Tempura broccoli is a quick and delicious way to enjoy broccoli. Even if you are not a big fan of broccoli, those cooked using tempura batter, you will enjoy eating. These broccoli are a great option for your kids to start eating more of them.
The tempura broccoli are made by coating the broccoli florets in a light and airy tempura batter which then is deep fried in a saucepan with hot oil until the broccoli will get a golden coat.
As a result, you will get a crispy and tasty snack or appetizer. The recipe is very easy to follow. The only thing you should pay attention to is the hot oil. Make sure not to burn yourself with it.
It is hard to resist the crispy texture of the tempura batter. Even those picky eaters will try a bite and will ask for more.
Quick Note: If you will do everything right, you shouldn’t worry about the oil excess and deep frying. If the oil will have the right temperature, the coat will not absorb that oil and you can make a serving of tempura broccoli that will have just 250kcal.
In the end, serve the tempura broccoli near your favorite Asian dipping sauce. A few ideas will be near soy sauce, sweet and sour sauce, or near spicy mayo if you’re looking to add more flavor (and calories) to the dish.
Read next to find what are the secrets behind perfect tempura broccoli and what you should pay attention to get a perfect crispy coat even if this is your first time when you’re making tempura veggies.
👩🍳 What You Will Find in This Post?
- What is the secret of crispy tempura broccoli?
- What to do to avoid softening the crispy butter tempura coat?
- What are the best substitutes for this recipe?
- How to check if the oil has the right temperature without a kitchen thermometer?
🥰 Why You Will Love This Recipe?
- You will get a crispy and crunchy texture that pairs well with the broccoli.
- It is a versatile recipe that you can combine with almost anything. You can serve the tempura broccoli as a side dish, appetizer, or even as a snack. Play with dipping sauces and you will have every time a different recipe.
- Low in calories. Yes, you read it right. If you will keep the optimal temperature of the oil, the broccoli will not absorb the oil and you will have less than 250kcal per serving.
- It is easy to make. If you will follow step-by-step, there is nothing complicated. Just be careful with the hot oil.
🥘 Ingredients and Substitutes
- Broccoli. You can use the same recipe and follow all the steps for any other vegetable or ingredient you want to cook in this technique.
- Flour. Use cake flour because the tempura broccoli becomes airier during cooking and you will get a crispier crust. This is a secret ingredient that many restaurants use. If you don’t have it at hand, you can replace it with plain flour.
- Egg. We are using the egg to bind the composition together. Also, it helps to stick the flour better to the broccoli. For an even crispier result, use a cold egg that is directly from the refrigerator.
- Oil. I used sunflower oil, but you can use any other oil you prefer to use for frying.
- Water. Use carbonated water, this way you will add more air to the composition. I also, recommend using water that has a low temperature to get an even crispier crust.
- Ice. Optionally, to reduce even more the temperature of the water.
👩🍳 Step-by-step Directions
Wash the broccoli well, dry it well and cut it into broccoli florets of roughly equal size.
Pour the cake flour into a bowl, and coat the broccoli florets in it until they will be covered with a thin layer of flour.
Put them in another plate to remove all the flour excess from them.
In another bowl, mix the sparkling water with an egg. Mix well until they are incorporated.
Gradually, add the flour in which we coated earlier the broccoli. Mix continuously.
Quick Note: There is nothing terrible if there will be some lumpy.
Quick Note: It is more important not to mix the composition for too long, so mix until you soften all the flour.
Now take a saucepan with a thick bottom, and pour 2-3″ of frying oil in it so that the broccoli florets will float in the oil when you put them in. Heat the oil to 350°F.
Pro tip: If you don’t have a thermometer, then test the temperature of the oil with a small drop of tempura butter. When the oil is at the optimal temperature, when the drop of tempura butter reaches the bottom of the pan, it should immediately rise to the surface. If the drop stays for a few seconds at the bottom of the pan, it means that the oil is not hot enough.
When the oil has reached the optimal temperature, soak some broccoli florets in tempura butter and then carefully place them in the hot oil. Avoid splashes to not burn yourself.
Pro Tip: Do not add too many broccoli florets at once because you will reduce the temperature of the oil and the crust will absorb the fat from the oil.
