I was told recently by someone that these can’t really be called “tempura vegetables” because they are not coated with batter (typically made with wheat flour) and deep-fried in oil.
OK, I concede that point. Perhaps they are not technically tempura vegetables. But if you are looking for something lighter, not deep-fried in oil, that is crunchy and delicious, then this is the recipe for you!
I like the idea of baking my “tempura” vegetables over frying for a couple reasons – first of all, it’s kind of a pain to fry things – all that hot oil splashing up in the kitchen, threatening to burn you… Secondly, I am certain these baked babies have to be better for you than the fried version.
For this tasty treat, I took a bunch of veggies I had on hand, cut them up, coated them first in gluten free flour (you could use just rice or corn flour instead), then in lightly beaten eggs seasoned with a bit of soy sauce, and finally I coated them in some seasoned gluten free panko style bread crumbs (Kinnikinnick). Then I baked them for just about 10 minutes.
The first time I made them, I lightly sprayed them with gluten free non-stick cooking spray before popping them in the oven. They were delicious but not as brown as I would have liked. So for my second batch I drizzled them with oil before baking – I added more fat and calories but I liked them better. If you are concerned about fat and calories, the spray is just fine! I am listing in the recipe the veggies I used but feel free to use what you like; just cut them sort of uniformly so they cook evenly.
I served mine with a soy ginger dipping sauce. And I devoured them. And by the way, the person who told me they weren’t really tempura devoured them too.
Gluten Free Baked Tempura Vegetables with Soy Ginger Dipping Sauce
Baked Tempura Vegetables
Gluten free nonstick cooking spray
1 (12.5-ounce) box Kinnikinnick gluten free panko style crumbs
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 ½ teaspoons kosher or fine sea salt, use divided
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon gluten free soy sauce
1 cup gluten free flour or rice, corn, or sweet rice flour
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and either thinly sliced or cut into ½-inch thick sticks
4 small purple, red, gold, or white potatoes, sliced about 1/8-inch thick
½ red onion, sliced ¼-inch thick then separated into rings
6 ounces green beans, ends trimmed
1 ½ cups broccoli florets
Vegetable oil (about ¼ cup, more or less) – optional
Soy Ginger Dipping Sauce
6 tablespoons gluten free soy sauce
1 tablespoon honey
½ teaspoon sesame oil
1 (2- by 1-inch) piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated (2 teaspoons)
Baked Tempura Vegetables
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spray 2 baking sheets liberally with cooking spray.
Combine the panko crumbs with the garlic powder and 1 teaspoon salt and place in a shallow bowl or on a plate.
Whisk the eggs with soy sauce and place in a shallow bowl.
Combine the flour with ½ teaspoon of salt and place in a shallow bowl on on a plate.
Dredge the vegetables in the flour, then dip into the egg, turning to coat, and finally into the bread crumb mixture, coating well. Place on prepared baking sheets.
If desired, brush the vegetables with some oil. Bake for 10 – 15 minutes or until browned and the vegetables are tender. Serve warm with the dipping sauce.
Soy Ginger Dipping Sauce
Combine all ingredients and mix well. Serve in a small bowl alongside the vegetables.
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