Food, Home & Lifestyle

Agemono: Rockfish and Vegetable Tempura

Niki Nakayama

Lesson time 25:00 min

Master the art of tempura frying, from selecting the right flour to keeping your batter cold. Niki offers suggestions for which vegetables and mushrooms are best for tempura.

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Topics include: Agemono: Rockfish and Vegetable Tempura


[MUSIC PLAYING] NIKI: For this next demo, we're going to be doing tempura. Tempura frying is one of the most common things that you'll find on a Japanese menu. It's a little bit hard to get accustomed to, but I think once you get used to it and understand the basic concepts of it, it'll be a lot easier than you think. We're going to start today with this tempura flour. It's actually a pre-mixed tempura flour that you can find in Asian markets, in particular Japanese markets, of course. It has the baking soda all pre-sifted in. It has dried egg white powder as well. And that really helps to make a batter that's crispy and less oily. But if you're unable to find this pre-made tempura flour, we do have a recipe available for you as well, so that you can make your own at home. So Carole is going to go ahead and mix that up. - So we have a bowl of ice underneath another clean bowl. And that's basically to help ensure that the batter stays as cold as possible, which is one of the keys to making good tempura. NIKI: Today where we're going to be tempura frying the rockfish. And we're also going to add some vegetables for texture and flavor. And also, it's always great to have more vegetables on the menu. We have broccoli, and we also have some fresh zucchini. And one of the important things when we're doing tempura is, we always say how the batter should really coat whatever product it is your coating, but not hide it. So when you tempura zucchini, let's say, you would still be able to recognize that as a zucchini, and the broccoli as the broccoli, and the fish as the dish. Some other vegetables that are great for tempura frying are definitely things like mushrooms. There's a mushroom called maitake, which is one of my favorite mushrooms in the world, tempura. It's so amazing. It's one of those things that I used to smell all the time when the chef in Japan used to cook it. And I would think, what is that amazing aroma? And when I came back to the States and found that they were available here too, they're known as Hen of the Woods mushrooms. I made myself multiple, multiple plates of them, so I could eat them. So mushrooms are great for tempura, as well as squashes. We have the zucchini, and then things like kabocha is delicious for vegetables. We also sometimes tempura shiso leaf. We've also tempurad some really delicious carrots. And I think one of my favorite ones is eggplant. So please be open and try everything, and see how you like it. CAROLE: So I like to mix my batter with chopsticks, just because that's what I'm used to. But you're welcome to use a small whisk. The key to making the batter the correct consistency is that you still want to see some lumps. So you don't want to over mix it and allow the gluten in the flour to become too sticky. So the chopsticks kind of help me gauge, because I have a better feel. Similar to the way if you're driving a sports car, and the wheels are so m...

About the Instructor

The chef and owner of two-Michelin-starred restaurant n/naka in Los Angeles, Niki Nakayama is celebrated for her modern interpretation of kaiseki, a traditional Japanese cuisine. With her partner and sous chef, Carole, Niki will teach you techniques for preparing sashimi, tempura, perfect rice, and more. Learn how to make dishes that honor fresh ingredients as Niki shows you how to cook with care and gratitude.

Featured Masterclass Instructor

Niki Nakayama

Niki Nakayama of two-Michelin-starred n/naka teaches you how to honor fresh ingredients with her innovative take on Japanese home cooking techniques.

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