Winter Squash Tempura

Michael Anthony

Gramercy Tavern - NYC

You can use any vegetable for tempura: carrots, broccoli, mushrooms, sweet potatoes, even zucchini blossoms. I like the combination of squash and onions. The key to light, crispy tempura is to keep the batter lumpy and very cold.

V is for Vegetables recipes courtesy Little, Brown and Company Copyright © 2015 by Michael Anthony and Dorothy Kalins Ink, LLC​


  • 1 pound winter squash
  • Grapeseed oil for frying
  • ½ cup cornstarch
  • ½ cup flour
  • ½ small onion, halved and very thinly sliced
  • Salt to taste


Prepare the squash: peel the squash and cut it in half lengthwise. Remove the seeds with a spoon and slice the squash into very thin crescents. Cut the crescents in half crosswise.

Add enough oil to a medium saucepan to reach a depth of 2 inches and heat over medium-high heat to about 375°F. If you don’t have a thermometer, that’s okay. Test the temperature by dropping a bit of batter in the oil; if it sinks and returns to the surface, the oil is ready.

Combine the cornstarch and flour in a medium bowl, then gently whisk in 1 cup of very cold water until a batter just begins to form. The lightest, crispiest batter is achieved by barely mixing the flour with cold water. 

Add the squash and onions to the batter and gently stir to combine and coat.

Carefully lay several pieces of squash and onion in the hot oil, overlapping them a bit so they form a palm-size fritter. Push some of them together to shape into fritters, if needed. Cook until you see a light crust on the bottoms, about 2 minutes. 

Flip the fritters over and cook for about 2 minutes more. Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Sprinkle with salt and serve immediately.


4 servings