Japan Eats

Recipe: Suage yasai no okaka itame (deep fried vegetables)

Eggplant, peppers, pumpkin and string beans: a light vegetable dish fit for summer

Summer time is (almost) upon us. In Tokyo, the rainy season (June/July) gives way to days which are long, hot and humid – the perfect time for salads and light vegetable dishes.

Here is an extremely easy deep fried vegetable dish which would suit any summer menu. It only requires a handful of ingredients, and these can be adjusted according to taste. Vegetarians take note: simply skip the bonito flakes and add a little more flavor with a fresh sesame seed garnish.

Deep fried vegetables

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 1/4 pumpkin
  • 1 red pepper
  • 100 g string beans
  • 300 – 400 g eggplant
  • 600 ml vegetable oil for deep frying
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 6 – 10 g bonito flakes
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • fresh sesame seeds

Method

First remove the pumpkin seeds and cut the pumpkin into wedges 5 – 6 mm thick.

Cut away both ends of each string bean. Next, slice each pepper in half and remove the seeds together with the stems. Slice the peppers lengthways into wedges 1 cm thick.

Now remove the stems from the eggplant and cut into wedges 1 cm thick.

Heat the vegetable oil to 170 degrees centigrade. Deep fry all of the ingredients (without adding butter) until they have turned golden brown.

Remove the cooked ingredients from the deep fryer and drain away any remaining oil.

Now for the sauce. Pour the sesame oil and thinly chopped garlic into a fry pan. Place the pan on a very low heat. Once the garlic has become light brown, add the bonito flakes and soy sauce to the oil and garlic. Mix rapidly and turn off the heat.

Finally, place the deep fried vegetables into the pan and coat them with sauce. Serve with a garnish of fresh sesame seeds.