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Kabocha squash kimpura

Time 30 minutes
Yields Serves 4
Kabocha squash kimpura
1

Slice the kabocha into half-inch-thick half-moons. If the pieces are too large, cut them in half. Each piece should be about 2 or 3 bitefuls.

2

To make the batter: In a medium bowl, combine the ice water with the buckwheat flour and cornstarch. Whisk until mixture is combined. The batter will be slightly thin, sort of like syrup.

3

To make the kimpura: Heat the oil in a deep pot such as a Dutch oven or tempura frying pan (the oil should come up the sides of the pot about 2 to 3 inches), until a thermometer inserted reads 325 degrees.

4

Working in batches, dip the squash into the batter, letting the excess batter drain off so you don’t have too much coating on the surface of the squash. Then deep-fry the squash, being careful not to crowd. Fry until the batter is crisp on all sides, about 2 minutes. Test a piece with a toothpick. If it comes out easily, it is done.

5

Drain the kimpura on paper towels. (It’s best to stand the pieces, so they drain well.)

6

Arrange the kimpura on a plate. Serve immediately with salt or warm dipping sauce.

This is a flavorful batter that benefits from the nutty flavor of the buckwheat. The cornstarch adds a little crispiness, but you can make it without it too. This batter works for both vegetables and seafood. Soba-ko or buckwheat soba flour can be found at Japanese markets. This recipe requires a 4-quart pot, preferably cast iron, or a tempura frying pan.

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