For years I wondered what it was that made “beer batter” worth mentioning on menus – what differentiated it from a normal one? The answer – NO DAIRY! No eggs necessary, no butter, no milk. Just beer, flour and whatever extra little bits of flavour you want to stick in!
I recommend using a nice ale – I went for the Wychwood Brewery BlackWych Porter.
These vegetable bites could literally be anything! Broccoli, cauliflower, carrot and parsnip sticks…might be best to avoid peas, though.
- Practically any vegetable you could possibly want.
- Bottle of beer
- Vegan Breadcrumbs
- In a bowl, combine equal volumes of beer and flour.
- Grate some fresh ginger and garlic and mix into the batter. This will help give it that extra, somewhat East-Asian kick.
- Prepare your vegetables – slice, chop, peel. Cut onions into rings, carrots into sticks, break apart florets, cut discs, cubes, nuggets.
- Coat the vegetables in some seasoned flour (just mix in some salt, pepper, perhaps some chili powder).
- Dip into the beer batter, then the vegan breadcrumbs.
- If you have a deep fat fryer, perfect. If not, you can still shallow fry these – just be prepared to turn them regularly so they cook evenly. In any case, heat the oil. You know it’s hot enough if you drop a small piece of bread/onion etc. into it and it fizzes/bubbles.
- Fry the breaded vegetables in the oil until crisp and golden brown. Do this in batches so you don’t overcrowd the pan and cool down the oil too much. When cooked, remove to a wire rack so the excess oil drains off (otherwise they will be soggy, not crisp).
- Season to taste – salt, pepper, herbs etc.
Serving and Storage
These make a great entry to a party/get together dinner spread (especially as they’re suitable for everyone). A dipping sauce is always great, be it ketchup, BBQ sauce etc.
If you want these to be prepared ahead of time, partially fry them, leave to cool on the rack and then bag and freeze. Reheat in an oven for 10 minutes or so at about 200C.