Kanako's Kitchen

Kakiage: Vegetable Fritters in dashi sauce

Posted in main dish, Recipe by Kanako Noda on November 27, 2009

Kakiage is a member of the tempura family, though these mixed vegetable fritters are less complicated to make than is usual for tempura. For this recipe, I show you how to suspend them in a dashi-based sauce rather than serving them in the usual tempura way – with salt or Worcestershire Sauce. Needless to say, if you prefer, you can eat them that way as well.

Kakiage is a useful recipe when you need to use up the vegetables remaining in your fridge, things like onions, carrots and green beans. Just make some Kakiage, then keep the finished fritters in the freezer. You can eat them on their own, as I show here, or with Udon noodles. When you make udon, take the ready kakiage out from the freezer, heat it in the toaster and add them to the noodle soup as a topping: a great way to sex up a simple bowl of udon.

Made right, the fritters will retain a bit of their crunch even underneath a very watery sauce. The result is absolutely scrumptuous!


Ingredients (for two):

 

  • Carrot – half of one
  • Onion – half a large one
  • Gobou (optional) – one third of a root
  • Egg – one
  • All-purpose flour – four tablespoons
  • Water – three tablespoons

for the sauce

  • Water – 1.5 cups
  • Konbu – one 5 cm. piece
  • Dashi – 1 teaspoon
  • Soy Sauce – 1 tablespoon
  • Mirin – 2 tablespoons
  • Daikon – one 10 cm. piece

Preparation:

  • Chop carrots into thin little strips
  • Julienne the Onions
  • Shave off the skin of the gobou with the sharp end of a knife. Then cut the gobou into chips with a knife by shaving it as though you were sharpening a pencil (Japanese people call this technique “sasagaki”).
  • Mix the ingredients in a large bowl
  • Add flour and an egg, keep mixing well
  • Add 3 tablespoons of water, keep mixing
  • Grate the daikon

click to enlarge

Cooking:

The sauce

  1. Place a piece of konbu in 1.5 cups of water
  2. Bring pot to a boil
  3. Add dash, soy sauce, mirin

click to enlarge

The fritters

  1. Heat a generous quantity of canola oil over a low flame. Aim for 340 degrees Farenheit
  2. Fry the fritters evenly on each side, trying to get them to hold together
  3. Place fritters on newsprint to get rid of the excess fat

Serving tips:

  • Place one or two fritters at the bottom of a deep bowl
  • Scoop some grated daikon over them
  • Pour sauce into the bowls
  • Eat hot

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