These crispy battered vegetables taste best when they’re freshly cooked, and dipped in a tangy sauce. When my mother fried tempura, she kept topping up the large plate at the center of a table, and didn’t sit down with us until it was almost finish.
Put all the prepared vegetable and mushrooms on a tray, ready for frying.
Pour the oil into a deep fryer or wok and heat to 180c.
To make the dipping sauce, pour the sake, mirin, soy sauce and dashi into a small pan, placing a lid on top. Leave to simmer keeping the sauce warm.
Put the grated daikon and ginger on small individual plates.
In a large bowl mix the egg very lightly with chopsticks . Add the cold water, mix lightly again and then more thoroughly with a whisk. Add flour, one third at a time whilst whisking. Be careful not to over mix as the batter can become thick and heavy. Stop when the batter is just mixed.
Dip the vegetable in the better and fry them in batches, draining each batch on kitchen paper. For the carrots and sweetcorn, use a tabs to lower them carefully into the oil. Cooking times very for the different vegetables. But cook them for between 1 1/2 minutes and 2 1/2 minutes, until they float to the top of the oil and become less bubbly, which is usually a sign they're cooked.
Divide the dipping sauce into individual bowls. Arrange the tempura on a large palate or small portions on individual plates. Serve hot with the warm dripping sauce and the grated daikon and ginger.
Shiso is a family of basil native in the Far East and South East Asia. Shisha leaves can be found in Asian supermarkets but basil will work as a substitute.
The vegetables don't need coating with flour before dipping into the batter apart from the shisha leaves. With these, coat only backs of the leaves with flour, and then dip them in the batter, cook for 15 minutes.