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It’s time for spring’s most coveted allium — ramps! Their flavor is punchy, and their season is fleeting, so don’t sleep on this wild, foraged wonders. Put them on pizzas, make a few ramp pickles, and make some time for these tempura ramps. Rice flour, cornstarch, and sparkling water (I use Topo Chico because it’s got the best bubbles) work together to create a batter that fries up lighter than air and shatteringly crispy.
While these battered bulbs don’t need much more than a squeeze of lemon juice, you could serve your favorite dipping sauce on the side. Use those extra tops to make a quick ramp ranch dressing, or stick with a more traditional soy and mirin dipping sauce. There’s no wrong answer here.
Tempura Fried Ramps
Prepare a fryer with vegetable oil, and heat to 350 degrees. Meanwhile, prepare the ramps by removing the green tops (a little green is fine) and saving for another use.
In a large metal bowl, whisk together all-purpose flour, rice flour, cornstarch, and baking powder. Using chopsticks, stir in sparkling water, starting with ¾ cup and only adding more if necessary to achieve a smooth, pourable consistency. Work quickly, and don’t overmix the tempura batter. A few clumps are ok.
Working in 3 or 4 batches, toss ramps in tempura batter to coat, and allow them to drain a bit before frying.
Fry for about 5 minutes, until the battered ramps are a light golden brown. Remove from fryer and allow to drain on a paper bag.
Serve with lemon wedges and/or a dipping sauce.