Chef’s Corner: Tempura Battered Summer Vegetables with a Ponzu Dipping Sauce [Recipe]

Chef Cholly’s has another delightful summertime appetizer for us this month: a summer vegetable tempura paired with a light and flavorful ponzu dipping sauce. Delicious!

Although fried, the light tempura batter keeps this vegetable appetizer fresh and crisp and the zesty ponzu dipping sauce adds an Asian twist – perfect for a hot summer day.

When making it at home, you can use the summer veggies Chef Cholly has listed below, or get creative and work with what is abundant locally for you this time of year.

Looking for a wine to pair with it? Lisa, our Sous Chef and Sommelier recommends this pick:


This Chardonnay introduces itself with clean aromas of citrus, apples, butter and oak spice. The palate is dominated by pronounced flavors of tropical fruits, brown baking spices, butter and toast. (Source:


Recipe: Tempura Battered Summer Vegetables
with a Ponzu Dipping Sauce

serves 4 as an appetizer

Tempura Battered Summer Vegetables


  • 1 summer squash
  • 1 zucchini
  • 16  asparagus spears
  • 20 green beans
  • 4 medium chanterelle or hen of the wood mushrooms
  • 2 cups of oil for frying
  • Tempura batter (recipe to follow)
  • Ponzu dipping sauce (recipe to follow)


  1. Heat the oil in a cast iron skillet to 350 degrees F.
  2. Wash and dry the squash and zucchini and slice ¼ inch thick, trim asparagus and green beans, and brush any debris that may be on the mushrooms.
  3. Using one variety of vegetable at a time, dredge in the tempura batter enough to make one layer of veggies in the skillet. Allow excess batter to drip off briefly. Fry on both sides until crisp and golden. Remove to a pan lined with paper towel to absorb excess oil. Keep the pan in a pre-heated oven to keep veggies hot. Continue with each vegetable variety until all are fried.
  4. Arrange the veggies evenly on 4 plates and serve with warm ponzu sauce on the side for dipping.

Tempura Batter


  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1 ½ cups cake or pastry flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 ¼ cups sparkling water or beer


  1. Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl. When ready to use, add the sparkling water or beer and whisk until incorporated. The batter is ready to use.

Ponzu Dipping Sauce


  • 2 oz. soy sauce
  • 2 oz. lemon Juice
  • 2 oz. chicken stock
  • 2 oz. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. grated ginger root
  • 1/8 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 green onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • ¼ cup diced tomato


  1. Combine the soy sauce, lemon juice, chicken stock, olive oil, ginger root, and black pepper in a small pot and bring to a simmer.
  2. Remove the pot from the stove and stir in the other ingredients. Serve warm.