This vegetable tempura or Kakiage (かき揚げ) is a light and crispy Japanese fritter made with onions, carrots, green beans and mushrooms held together in a delicate matrix of tempura batter. In this guide to making kakiage, I'm going to show you all the secrets to making this ultra-crisp Japanese appetizer.
Add 1.5 to 2-inches of vegetable oil into a deep, heavy-bottomed pot and preheat to 355 degrees F (180 C). Prepare a wire rack by lining it with a few layers of paper towels.
Add the onions, green beans, carrots, maitake mushrooms, and cake flour to a bowl and toss the vegetables in the flour.
When the oil is ready. Add the club soda to the vegetables and stir using a folding motion with chopsticks to distribute the flour into the water. It should be barely mixed, and a few lumps of unmixed flour is okay.
Scoop up some veggies and batter onto a wide spatula and shape it into a patty.
Dunk the whole spatula into the oil and use chopsticks or another spatula to slide the vegetables into the oil. Repeat to make additional fritters.
Fry the Kakiage until it's crisp on one side, and then flip it over and crisp the second side (it should take about 5 minutes in total).
Drain the tempura well as you remove it from the oil, and then transfer it to your prepared rack.
Serve on a sheet of paper, along with a side of salt and a wedge of lemon.