If you’re looking for a few interesting ways to add more life to your menu, it might be as easy as combining some of today’s hottest menu trends with Authentic Japanese Tempura! For the past several years running, consumers remain interested in Asian inspired foods. Tempura is one of the more popular Asian menu items, even being listed on NRA’s Top Trends list in 2014!
Tempura first became popular in Japan in the 16th century, when Portuguese merchant sailors introduced their deep-frying technique. 200 years later, tempura had flowered into the the crispily battered form we know today and it’s growth in popularity has continued unabated ever since.
Great chefs will often combine multiple trends to fuse outstanding menu options. Other trends today include a surge in interest for fresh produce, Asian inspired breakfast items, and Asian inspired side dishes – many of these seem to lend themselves very well towards tempura, you’d have to agree.
There are many sources for tempura batter out there. So, it’s important to have an idea of what to look for and what to avoid so you serve your customers only the best. The secret to a great, crispy texture is starting with an Authentic Tempura Batter and then customizing it to match your restaurant’s menu.
An Authentic Tempura batter mix will have a short list of ingredients – flour(s), starch, baking powder and salt. Avoid mixes containing eggs, gums, thickeners, MSG, flavorings or spices. These other ingredients make it hard to add your own custom flavors but can also affect its crispy texture.
One very important secret to a great batter is using the right type of flour. Batters that use the wrong flour blends often result in a thick, pancake-like texture. Batters should add a light, lacy & crispy texture and never overwhelm the food they’re coating!
An Authentic Tempura Batter should easily blend with any liquid. Consider using beer to create a super-crispy beer batter. Or try juice, wine, champagne or any liquid to create a unique, custom batter just for your restaurant.
Upper Crust Enterprises Upper Crust Enterprises has been producing Authentic Japanese Panko and Tempura batter mix for 35 years. Our Tempura Batter mix is used in Japanese restaurants worldwide. It is a special blend of two flours (wheat & corn flour) with a special ingredient from Japan. The rest of the ingredients are just starch, baking powder and salt. The result is an extra crispy coating that is very versatile and more than just a great tempura batter mix!
Straight from our test kitchens, Upper Crust Enterprises would like to offer you several proven tempura recipe ideas, inspired by today’s hottest trends and sure to please even your more finicky customers!
Veggie Tempura Bites
- Gather random vegetables such as asparagus, half-moon cuts of zucchini and squash, strips of green & red peppers, snow peas, & French cut beans.
- Salt & Pepper all veggies.
- Dip in dry Upper Crust Tempura Batter mix (code 07230) dip in prepared Upper Crust tempura batter made with club soda, and deep fry at 350°.
- To add extra crispiness, when the vegetables are about ½ done and they rise to the top of the oil, drizzle extra batter on the vegetables while still in the fryer.
Sweet Tempura Bananas
- Great as a desert item, or serve it as part of a brunch or breakfast!
- Cut banana into 1/2 inch diagonal pieces.
- Dust the bananas in a powdered sugar & cinnamon mixture then dip in prepared Upper Crust Tempura Batter mix (code 07230) seasoned with powdered sugar and cinnamon.
- Deep fry at 350-375 degrees until golden brown.
- Serve hot, with a side of whipped cream or garnish with caramel sauce and serve over ice cream. For extra crispiness roll in Upper Crust Authentic Panko (code 01020) after the tempura dip.
This same recipe can be used with apple wedges for an apple pie bite.
For another excellent recipe idea, be sure and watch our video on making the best Tempura Fish Tacos!