Vegetable tempura nests are a delicious and easy to make gluten-free appetizer. Crispy patties of carrot, zucchini, kale, and onion, served with a tangy soy dipping sauce.
It’s been a busy couple of weeks…My oldest daughter just graduated from High School, and with that, a flurry of activities I had expected, but had not quite planned on, over-took my life. I use to get very stressed trying to post twice a week for consistency, but I realize I’ve got to balance my personal life with my on-line life. One of the graduation events/parties, involved a pre-dinner cocktail party, at one of Emma’s best friend’s house. Grace’s mom served a fabulous selection of hors d’oeuvres for teens and adults to nibble on. I couldn’t stop eating the Vegetable Nests with the Soy Dipping Sauce.
Since Pasadena was the birthplace of Trader Joe’s grocery stores, some 50+ years ago, it’s hard to pass of a TJ’s app as your own. I asked Grace’s mom for the box, so I could attempt to recreate my own version of Vegetable Tempura Nests. I was also striving for a gluten-free version. What I ended up with, was not only gluten-free, but vegetarian and vegan, as well.
It’s hard to say how many people the vegetable tempura nests will serve.
The Trader Joe’s box made 8 “nests” for about $3 a box. Mine made about double that for about half the cost, but my 18 year old, was eating them as fast as I could fry them.
- 1 cup rice flour (gluten free version) or unbleached flour
- 1 Tablespoon corn starch
- 12 ounces club soda or light beer
- good pinch of kosher salt
- 1 medium carrot, peeled and finely shredded
- 1 medium zucchini, finely shredded
- 3 medium leaves kale, hard stems removed, finely shredded
- 1 large onion, finely sliced
- Vegetable oil for frying
- Soy Dipping Sauce
- Thin Tamari (Gluten free soy sauce) or low-sodium soy sauce with sake, Chinese whiskey or a splash of water.
- Whisk flour, cornstarch, club soda and salt into a medium bowl.
- Toss shredded veggies with the tempura batter to coat.
- Heat about 2 inches of oil in a deep fry pan over a medium high heat, about 350 degrees F.
- Drop vegetable nests, by the Tablespoonful, into the hot oil, cooking about 2-3 minutes per side, or until golden brown.
- Using a slotted spoon, remove nests from oil and drain on a paper towel lined plate. Serve immediately with Soy Dipping sauce.