Vegetable Agebitashi: Marinated Deep Fried Vegetables
It’s still hot in Montreal, so we’re still doing refreshing summer recipes. This one uses the same somen sauce we wrote about the other day – actually, we’re using leftovers here. This is one of the very few vegetarian dishes you’ll find in this blog. But don’t be fooled: a disturbing amount of oil goes into this dish, so Vegetable Agebitashi is more a hearty main dish than a light side dish.
Agebitashi means fry (Age) and soak (Hitashi). So how do you make it? First you fry the vegetables, then you soak them in the sauce. That’s all! The kicker is that you serve it cold – very cold. It sounds strange, I know, but just trust me and give it a try. And be sure to serve this with simple white rice. They go very well together.
- Frying oil (Canola oil is ok)
- Somen sauce (See Hiyashi somen recipe)
- Dried red pepper (Optional) – one or two piece (Take away the seeds)
- Whatever vegetables you have lying around in your fridge:
Today I used pumpkin, carrot, onion, and eggplant.
Other possible vegetables include green pepper, okra, gobou, lotus root (see Renkon manju), and green beans.
The most popular in Japan, I think, is eggplant.
- Daikon (Optional) : Today I didn’t use it but you can serve Agebitashi with grated daikon. Serve it as a topping at the table.
- Put the sauce in a bowl or a vat and, if you like put a piece of dry red pepper in it.
- Slice the vegetables. I think it’s better thin slices than chunks.
- Fry them at 180℃ (355F). If you’re using eggplant, fry the eggplant last, because they absorb the oil so quickly.
- When ready, retrieve and place the vegetables on newspaper to absorb any excess oil.
- Then dunk the vegetables in the sauce to and put the whole thing in the fridge to cool it very well.
- When it’s fridge temperature, it’s ready. Serve alongside rice. (Not over rice, alongside rice.)