I have a lot of carrots in the garden, but because the soil is 'pottery quality' clay, they rarely grow long, and I have to start using them now before they get too knotted! I picked a few, including the tender leaves (yes you can eat carrot leaves) and a couple of thin celery sticks, plus two leeks that never managed to grow beyond spring onion size. I washed, peeled and chopped the lot and then I made a batter with some tempura flour and water. Kakiage is a kind of tempura where more vegetables are mixed together, a bit like a fritter, but lighter, and if you use tempura flour also easier (no need to whisk eggs).
Add the chopped veggies to the batter (in a proper Japanese kakiage the vegetables should be cut into strips, here they were just roughly chopped) and spoon into hot oil to fry on both sides. Sprinkle with salt and serve. Very very simple and perfect for those kids who don't eat vegetables: they will probably eat any kind of veggie if it is hidden in a delicious kakiage fritter!!
Leftover kakiage can be added to a bowl of hot noodle soup, it tastes even better!
Photos and Recipes by Alessandra Zecchini ©