Cook the broccoli tempura for 2-3 minutes, depending on how well you want the broccoli to be cooked inside.
Remove the broccoli florets and arrange them on a splatter net to drain the excess oil. Before frying the next portion of broccoli, make sure the oil has returned to the optimal temperature.
Repeat the last steps until you have fried all the pieces of broccoli.
Pro Tip: Place the pieces of broccoli in a single layer on the splatter net so that they do not overlap, because if they stick together, they will lose their crispiness.
Serve the broccoli while they are still hot near an Asian sauce of your choice.
🍽️ Serving Suggestions
Tempura broccoli is served usually as a side dish or as a snack near a dipping sauce like soy sauce, or ponzu sauce, or near a simple mix of soy sauce and rice vinegar. For extra flavor, consider sprinkling some sesame seeds over them, or grated ginger or garlic. If you’re looking for a full Japanese experience, then serve the broccoli tempura near a plate of steamed rice or miso soup.
🏆 Expert Tips. What to Pay Attention To?
- Use sparkling water at the lowest possible temperature to get a crispier crust at the end. To make it easier for you to reduce the temperature of the water, consider adding some ice cubes to it. The secret of a crispy crust is to obtain a temperature difference as large as possible between tempura butter and oil. For this, use all the ingredients from the refrigerator.
- Don’t cook too many broccoli florets at once because you will lower the temperature of the oil and the coat of the broccoli will absorb too much oil in it.
Answering Your Questions:
Can I use all-purpose flour instead of cake flour?
Yes, you can use all-purpose flour instead of cake flour if you don’t have cake flour on hand. However, the resulting tempura batter may not be as light and crispy as using cake flour.
Do I need to blanch the broccoli before frying?
No, you don’t need to blanch the broccoli before frying. The broccoli will cook through while frying in the tempura batter. However, if you prefer a softer texture, you can blanch the broccoli for a minute or two before coating it in the batter.
Can I use regular water instead of sparkling water?
While sparkling water is preferred for tempura batter as the carbonation helps make the batter lighter and crispier, regular water can be used as a substitute if necessary.
What type of oil should I use for frying the tempura broccoli?
A neutral oil with a high smoke point, such as vegetable oil or canola oil, is best for frying the tempura broccoli. These oils can withstand high temperatures without burning or smoking.
How do I know when the oil is hot enough for frying?
A simple way to check the oil temperature is to dip the end of a wooden chopstick or a thermometer into the oil. If bubbles form around the chopstick or the thermometer reads between 350-375°F (175-190°C), the oil is ready for frying.
📋 Recipe Card:
Easy Tempura Broccoli
- 8 oz Broccoli
- ¾ cup Cake Flour
- ¾ cup Sparkling Water
- 1 Egg
- Vegetable Oil
- Coat the broccoli in a thin layer with cake flour.8 oz Broccoli, ¾ cup Cake Flour
- Mix an egg with sparkling water.1 Egg, ¾ cup Sparkling Water
- Over the egg mixed with sparkling water, gradually add the flour you have left over from the first step. Mix continuously and incorporate it gradually.
- Take another saucepan and pour frying oil in it so that it is about 2-3" high. Heat the oil to a temperature of 350°F.Vegetable Oil
- After this, soak the broccoli florets in the egg mix and immediately after that in the hot oil.
- Repeat the last step until you finish all the broccoli florets.
- Put the tempura broccoli on a mesh splatter screen to drain all the excess oil.
- Serve near your favorite dipping Asian sauce.
I highly recommend reading the entire recipe to find more tips and notes about this recipe. Read Full Recipe ⇑
- Before you start cooking broccoli tempura, make sure the oil has reached the optimal temperature. This should be 350F.
- The secret to a special crust is in the high difference between the tempura butter and the hot oil. For this reason, consider adding the ingredients from the refrigerator and even adding ice to the sparkling water to reduce the temperature even more.
- After each round of frying the broccoli, make sure the oil temperature has returned to an optimal one.
- At the end, when you put the broccoli to drain the excess oil, make sure they don’t overlap. Otherwise, their crust will soften.
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