I have visited several vegan/vegetarian restaurants here in Japan in the last few weeks. Some were exceptional, some were just mediocre. One of the places that I really enjoyed was a little French macrobiotic restaurant called "AN-RIZ-L'EAU" in Utsunomiya, Tochigi Prefecture. The food was prepared with care using an abundance of locally grown vegetables. The main dish that mimicked a popular dish "ebi fry" (panko-battered shrimp) was actually made with carrots! Although I must admit the texture was not quite the same, the flavor was far better with the deep and rich sweetness from the carrots. I reproduced it at home and my family loved it! The dish is usually prepared by dipping the shrimp in flour, eggs and Japanese-style bread crumbs. Instead of eggs, a mixture of flour and water is used here. Enjoy the equally crispy and more flavorful vegan version!
4 carrots, cut lengthwise in quarters
panko bread crumbs (Edward & Sons makes a good product without sugar)
- Place cut carrots in a steamer, sprinkle some salt and cook for 3 to 5 minutes. Remove to cool.
- Prepare the batter in three dishes: one with pastry flour, one with pastry flour mixed with water and one with panko bread crumbs.
- Roll the carrots in flour then dip them in the flour/water mixture. Roll them in panko bread crumbs.
- Deep fry in oil. Drain on paper towels. Serve with vegan Worcestershire sauce or ketchup.