Saturday, April 23, 2011

Recipe Improv: Vegetable tempura with quinoa and arugula

Last week I asked 5 friends to name the first ingredient that came to their mind. The ingredients were: quinoa, potatoes, zucchini, peas, and arugula. The challenge? I have to make a meal out of it. This was fun, and I got to be a little creative with what I made. Obviously there are a million combinations, but I settled on vegetable tempura over quinoa with an arugula salad. Totally awesome, if I do say so myself.

So check out the pics and the recipe below. I'd like to do this more often, and I need your help. The first 5 comments with ingredients will be my next meal! (ok, not my next meal, but you know what I mean).

From Food pics

For the tempura:
1 zucchini and 1/2 a potato
2 egg yolks
1 cup flour, + 1/2 cup in a separate bowl
1 cup very cold water
oil, for frying

1. Cut the veggies into long sticks.

From Food pics

2. I actually cooked my potatoes first; not sure if this was necessary or not. I brought a pot of salted water to a boil and cooked the potatoes for 10 minutes, until they were mostly cooked.

3. Prepare the batter. Mix everything together with a fork. Some lumps are ok; the important thing is that the batter is pretty thin. You may need more water.

4. Prepare a skillet with some oil. My oil was about 1 inch deep. Heat the oil.

5. Roll each of the veggies in a little flour then dredge in the batter. Place in the oil and fry for about 5 minutes each, until golden brown.

From Food pics

5. Prepare a dipping sauce for the tempura. I used about 4 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tbsp rice vinegar, and 1 tsp honey.


1. Bring 1/2 cup vegetable broth and 1/2 cup water to a boil. When its boiling, add 1 cup quinoa. Cover, turn heat to low, and cook 20 minutes.

2. After 15 minuted have passed, add the peas (about 1/2 cup).

3. Taste for doneness - if the quinoa is dry, just add some water and cook longer (covered).

Putting it all together

Place the quinoa on a plate and top with arugula. Drizzle with dipping sauce for the tempura. Oh, I added a little raw red onion - yum. Arrange tempura over the arugula so it looks nice and pretty. And voila!

From Food pics


Jess S said...

Pickles! No just kidding, cheddar cheese.

Seth Gitter said...


Seth Gitter said...

Beef tenderloin

Seth Gitter said...


Seth Gitter said...

Foie gras

Rachel said...

Looks delicious!

My ingredient nomination is beets. (Love me some beets!)

Tracy said...

(sorry about seth - i have no control over him). How about mushrooms? (my favorite veg)

Alisa said...

Lulz @ Seth... you could use fake bacon? My ingredient is an easy one: portabella mushrooms.

Also, what the crap can you do with pickles? Other than eat em on sammiches, or made into rollups with cream cheese, or deep fried, the only sort of cooking Ive seen them involved in was dill pickle soup. I hear its actually pretty good, but i haven't been brave enough to try such a thing yet.

Alisa said...

Dangit, Tracy beat me to it. :)

Seth Gitter said...

Bullish*t! You have to use the first 5 ingredients. That was the challenge you set for yourself. If you don't, you fail.

And no fake ingredients. My post says "bacon" not "compressed soy byproduct shaped to look like bacon"

Melissa said...

oh good lord. Cheese, beets, mushrooms? This might be kinda gross.

@seth, obviously I'm not going to cook real meat. I will use fake bacon, but you don't want that? You can suggest another non-meat item if you want, but when you tell me I fail, I'll just ignore you.

Seth Gitter said...

I didn't say thy you failed. I merely said that if you didn't follow the rules of your own challenge you would fail. So I guess you still have to listen to me and use my ingredients

E.J. said...

Maybe you should just specify that you want non-meat ingredients. Then you wouldn't have to fail at the challenge.

Here's another ingredient if you still need one: greek yogurt.

Melissa said...

Good idea, EJ.

So I have my ingredients: beets, mushrooms, cheddar cheese, facon (sorry seth, but you know I won't eat real bacon), and greek yogurt.

I'll make this amazing dish next week - I'll be out of town till Tuesday, but I'll make sure to post it on Facebook so you all can see it. Thanks for the help! (And for reading my blog so much!!)