes to keep batter ice cold.

5. Lightly dip each piece of Kabocha in dry flour, pat off excess. Dip into tempura batter then into the oil.

6. Fry for 3 minutes in small batches, drain on a rack and sprinkle salt on top while hot. Every 2-3 batches, skim off the crispies that fall into the oil.

7. Enjoy with dipping sauce and hot rice!

Light, airy with the crispest batter. The tangy punch of the ponzu sauce suits my palette more so than the regular tempura sauce. Feel free to use that it it’s your thing. I can totally taste them now as I write out this blog! *rubs grumbling belly* I need to learn how not to blog late at night!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s