75g plain flour
125ml chilled water
½ small onion, thinly sliced
1 carrot, peeled and sliced into matchsticks
4 shishito peppers (or ¼ green capsicum), seeds removed, thinly sliced
vegetable oil, for frying

These are small tempura fritters made with mixed vegetables that are delicious on their own or in a bowl of soba or udon noodles, where they soak up the sauce. You can use any vegetables you like really, just cut them into small pieces so they cook quickly. Corn, green beans, edamame, shishito peppers or bell peppers, for example, all go well here. You can eat these alone with some grated daikon and soy sauce sweetened with a splash of mirin, or try them dipped in matcha salt: mix 1 teaspoon of salt with 1 teaspoon of powdered matcha.

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1.Mix the flour with the measured chilled water (my mother likes to use sparkling water).
2.Don’t over-mix and don’t worry if there are lumps. Let the mixture chill in the fridge until needed.
3.Add the vegetables to the batter. You can drop in a couple of ice cubes if it hasn’t had much time to chill.
4.Prepare a small-medium pan with enough vegetable oil so the kakiage can float (a depth of about 5cm).
5.Heat over a medium–high heat until the temperature comes to about 170°C.
6.It should be ready when a drop of the batter is immediately surrounded by many tiny, vigorous little bubbles.
7.Make the kakiage by dropping tablespoons (or use chopsticks) of the vegetables in batter into the hot oil.
8.Fry for about 1½–2 minutes, or until the batter is crisp and puffed. You can do several at a time, but don’t crowd the pan.
9.They shouldn’t brown but stay pale in colour. Transfer with a slotted spoon to drain on a wire rack while you fry the others.
10.If not using right away for noodles, keep these in an airtight container in the fridge until needed.
11.You can re-fry them to crisp them up again if you want to, but I find that if you are using them for soup just nestle them into the hot broth as they are and they will warm through in the soup.

This is an edited extract
from Gohan by Emiko
Davies, published by
Smith Street Books,
distributed by Thames
& Hudson Australia,
NZD$55, available
now. Photography ©
Emiko Davies, Hana
Davies & Yuki Sugiura