This is James Scarfo’s (my husband’s stepdaughter’s husband!!) recipe:


3/4 cup beer (not dark)

3/4 cup cake or pastry flour (not self-rising)

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 small sweet potato

vegetable oil for deep-drying

1 small red bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch-thick rings

6 asparagus spears, trimmed

Optional: vegetarian “shrimp”, about 12

Accompaniment: soy sauce for dipping, if desired


In a bowl, whisk the beer into the flour until smooth and stir in salt.  Keep the batter cold—place the bowl in a bowl of ice. This makes a crispier product.


Peel sweet potato and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. If you use the veggie “shrimp”, Make several shallow cuts across inside curve of each “shrimp” and press shrimp gently (to help prevent curling during cooking).


In a 3-quart saucepan heat 2 inches oil to 375°F.


Working in batches of 3 or 4 pieces, dredge shrimp, sweet potato slices, bell pepper rings, and asparagus spears in batter to coat completely, letting excess drip off, and fry, turning, until golden, about 3 minutes.


Transfer tempura as fried to brown paper or paper towels with tongs to drain.


Serve tempura with soy sauce. This recipe makes 2 servings.