Tempura Onions


Sara Novak Photo
Sara Novak

Tempura ranks highly in the whelm of my favorite fried foods. Friday after a showing of Get Him to the Greek (hilarious might I add), we headed to Miyos, a sushi restaurant in Columbia for a late night bite. I ordered the tempura vegetables as I always do because I can't resist the taste of their glorified onion rings. The coating isn't too greasy, it has a nice crunch, and they are also the prettiest onions that I've ever seen.

I'm not saying that you should eat fried foods often but when you do, consider making them yourself. Though the food may still be high in fat content you can control your ingredients and use good local onions, organic vegetable shortening, and good quality eggs.

I decided I wanted to try my hand at making my own tempura with the sweet southern Vidalia onions that we are currently blessed with. The key to this recipe is soaking the onions one hour prior to frying them. It makes the onions inside the ring so much more flavorful. While the basic recipe comes from the Joy of Cooking, I definitely altered it a bit to what I had on hand.


Tempura Onions:
2 large vidalia onions
3/4 cup organic coconut milk
1 3/4 cup water
1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1 local egg
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
pinch nutmeg
Easy Asian Dipping Sauce:
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
3 tbsp rice vinegar
3 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp chopped ginger
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp red chili paste


Tempura Onions:

  1. Slice the onions into 1 1/2 inch thick rounds and soak in a mixture of the coconut milk and 3/4 cup water for one hour.
  2. Heat the vegetable shortening to 365 degrees.
  3. Combine the remaining ingredients using a fork. The batter will still be a bit lumpy and needs to be used immediately.
  4. Fry until lightly brown and drain on a brown paper bag. Sprinkle with salt. Serve with below dipping sauce.

Easy Asian Dipping Sauce:

  1. Combine the ingredients and serve.
This recipe appears in: Asian
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