Talking about medicinal cooking often comes with a strong Chinese image, but did you know that medicinal herbs can also be used in Japanese food? We can enjoy healthier meals by introducing the essence of medicinal herbs in our everyday Japanese food.
Today, the expert in medicinal cooking Sumi Sakaguchi will be teaching us a recipe for a Japanese style yakuzen tempura using “lotus roots,” which have been used since ancient times in for medicinal soups in China, and “scallops,” which have a moisturizing effect.
Tempura sandwich of lotus roots and scallops
【Ingredients (4 servings)】
- Lotus roots…150 – 180 g
- Scallops (the meat only)… 4 (100 g)
- Weak flour for the preparation… about 1tbsp
- Vegetables of your choice (okra, eggplant, etc)… To taste.
- Canola oil, etc… To taste
- Egg… 1/2
- Water… 120 cc
- Weak flour…50 g
※Cool the flour, water and egg in the fridge previously.
- Slice the lotus roots in 24 sheets of about 7 mm. Slice each scallop in 3 so you will have 12 pieces.
- Drain off the water from the lotus roots and lightly sprinkle the surface with flour. Place a piece of scallop on the lotus roots, and cover with another lotus root slice.
- Heat the oil.
- Make the tempura batter. Mix the egg with the cold water and, once mixed, add the cold flour and mix it in with the help of a pair of thick chopsticks or a whipper (※At this stage, it is important not to overmix the ingredients!)
- When the oil passes 180º C, dip number 2) in the batter from number 3) and place in the oil. (Check the temperature by dropping a small amount of batter into the oil. If it comes floating up before reaching the bottom of the pan, the temperature is right. Adding too much food at once will make the temperature drop. The ideal amount to fry is about half of the surface of the pan each time.)
Let them fry for about 2 minutes and a half. Halfway through, turn and fry for about 2 minutes. Take out of the pan while draining off the oil.
- Fry and add other vegetables of your choice such as okra, etc.
- Serve with salt and lime.
★Sakaguchi recommends having this tempura with “tentsuyu” too, so she also taught us an easy recipe for a homemade “tentsuyu.”
Easy recipe for “tentsuyu” (dipping sauce for tempura)
- Water…250 cc
- Kombu… A sheet of about 3 cm
- Soy sauce…50 cc
- Mirin…50 cc
1) Put the water and kombu in a pot and leave it there for about 1 hour. Without taking the kombu out, place the pot on the fire and, once it boils, add the soy sauce and mirin and let simmer for 2-3 minutes on a low flame. When it boils again, stop the fire and filter through a sieve.
【Yakuzen Info from Sakaguchi】
The lotus is a rare vegetable of which all parts can be used for medicinal purposes, from the flower to the stem and roots. In China, lotus roots have been used since ancient times as an ingredient for a medicinal soup. Lotus roots are an amazing vegetable that grows through the mud, which makes it have the cooling effects of water and the warming effects of earth combined. When eaten raw, they remove heat, fever and throat pain, while if heated up, they give moisture and nutrition to the body. For women, they are effective in preventing anemia by increasing the amount of blood in the body, and they also have other beauty effects such as providing the skin with moisture. Also, for children and the elderly, they have the same effect as other root crops in increasing physical strength.
If you are not going to eat them immediately after frying, you can keep them crispy even after some time passes by changing one third of the weak flour for potato starch.
This highly nutritious Japanese style yakuzen tempura is ideal for women, children and the elderly. Be sure to try it at home!
Recipe by: ChiSumi Sakaguchi, expert in medicinal cooking.
- Kanpo kitchen：http://kanpokitchen.com
- Sumi Sakaguchi’s blog：http://kanpokitchen.blog105.fc2.com/
- 我想信未来 (Blog in Chinese and Japanese):
Chisumi Sakaguchi’s book now has on sale in Taiwan
Chisumi Sakaguchi’s book “The Empress Xi’s Anti-Aging Recipes” now has a Chinese version on sale in Taiwan, published by Taiwan Television Culture Co (TTVC). Please give it a read.