fava bean tempura

by Heguiberto on May 14, 2012

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Since we were in rush to move to the new garden plot we weren’t able to wait for the fava beans that we planted back in November (in the old plot) to be completely ready. It takes a while for the pods to appear and then grow to a useful size. So we harvested what we could, mainly the pods growing at the bottom of plants. We were able to get a fair amount. Steven gave away some to his co-worker Ernestina. She’s my Facebook friend, so I know she sautéed them in butter, salt and garlic. Because the favas were super young you don’t need to remove the inner membrane that covers the flesh of the bean. I made some of ours exactly the same way except that I used olive oil instead of butter, added a bit of chili flakes and some cherry tomatoes for additional color. It made a great side dish.

fava bean tempura

fava bean tempura

I used the rest for this incredible fava bean tempura. I got the idea from this restaurant in town that, unfortunately, has closed now. I left the beans in the pods but since they’re very young you can treat them just like green beans. And just like them, when cooked, they’re very tender. The texture is a bit different. Fava bean pods have a white velvety layer inside that acts as a cushion for the actual bean: nature’s way of protecting the development of life? That spongy layer makes eating this tempura especially fun as when you bite into it, it almost feels like it will pop in your mouth.

Enjoy this as a side dish or snack. It matches very well with a cold beer or a crisp un-oaked white wine.

fava bean tempura

about 20 fava bean pods
1 cup plain four
2 tbsp rice flour
Kosher salt
Black pepper
1 tbsp mirin
Canola oil for frying

Remove the tips and the stringy part of the pods.

Whisk together flours, salt, black pepper, mirin and enough water for the consistency of a runny pancake batter.

Add canola oil to the pan and heat to medium high. Dip individual bean pods in batter and drop them carefully in hot oil. Fry for a couple of minutes on each side. Transfer to a platter lined with paper towels. Repeat with remainder. Sprinkle some extra salt over pods as they come out of the pan. Fried food is naughty good, don’t you think? Eat responsibly 🙂

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Barbara May 14, 2012 at 8:25 am

Damn, I wish I could find some tender young fava beans. I’d love to try this. Will look at the farmer’s market next weekend.
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Crystal May 14, 2012 at 6:57 pm

Tempura is the Japanese method of deep-frying, which began with Japanese trade with European countries. The main difference from Western deep-frying is the use of ice water or highly chilled beer, which keeps the batter lightly colored..

Devaki @ weavethousandflavors May 15, 2012 at 10:58 am

Tender fava beans sound lovely especially with some shrimp on the side. Grmble grumble – that was my tummy!

Are you guys already on the road? 🙂

Devaki @ weavethousandflavors
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OysterCulture May 28, 2012 at 2:50 pm

I need to expand my fava bean recipe repertoire, this sounds delicious.
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Magic of Spice June 6, 2012 at 12:52 pm

I have never had very young fava beans, will have to see if I can torture a local farmer 🙂 These look amazingly wonderful!
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