Sweet Potato Tempura Salad

Tempura is a Japanese dish of seafood or vegetables that have been battered and deep fried. Lacy and crispy fried sweet potato tempura is a warm contrast to this cool salad. Tempura is best eaten right after frying. If done in advance, keep warm, uncovered in a low oven.



  • 1 large sweet potato or yam, peeled
  • Canola or vegetable oil for frying
  • 1 cup ice water
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 cup all-purpose or cake flour
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3-4 scallions, thinly sliced
  • Soy-Braised Shiitake Mushrooms 16 oz.
  • Asian greens (like Mizuna) or baby arugula


  • 5 ounces sliced shiitake mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons mirin
  • 1 1⁄2 tablespoons water


  • 2 tablespoons red miso
  • Juice of 1 lime (about 2 table spoons)
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha or chili paste
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 1⁄4 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
  • 5 tablespoons peanut oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste


1. Slice sweet potato in thin slices, about 1/8-1/4”thick – an Asian slicer or mandoline makes short work of this. Set aside.

2. Pour enough oil into a large pot to cover the bottom by 2 inches. Place over medium heat until temperature reaches 350 degrees on a fry thermometer.

3. While oil heats, mix ice water and egg yolk together in a bowl until blended. Using a fork or chopsticks, mix in flour until just combined. Mixture should be a bit lumpy – do not overmix.

4. Working in batches, dredge each sweet potato slice in batter and drop into hot oil (do not overcrowd in pot). Fry for 2-3 minutes on each side until crust looks golden and puffs slightly. Using a slotted spoon or spider, transfer to paper towel-lined plates to drain. Repeat with remaining batches of sweet potato slices. Sprinkle sweet potato tempura with sea salt and pepper.

5. Prepare the mushrooms by placing all ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, then cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for 10-15 minutes or until mushrooms are tender and have reduced.

6. Assemble salad immediately prior to serving: Toss greens and a few tablespoons of Sesame-Miso Dressing (recipe below) in a large mixing bowl until leaves are coated with dressing. Divide greens among serving plates. Place 3-4 sweet potato tempura in center of greens. Surround with some mushrooms and a sprinkling of scallions. Drizzle a little dressing over tempura and serve immediately.

Combine all ingredients except peanut oil in a mixing bowl. Whisk until well blended. Add peanut oil in slow stream while whisking constantly until oil is incorporated. Season to taste with salt or pepper.