Kakiage Tempura Donburi is one of the most delicious Japanese rice bowl dishes. Kakiage means rake (with something like bamboo rake) and deep fry. Kakiage is usually vegetables like onion, carrots, green beans and sweet potato all cut like sticks and then coated with Tempura batter and deep-fried. The action scoop or rake up the battered chopped vegetables means “Kaki” and "age" means deep-fry. Don is short for Donburi and Donburi means rice bowls. If you are interested in commonly used Japanese food terms check out my Chopstick Chronicles’ Understanding Japanese food terms post.
Kakiage is a very popular tempura dish in Japan. You can buy this ready-made Kakiage from almost any shops such as supermarkets, department stores underground floor deli's, convenience stores and of course at restaurants.
Kakiageis often eaten with a special Tempura dipping sauce called Tentsuyu. At my home back in Japan, my mom usually makes more than we can eat and then she uses the left over kakiage for making something else for lunch the next day.
Kakiage left overs can be used for Kakiage Udon soup, Kakiage Tempura donburi, Kakiage soba etc. I am going to show you how to make Kakiage Tempura donburi in this post.
You can use any vegetables you want, I usually use onion, carrot and sweet potato but it can vary depending on a person’s preference. I like the sweetness of sweet potato so I add sweet potato but some people use burdock or green beans, and you can even add some protein such as shrimp.
Kakiage itself is crispy and delicious, but the real hero of this dish is Tare (sauce). This sweet soy sauce tare can be used in any donburi dish. I will tell you the Japanese people’s secret golden ratio of ingredients: Soy sauce 3, Mirin 2 and Sugar 1.
So if you make this donburi dish with left over Kakiage, you can make delicious Japanese donburi dish for lunch in under 10 minutes if you already have rice cooked up in a rice cooker. Even if you start from scratch, this dish can be cooked in under 30 minutes. Why don’t you try this delicious Japanese Kakiage don for your next lunch!
- 1/2 onion
- 1/4 carrot
- 1/4 sweet potato
- 1 shisho leaf
- 2 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, divided
- pinch of salt
- 3 tablespoons water, plus 1 teaspoon, about 50ml
- 4 cups cooked rice
For the Sauce:
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons mirin
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon water
- Slice the onion thinly. Cut the carrot into sticks and put aside. Cut the sweet potato into sticks like the carrot. Cut the shiso leaf thinly.
- Place the sliced vegetables in a bowl and coat with 1 tbs flour.
- Place the flour and salt in a separate bowl and pour in the water. Mix them together but try not to mix them too much to avoid the batter becoming glutinous.
- Add the sliced vegetables and mix them with batter, again, try not to over mix.
- Heat oil in a deep frying pan to 170°C/330°F.
- Scoop the mixture with a ladle and chopsticks. Slide the batter and vegetable mixture into the oil gently.
- Deep fry the vegetables till golden brown on both sides.
- Place soy sauce, mirin, sugar, and water in a small saucepan and simmer to reduce a little bit.
- Serve Kakiage on a bowl of steamed rice and drizzle the sweet soy sauce over.