When making a donburi it is better to start with the rice preparation as this takes the most time. If you have no idea about how to cook Japanese rice, you can follow our Japan Centre Online how to cook Japanese rice recipe to find out how to make perfect sticky rice. If you have bought some of our handy microwavable rice, or have a rice cooker, you can skip these steps and prepare your rice as you normally would.
So now the rice is cooking, let’s get our tempura ingredients ready to be fried. Begin by cutting the renkon and aubergine into slices of no more than a centimetre thick to ensure fast frying and removing the shell of the prawns leaving the tail attached.
The next step is to pat the ingredients dry with a piece of kitchen paper and to place on a plate in the fridge prior to cooking. Chilling ingredients is the secret to a nice and crispy tempura batter.
Now grab a heavy bottom pan and fill it approximately 2/3 with oil before heating it to 160-170°C (you could use a deep fat fryer to regulate the temperature). A thick pan is good for retaining heat but an iron wok is even better for this job. Check the oil is at the right temperature by dropping a splash of batter into the oil, if it sizzles then the oil is ready.
Whilst the oil is heating up make sure to keep an eye on it whilst mixing 75g of tempura flour with 110ml of ice cold water to make the batter. The colder the batter and ingredients before frying, the lighter and crispier your tempura will be. You can use ice cubes to keep your batter extra cold.
Now you’re almost ready to deep-fry. Dust the ingredients with a little flour, then dip into the batter, covering completely before placing the battered ingredients with your chopsticks into the oil and cooking for a minute or so on each side until the batter turns golden. Try not to cook too many pieces at one time as this will lower the oil’s temperature. Once cooked, remove from the pan and place on a wire rack before placing on kitchen paper to soak up the remaining excess oil.