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.
Vegetable Tempura Nests
- 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.
Cindy (Vegetarian Mamma) says
I am SO hungry now! YUM Thanks for linking up at our Gluten Free Fridays party! I have tweeted and pinned your entry to our Gluten Free Fridays board on Pinterest! 🙂
Hope your week is great!
Cindy from vegetarianmamma.com
Thank you Cindy!
Great recipe, Cynthia! They look just like the Trader Joe’s version, but as you said…they’re also gluten free as well as vegetarian and vegan, and much less expensive! Love that!!
Rachel @ Baked by Rachel says
Such a great addition to our dinner tonight!
Kelly@ Nosh and Nourish says
I love these veggie nests… and the dipping sauce! YUM. Trying this weekend!!!
Taylor Kiser says
Congratulations on your daughter’s high school graduation!
These vegetable tempura nests look delicious! Can’t wait to try them!
We followed this recipe to a “T” but there wasn’t enough batter so the vegetables didn’t stick together and we ended up with a pile of friend (individual) vegetables. We almost doubled the batter and were successful. Maybe more specific measurements would be helpful (1C of zucchini)- our guess is our vegetables were slightly bigger than yours.
Yes, maybe I should have specified the size of the zucchini.
I will measure next time and refer in cups for great accuracy.
Thank you for your feedback.
Andrea C says
Tried this recipe as a side dish with Asian honey-garlic glazed chicken and fried rice. Really tasty (just like the TJs version, if not better!). Made the light beer version and added just a little more flour to thicken the batter up a bit. We loved them!
Thank you! I was so sad when Tj’s discontinued making them! Your honey garlic chicken sounds amazing!
thank you! So good to hear!
Denise Robb says
Thank you for the recipe. My son begged me to make a homemade version of trader joe’s. But the trader joe one is pretty low fat and low calorie (according to Noom it’s “Green”) I’m wondering if there is a way to make it without the 2″ of oil? I’m afraid it will be way over my allotment. It’s okay if it is, I can just give it to my son.
Do you have an air-fryer? I got one recently and need to try it in the air-fryer! but no, you could use 1/2 as much for sure.
Could you tell me if at some point they can be frozen like for or or after frying them?
I have never tried freezing them, buy I think they’d be just fine!
Can you tell me if theses vegetables nests can be frozen befor or after frying?
I’d freeze them before frying them.