Dandelion Tempura - a quick post-gardening foraged snack April 26 2014
Dandelion Tempura are a fab little something to try when you’ve had a hard day in the garden and you know that tea is still some way off. It’s the perfect snack because it’s tempura and it’s made with ingredients which you’re bound to have in your garden and kitchen cupboard as well as being quick to make and extremely tasty.
There are dandelions everywhere at the moment, so try to find some in a garden or a park, I feel that I should advise you to avoid picking flower heads from busy roadsides.
As well as the dandelions, you need flour plus something chilled and fizzy. I never have chilled sparkling water in the house, but always have chilled sparkling beer (specifically those little stubby green bottles you can get from Sainsburys), so any tempura recipes in my cooking repertoire are always of the beer-battered variety.
Pick your dandelions as close as possible to the flower head (include the bit of green holding them together). I found it best not to wash them as it just makes the petals clump together. Heat some vegetable oil in preparation (you can test when it’s ready by dropping a small piece of bread into the pan and waiting until it sizzles), I tried a few different types of oil and found that ground nut oil is the tastiest (but veg or sunflower will do just fine). Start with about 50g of self raising flour and slowly add the fizzy beer until your batter is the consistency of single cream. Dip the flower heads straight into the batter then directly into the hot oil.
They only need about 2 minutes, then out they come and place them onto some kitchen roll to soak up the excess oil.
Best to eat them while they’re still hot with a little bit of dipping sauce and washed down with the rest of the beer.
It’s weird because you know you’re eating flowers. But cool for exactly the same reason. Delicious.
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