First, let's make the donburi sauce. lace the bonito flakes into a tea filter bag.Close the filter bag by flipping the mouth opening over.
Now, heat the mirin in a small pot. Bring it to a boil and let the alcohol evaporate. The mirin easily catches fire so reduce the heat to low when it begins to boil.
When you don't smell any alcohol, add the soy sauce and the bag of bonito flakes. Submerge the bag in the sauce completely.
Lightly boil the sauce and then turn off the burner. This savory tendon sauce serves 2 people. If a tea filter bag isn't available, you can put the bonito flakes in the pot and strain the sauce later.
Now, let's cut the ingredients. Trim off the firm, stem end and cap of the okra.
Cut the bell pepper in half lengthwise. Cut out the firm stem end and core. Lightly remove the seeds by hitting the pepper against the surface. No need to remove the seeds completely.
Cut the eggplant into 1 cm (0.4") pieces and slice the kabocha squash into 7 mm (0.3") slices.
Let's prepare the prawns. Pierce the back of the prawn with a bamboo stick and remove the sand veins.
Peel the shell but leave the last segment of the shell attached.
Cut off the tip of the tail diagonally. Then, scrap the tail to remove the moisture inside. This will help avoid splashing the oil when it is deep-fried.
Add a small amount of salt to the bowl of cold water. In our previous tendon video, the prawns were coated with sake but today we are rinsing them in thin salt water to remove any unwanted odor.
You can use either method but be sure to remove the excess moisture from the prawns.
Now, make 4 cuts along the stomach of the prawn.
Then, bend the back in the opposite direction. You might hear light snapping sounds when the firm stringy parts break. Breaking the stringy parts will help keep the prawns from curling up.
As for the soft boiled egg, check out our scotch egg video on how to make it. Boil the egg for five and a half minutes, chill it in ice water, and remove the shell.
Let's make the batter for the tempura. Combine the tempura batter mix and water in a bowl.
Stir the batter with a balloon whisk until all the pockets of flour are mixed in and it becomes smooth. Tempura batter mix is useful especially for first timers since no cold water or eggs are required and over mixing the batter doesn't affect the result.
Place all the ingredients on a tray and dust them with tempura batter mix. Remove the excess powder and coat both sides evenly. This process will help keep the batter from falling off. Avoid dusting too much otherwise the batter will become dense and heavy when deep-fried.
And now, using kitchen chopsticks, stir the vegetable oil from the bottom to make the temperature even. Disperse the batter on the oil to check if the temperature reaches 170 °C (338 °F). When the batter hits the bottom and quickly floats to the surface, it should be the appropriate temperature.
Coat each ingredient with the tempura batter and place it into the oil.
The kabocha squash takes time to cook so it should be the first ingredient to deep-fry. The order is kabocha, eggplant, bell pepper, and okra.
Drip the extra batter over the vegetables to create a more visually appealing dish.
Flip them over to cook evenly.
As soon as the batter becomes crispy and golden brown and the inside is cooked, remove it one by one and place them onto a cooling rack.
Pierce the kabocha with a bamboo stick to see if it is ready. Now, all the vegetables are deliciously deep-fried.
Next, let's deep-fry the prawns. This size of prawns takes about 30 seconds to cook.
Be sure not to overcook them otherwise the prawns become too firm. Add the extra batter to the oil here as well.
Prawn tempura is the most popular ingredient in Tendon. Place the prawns on the rack.
Remove the remaining tempura batter with a mesh strainer.
Finally, deep-fry the soft boiled egg. When making tempura at home, a large amount of oil isn't always needed. You can flip the ingredients over or tilt the pan to deep-fry.
When the surface becomes crispy, quickly remove the egg to avoid cooking the inside too thoroughly.
Now, let's arrange the tendon. Place the steamed rice into a donburi bowl. Pour over the tendon sauce.
On the rice, arrange the kabocha, bell pepper, okra, eggplant, soft boiled egg, and prawns.
This tendon sauce is thicker and stronger than our previous tendon sauce, which was introduced almost 11 years ago. Drizzle on a small amount of the sauce so that you can enjoy the crispy texture of the tempura from the beginning to the end. You can also sprinkle on sansho pepper powder to taste, making it upscale tendon!
You can make tendon sauce with a packaged noodle soup base if mirin is not available. Dilute the soup base as described, and add a small amount of sugar to make it closer to the relatively sweet tendon sauce.
You should also try seasonal vegetables, for example, myoga ginger buds, string bean pods, or mulukhiyah for variations.
Check out our scotch egg recipe to make the soft boiled egg.