Who doesn't love tempura? It's crunchy and melts in your mouth especially when it's freshly cooked. But I've only tried to make it once because I try to steer away from cooking deep-fried food.
When I saw the photo of Maori Murota's recipe of "baked pumpkin" in her book "Tokyo Cult Recipes", I thought the pumpkin was deep fried and almost skipped past it. After closer inspection, I got excited when I realised it was baked and the pumpkin was seasoned in a way that promised a great combination of texture and flavours. This baked pumpkin has some the crunch of a tempura thanks to the panko and you don't need to have a dipping sauce because of the honey soy marinade.
In this photo, I've got the baked pumpkin as part of a vegetarian "bento" or Japanese-style lunch.
16 x .5 cm slices of peeled Kent pumpkin
4 t grape seed oil
4 t light soy sauce
4 t honey
4 pinches of salt
4 T panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a shallow oven tray with baking paper.
Mix oil, soy sauce, honey and salt in a bowl that's large enough to toss the pumpkin slices into. Add pumpkin slices, making sure each piece is well coated with the oil mixture. Place the pumpkin slices on the baking tray and sprinkle with panko. Bake for 10 mins, until tender.
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