28 Sep 2014

Kakiage-don かき揚げ丼 / Mixed Tempura Fritter Rice Bowl

In Japanese cuisine, age-mono (揚げ物) refers to deep-frying dishes. One widely loved age-mono not only in Japan but also outside of Japan is tempura (天麩羅). For deep-frying ingredients, unlike western cuisine focuses a lot on meat and potatoes; for Japanese tempura, it places heavy considerations on seafood and various vegetables.

Ten-don (天丼) is tempura battered prawn, squid, various veges served on a bowl of rice as a donburi () dish. Normally, the tempura prawn & etc are deep-fried individually before placing on the donburi.

Kakiage (かき揚げ) is a kind of tempura, normally mixed with shredded, sometimes cubed, seafood and various vegetables, and being deep-fried into crunchy and crispy single piece. While kakiage putting on top of a bowl of white rice is called 'kakiage-don' (かき揚げ丼), a "mixed tempura fritter rice bowl".
I made kakiage-don for lunch today. I used prawns/shrimps instead of kaki oysters as it is much easier to obtain. I used mixed veges, again, for a simple and the easiest kind of kakiage. Thus, I can also call mind this dish as ebi no age ten-don (海老の揚げ天丼).

Anyway, instead of such frozen mixed veges, you can opt for a mix of choices such as carrot, onion, red and green capsicums, eggplant, ladies-finger, baby asparagus, all in shredded form, or, all in diced form. Also, apart from making own tsuyu dipping sauce like me, you can go for ready men-tsuyu (麺つゆ) too. 

Kakiage-don かき揚げ丼 / Mixed Tempura Fritter Rice Bowl
8 prawns
1/2 cup mixed veges (carrot-corn-green peas)
1/3 cup tempura flour
1/3 cup ice water
cooking oil
a pinch of salt & 1/2 tsp Japanese cooking wine

dipping tsuyu:
200 ml (1 J-cup) dashi (bonito stock)
1 (~ 1.5, to taste) TBsp Japanese light soy sauce
1 TBsp mirin
1/2 tsp sugar

2 bowl cooked Japanese short grain rice
Servings: 2

- tsuyu: prepare dashi with 1 cup of water, 1” konbu, 1/2 cup bonito fakes, see details of method - here -; stir well with light soy sauce, mirin & sugar while warm.
- prawn: shelled, de-vein, each prawns cut into 3 sections, marinated with a pinch of salt & 1/2 tsp of Japanese cooking wine.

1. Heat cooking oil.

2. Mix prawns and mixed veges in a bowl, mix in tempura flour, pour in ice water, and without over-mixing stir quickly with chopsticks till combined.

3. Immediately scope half of the mixture into hot oil and deep-fry the kakiage both sides till golden, crunchy and cooked through. You can deep fry into a rustic looked fritter, or, a round finish with the help of a wide and flat scope.  Retrieve on wire strainer. Deep-fry the balance half of batter. 

4. Place each deep-fried kakiage on individual donburi bowls with cooked rice. Serve immediately with tsuyu dipping sauce. Enjoy~ the kakiage-don (かき揚げ丼).

Do note, instead of serving on top of a bowl of rice as kakiage donburi, you can serve it on top of a bowl of udon soup noodles. Then, it will become: kakiage udon.

Happy cooking. Sore jaa, mata ne~~  

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