Springy Tempura


  • Soybean oil (commonly labeled as vegetable oil)
  • A handful of herbs (whatever you have, parsley, cilantro, mint, thyme, etc.)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 ½ cups seltzer water (chilled)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric
  • Salt
  • Meyer lemon wedges
  • Vegetables

Pick your favorite veggies: green beans, radishes, artichokes, edamame, asparagus, rainbow carrots, snap peas, onion petals, endive, mushrooms, broccoli, whole chilies or anything else – there’s no wrong answer here! You could even add tofu if you want some additional protein.


  1. Place a large pan over high heat and add about 2 inches of soybean oil. Heat your oil to about 350 degrees.
  2. Toss in a handful of your favorite herbs and fry for a minute.
  3. Cut your veggies as desired, or leave them whole. Either works! Be sure to pierce the vegetable skin to let oil escape!
  4. In a bowl, combine the flour, seltzer water, egg, turmeric, and a pinch of salt.  Stir until just mixed, don’t overwork it, some lumps are ok.
  5. Dip each vegetable into the batter, allowing any extra bits to drip back into the bowl, and place into the pan with soybean oil. Work in batches to avoid overcrowding your pan or lowering the temperature of the oil. Make sure your batter stays cool while you’re working. We like to toss a clean, cold ice pack in the bowl.
  6. Cook until the outside is nice and crispy, about 1-2 minutes, then drain on paper towels. Hit the fried veggies with salt to finish.
  7. Top with crumbled, fried herbs from the pan and serve on newspaper with Meyer lemon wedges.

Notes: The KEY to a great tempura is to fry using a flavorless oil like soybean oil (commonly labeled as vegetable oil), which is genius when you want to taste the natural flavors of the veggies you’re frying up.