In the Kansai 関西 area, udon noodles are often topped with or accompanied by interesting tempura such as soft boiled egg tempura 半熟卵の天ぷら or vinegary red ginger slices tempura 紅生姜の天ぷら or chicken tempura 鳥天. Some years ago, when we visited a Kyoto izakaya “Kurakura” 蔵倉, we also had avocado tempura アボカドの天ぷら. So, I decided to make it an “unusual tempura” evening. I rounded things out by adding sweet potato tempura which is a very “usual” but never boring tempura item.
I only made half the avocado into tempura for two. I served this with green tea salt.
The soft boiled egg tempura had a very runny yolk as seen below. I served the egg with a small amount of rice to absorb the yolk. We also added a bit of soy sauce.
Ingredients (for 2 small servings):
Soft cooked eggs, two (see below)*
Avocado, thin wedges from half avocado
Sweet potato, two rounds, 1/3 inch thick.
*Soft boiled eggs:
There are a few things to keep in mind about making soft boiled or “cooked” eggs with runny yolks.
1. Use pasteurized eggs, either home pasteurized or Davidson’s commercial ones. Although salmonella contamination of eggs in the U.S. appears to be low, it is still a possibility.
2. The best way to make soft “cooked” eggs is the method from America’s test kitchen in which you use a small amount (1/2 inch deep) of boiling water on medium flame, with the eggs directly from the refrigerator placed in the water using tongs, then covered with a lid. For soft cooked eggs, I cooked them for 6 minutes and 30 seconds. I did not believe this method would work initially but it really does! The small amount of water recovers its temperature quickly and the eggs are cooked evenly by steam not by boiling water. The timing doesn’t change even if you cook more eggs.
3. I placed the eggs in ice water immediately to stop the cooking and let them cool completely (about 10 minutes).
4. I peeled the eggs and placed them in a sealed container in the refrigerator until I was ready to make the tempura.
There are so many different versions I have tried. This time I went simple and used ice cold water and cake flour (without egg and without Vodka). I made it to the consistency of runny cake batter without over mixing.
I used fresh peanut oil heated to 350F.
For the sweet potato I cooked for 2 minutes total time turning once. For the avocado, I cooked for 1 minute or less turning once. For the soft boiled eggs, I cooked only 20-30 seconds until a light crust was formed (below).
We really liked the tempura eggs. The yolk was warm but runny and surface had a light and crunchy thin crust. The egg tasted great on the rice with a splash of soy sauce. The avocado tempura was also good but the sweet potato could not go wrong.
P.S. We started our blog in September 2009. This post is the 1,000th post. We are not sure how much longer we can continue but we had fun coming up with the recipes and writing about them. It has also proved to be a useful personal diary of the various meals we made and the many special occasions on which we enjoyed them.