tempura donburi

Making Tendon (Tempura Donburi) / 天丼

Guess who just completed an 8-week Pediatrics rotation, mostly intact albeit with a few scars and everlasting dark circles under her eyes?

And to celebrate the joyous moment, I ate carbs. Lots of it. Topped with crunchy fried morsels of foods. And doused with an addicting sweet sauce. And I’ll be sharing the recipe just incase you feel like celebrating. Or curious as to what it feels like to be eating the best tempura don you’ll ever eat.

The star of this dish is of course the tempura. More specifically, the tempura batter. Perfect tempura should have a thin, almost transparent coating of lightly browned, crisp batter, perfectly balanced with the vegetables or seafood inside. And there is nothing much to it save for two key ingredients: ice, ice cold water and baking soda. Let’s proceed!

TEMPURA DONBURI/天丼

TEMPURA BATTER:

[ ½ cup flour + ½ cup cornstarch + 1 teaspoon baking soda + 1 teaspoon baking powder + 1 teaspoon sugar + ½ teaspoon salt + 1 egg + 2/3 cup ice water ]

Make sure that your water is ice cold, guys. To the point where you actually need to put ice cubes in it to keep it icy.

Sift together the dry ingredients and set aside.

In a medium bowl, beat the egg slightly and mix with the ice water. Stir in the dry ingredients, stirring only until mixed; the mixture will be slightly lumpy.

Dust shrimp, chunky-cut chicken, vegetables, etc with cornflour before dipping them into the batter.

Deep fry in hot oil until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.

DONBURI SAUCE:

[ 1½ cups water + 4 to 6 tablespoons shoyu (soy sauce), to taste + 1 tablespoon mirin (sweet cooking sake) + 2 – 3 tablespoons brown sugar, to taste + 1½ tablespoons cooking sake ]

In a small pot, add water and bring to a boil, then reduce to medium heat. Add shoyu, mirin and sake. Let simmer for 5 minutes.

Add brown sugar and cook until the sugar dissolves.

If you are not using the sauce immediately, let the sauce cool to room temperature and store in the fridge up to 5 – 7 days.

ASSEMBLY:

[ Fried assorted tempuras + donburi sauce + steamed rice + chopped green onion + roasted sesame seeds ]

Pile the rice into a bowl. Drizzle some of the donburi sauce and sprinkle some chopped green onion on top.

Pile on the tempuras. Finish off with a sprinkling of toasted sesame seed. 

Serve with donburi sauce on the side.  

TEMPURA DONBURI/天丼

TEMPURA BATTER:

½ cup flour + ½ cup cornstarch + 1 teaspoon baking soda + 1 teaspoon baking powder + 1 teaspoon sugar + 1/2 teaspoon salt + 1 egg + 2/3 cup ice water ]

  1. Sift together the dry ingredients and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, beat the egg slightly and mix with the ice water. Stir in the dry ingredients, stirring only until mixed; the mixture will be slightly lumpy.
  3. Dust shrimp, chunky-cut chicken, vegetables, etc with cornflour before dipping them into the batter.
  4. Deep fry in hot oil until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.

DONBURI SAUCE:

1½ cups water + 4 to 6 tablespoons shoyu (soy sauce), to taste + 1 tablespoon mirin (sweet cooking sake) + 2 – 3 tablespoons brown sugar, to taste + 1½ tablespoons cooking sake ]

  1. In a small pot, add water and bring to a boil, then reduce to medium heat. Add shoyu, mirin and sake. Let simmer for 5 minutes.
  2. Add brown sugar and cook until the sugar dissolves.
  3. If you are not using the sauce immediately, let the sauce cool to room temperature and store in the fridge up to 5 – 7 days.

ASSEMBLY:

Fried assorted tempuras + donburi sauce + steamed rice + chopped green onion + roasted sesame seeds ]

  1. Pile the rice into a bowl. Drizzle some of the donburi sauce and sprinkle some chopped green onion on top.
  2. Pile on the tempuras. Finish off with a sprinkling of toasted sesame seed.
  3. Serve with donburi sauce on the side.

Enjoy!