Friday, August 5, 2011

Gluten-Free Tempura

The Farmers' Market

It all started with a trip to the library.  Really.  The library.

We had things waiting for us at the library.  We always have things to take back.  Often we need to get more books.  We go weekly to keep ourselves well supplied with reading materials.

Our local library shares their parking space with the local farmers' market during the summer months.  When we arrived at the library, we couldn't help walking through the farmers' market first.  It was near the market's closing time, and the vendors would be gone by the time we were done in the library.  We had to walk through the market first.

Baked goods.  No thanks, I'm gluten-free.

Dairy products.  Um... not today, thanks.

And that's when I spotted the okra.


And zucchini.  And eggplant.  And tomatoes.

We got some of each.

Now we had to figure out what we were going to do with our new found bounty.

After finishing at the library, we started thinking quickly.  What do we want to do with these vegetables and what would we need from the store before we head home?


Fried okra.  We wanted fried okra.

We never fry anything at home.  Maybe pan fry, with just a tablespoon or two of olive oil, but never deep-fat fry.  It's just not our style.

But the rest of the family had had some fried okra a few weeks before at a restaurant.  I, of course, could not partake or even taste their fried okra, since it was battered and fried.  Glutenated.

This is the tough part of being the only one in the family that needs to be gluten-free.

They all were in love with that fried okra!  They smiled and giggled and sighed and went back for more.

I just imagined what it would taste like.

Now, we had okra in hand and I was ready for some fried okra myself.  I wanted to taste that deliciousness too.

Everyone was with me.  They wanted fried okra too!  They had no hesitation to making it gluten-free.  Let's do it!

Okay....  What else would we want to have with it?  Well... if we are going to fry, why not shrimp?!  Gluten-free Tempura Shrimp!  Well, if we make tempura batter, we can just use that on the okra too.

I was so excited!  I hadn't had tempura in more than five years!  I hadn't had tempura since I had become gluten-free.

Gluten-Free Tempura Shrimp and Vegetables

Have you ever noticed how beautiful sliced okra is?

Have you ever noticed how slimy sliced okra is?!

For our tempura, we used about a cup of potato starch, some baking bowder, salt, milk, one egg, a bit of olive oil, and a dash of paprika.

Mix the dry together first and then combine wet ingredients in the mixer.  Then slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet.  The mixer was overkill here.  This can be done easily in two bowls with a wisk or fork.

We used sweet rice flour to coat the vegetables and shrimp.  Then we dipped each piece in the wet batter.

Then it is time to fry!  We heated a liter of olive oil in our fryer/slow cooker.  It was a wedding gift and this was the first time we were using it as a fryer!  And the oil needs to be hot, so that everything doesn't end up being mushy and soggy with oil.  We set our fryer to about 350 or 375 degrees.  Be careful!

 The zucchini turned out beautiful.

Then came the eggplant!  Wow.  I couldn't wait to finish the rest.  I wanted some now!

But then came the okra.  Oh.  My.  Goodness.  We need to hurry up!

And finally the shrimp!  I'm ready!  Let's eat!

Finally we were ready.

And, oh my!  Everything was so delicious!  Everything tasted so good.

It's a good thing we don't fry at home.  I wouldn't be able to keep myself away from these!

And this was certainly a treat.  My favorite turned out to the flavorful shrimp.  But in a very close second was...


the okra!  Tempura Okra!

Three cheers for Tempura Okra!  Hip Hip Hooray!

Unbelievably good.  We just can't let ourselves indulge in this very often.

Who said gluten-free had to be lifeless or tasteless?  Think again!  Eat again!

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