Butternut squash and courgette tempura

"Spelt flour gives tempura a gently nutty taste. Experiment with all sorts of vegetables, haddock works well, too."

  • Preparation time: 25 minutes
  • Cooking time: 30 minutes
  • Total time: 55 minutes 55 minutes

Serves: 4


1 egg
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
350ml sparkling water, chilled
200g fine ground spelt flour
1½ litres sunflower oil
250g butternut squash, peeled and cut into 0.5cm slices
1 large courgette, cut on the diagonal into 0.5cm slices
1 x plain flour, for dusting

Dipping sauce

4 tbsp vegetable stock
3 tbsp dark soy sauce
4 tsp clear honey
2 tbsp grated fresh root ginger
2 salad onions, finely sliced


1. Combine all the ingredients for the dipping sauce, then set aside.

2. To make the tempura batter, whisk the egg, bicarbonate of soda and sparkling water in a bowl. Gradually add the spelt fl our, gently whisking until the batter is the consistency of double cream.

3. Heat the oil in a large pan or wok to 180°C, or until a piece of bread turns golden brown in about 40 seconds. Lightly dust the vegetables in plain fl our, then gently dip one piece of vegetable at a time into the batter. Gently lower into the oil, dropping the pieces away from you and cooking no more than 4 pieces at a time.

4. Cook for 1-2 minutes, then remove from the oil with a slotted spoon onto a tray covered with kitchen paper. Sprinkle with a little sea salt and continue frying until all the vegetables are cooked. Serve with the dipping sauce while still warm.