One of our favorite summer-time lunches is a tempura soba bento. Alternating bites of crispy tempura with satisfying slurps of noodles dipped in chilled tsuketsuyu sauce is pure heaven in the hotter months! Jump to Recipe.
Not only is tempura delicious, it’s actually a great way to eat vegetables because the quick steaming that happens inside the tempura batter coating helps preserves their nutrients. The oil also allows the body to better absorb the vitamins from the vegetables. Also, unlike Western style fried foods, it’s lower in calories thanks to the light batter, and especially so if you use our Rice Tempura Flour mix! View our Tempura Collection.
Did you know? Japanese tempura is said to have evolved from Peixinhos da horta, fritters introduced by Portuguese traders and missionaries in the 16th century. It then became popular in Japan during the Edo period as a type of quick and easy street food for the common townspeople. In this vegetarian recipe, we’ve selected an assortment of seasonal vegetables. Super flavorful and delicious!
Even if you’ve never made tempura before, we think you’ll find it easy with ready-made tempura flour, since all you need to do is mix the tempura flour with water, dip ingredients and fry. Here’s what you’ll need .
Ingredients (serves 2):
- Vegetables of your choice. (We used 1/2 sweet potato, 1/2 zucchini, maitake mushroom broken into 4 chunks, 4 baby corn, 4 green beans, 4 shiso leaves).
- 500mL of neutral oil (we recommend soybean, rice, canola or vegetable)
- 100grams Tempura Flour
- 190ml Water
- Two servings of Soba Noodles
- Ready-made Mentsuyu Sauce (or make your own!)
- Optional Soba garnishes (green onion, nori seaweed, wasabi, shiso, myoga).
- Tempura Pot (or any heavy-duty pot
- Skimmer (to remove tempura crumbs from oil)
- Tempura Tongs or cooking chopsticks.
- Paper towels
- Cook soba noodles according to package instructions. Set aside.
- Cut vegetables and pat dry to remove moisture.
- Make batter, mixing tempura flour with water. Stir to remove clumps.
- Add oil to tempura pot and heat to 320°F (160°C).
- Check temperature by dripping some batter into oil. Batter should sizzle. Alternately, use a cooking thermometer.
- Once hot, dip veggies into tempura batter, and deep fry in small batches until golden. Do not overcrowd the pot. Fry times: Sweet potatoes: 3-4 min. Other vegetables: 1-2 min. Shiso: 15 sec.
- Remove crumbs with skimmer in between frying.
- Once vegetables are fried, remove with tongs, gently shaking off excess oil, and place on paper towel to drain some of the oil.
- Using a fork or chopsticks, twirl cooked soba noodles into spirals and place in bento box. If the noodles are stuck together, pour a little water to help them separate.
- Optional: add garnishes (green onion, nori seaweed, wasabi, shiso, myoga) to soba.
- Place tempura vegetables into top tier of bento box and wrap up bento box.
- Pour mentsuyu dipping sauce in a thermos with ice cubes. If mentsuyu sauce is concentrated, add water to dilute.
- To eat, dip noodles and tempura vegetables into mentsuyu/tsuketsuyu sauce. Don't forget to slurp your soba for an authentic tempura soba experience!