Kakiage is a type of tempura made with a variety of vegetable strips, often with seafood. This is a popular home cooking dish as it uses leftover vegetables to clean up the fridge for the week. Light and crispy kakiage is so delicious to eat just with tempura dipping sauce.
Also, see the note for making kakiage-don (kakiage on rice bowl).
Add the egg and cold water to a large bowl and mix well to make egg water.
Place 1/6 of the tempura mixture on to a flat spatula spreading evenly (note 6), then using cooking chopsticks or a fork, gently slide the mixture onto the oil.
Cook for about 1.5 minutes, then turn it over and cook further 1 minute (note 7). Transfer to a tray/plate lined with two layers of kitchen papers to absorb the excess oil.
Repeat for the rest of kakiage mixture. If your frypan/pot is large, you could fry 2-3 kakiage at once but ensure that you do not overcrowd as it will bring down the temperature of the oil too much resulting in soggy tempura. I used a 24cm frypan and fried only two kakiage at a time.
1. When you make a small quantity of kakiage, it is awkward to use ½ (or even less) of the egg as you may not have any other use of the leftover egg. If you wish, you could omit egg and just use 120ml of water. Kakiage will still be good.
2. As I mentioned in my blog, you could vary the ingredients. I happened to have these ingredients at hand. Instead of dried fish, you could use small prawns, thinly sliced squid, scallops, strips of chicken, etc. Vegetables can be onions, shiitake mushrooms, zucchinis, eggplants, pumpkins, potatoes, etc.
You could also make it 100% vegetarian. Use vegetable dashi stock to make dipping sauce.
3. You can buy tiny dried anchovies from Japanese/Asian grocery stores. They are usually sold as nibbles and are OK to eat without cooking. I find that Japanese brand or Korean brands are the best. Do not buy the large dried anchovies that are suitable for making Japanese dashi stock. They are not suitable for kakiage.
4. I usually slice carrots diagonally into 5cm long, 3mm thick. Then julienne them into sticks.
5. Please refer to my post, Tempra. You don't have to have grated daikon and ginger.
6. I always used a wooden flat spatula to slide the kakiage into the oil. But you could use a shallow ladle or very large spoon. You need to spread the mixture evenly and avoid having a mountain of the mixture on the spatula. Uneven thickness of the mixture results in kakiage half over cooked and half under cooked.
7. If the kakiage is thick, it will take longer to cook. If you spread the ingredients thinly, it will also make few spaces in kakiage reducing cooking time.
8. If you would like to make Kakiage-don with these kakiage, simply place 2-3 kakiage on top of hot cooked rice in a bowl, pour dipping sauce over the kakiage. Part of the rice is soaked with the dipping sauce which makes the tempura-don so yummy. See the photo of Kakiage-don below the recipe.