I made this tempura using a Japanese, or Kabocha, pumpkin. It is sweeter than a regular pumpkin. To me, it tastes like sweet potato. Cutting a pumpkin into small pieces in very hard and requires a sharp knife. Be careful! Amazingly, I was unscathed after making this dish. Usually, cutting up something as hard and resistant as a Kabocha would result injury.
I used a pre-packed tempura mix for the batter. All I had to do was add cold water. I made two versions of the tempura. In the first one, I used a ton of batter on each piece of pumpkin, In the second version, I used almost no batter at all. Dave preferred the first version and I liked the pumpkin with less coating.
Since the pumpkin was so hard to slice, and my knives are so dull, the pieces are all in different shapes. That shouldn't matter when cooking the tempura, as long as each piece has nearly the same thickness. To cook the tempura: dip each piece of pumpkin in the batter and shake off the excess. Deep fry in 375 degree vegetable oil-use a thermometer to check the temperature of the oil, it really makes a difference. You can buy a candy thermometer for a few dollars at most grocery stores. When the tempura pieces are browned, take them out of the oil and drain on paper towels. Be really careful to avoid getting splattered with hot oil. Sprinkle the tempura pieces with salt while they are still warm. I served these with a dipping sauce. I mixed tamari with a little teriyaki sauce and a couple drops of sesame oil. Yum! This was a really nice treat since we both love tempura and have no place to order it from around here.
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