My fridge is always stocked with certain vegetables, such as carrot, celery, and broccoli. It’s like a disease, or simply a habit, but it just feels weird when I run out of any of these three vegetables. Needless to say, this also means I need to always find new ways to prepare them. When it comes to vegetables, my favorite is to make them into bakwan (a.k.a. Indonesian fritters), so let’s cook ourselves some bakwan brokoli (broccoli fritters), shall we?
Tips for Crispy Batter
Bakwan is all about crispy batter enveloping fresh vegetables, and over long experiences, this boils down to 3 key points: rice flour, ice cold batter, and super hot oil. You can use only all purpose flour for the batter, but even a bit of rice flour makes the batter that much crispier. The most critical point comes down to cooking technique, or more precisely cooking temperature, this means keep the batter cold but keep the oil hot. It helps if you can stick the batter in the fridge for 15 minutes prior to cooking, and adding several ice cubes to the batter to keep it cold while cooking. If you have a cooking thermometer, we want the oil to be around 170 Celsius (340 Fahrenheit) before we start frying. If you don’t have a thermometer, try dropping a bit of batter, if it sinks only halfway and then floats up to the surface, you are golden.
- 125 gram all purpose flour
- 25 gram rice flour
- 1 tablespoon tapioca starch (or corn starch)
- 2 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ½ shallot (~ 25 gram), minced
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced
- 1 egg
- 200 ml (1/2 can) coconut milk
- 5-6 ice cubes (optional)
- 250 gram broccoli florets, washed and drained
- enough oil for deep frying
- Place all bakwan batter ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir into a thick batter. It should be slightly thicker than pancake batter.
- Chill the batter in the fridge while you prepare oil for deep frying.
- Once the oil reaches 170 Celsius (340 Fahrenheit), take out the batter from fridge and add 5-6 ice cubes to keep it cold. Then dump all the broccoli florets into batter and mix well.
- Deep fry batter coated broccoli florets in hot oil until golden brown. If your pot is small, you may want to deep fry in batches so the oil temperature doesn't drop too much.
- Once the broccoli florets turn golden brown, remove from hot oil with slotted spoon and place over a strainer/wire rack to help remove excess oil. Serve hot.