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Tuesday 20th October 2009

Golden Dandelion Tempura Blooms

Dandelion Lawn

Love them or loathe them in your lawn, Spring announces the arrival of Dandelions.

For me personally I love them, they are a super gift from our Mother Nature. I adore; and who doesn’t love getting practical yet still attractive and pretty presents?!

I believe blowing the delicate seeds with their white parachutes and sharing the good health and gift of dandelions should only be encouraged.

Dandelion Clock

Most people are aware dandelion greens are edible, but did you know you can also harvest the dandelion root and the blossoms too for use in your cooking?

Dandelion Taraxacum

The baby greens, or young dandelion leaves are best picked in early spring before they flower,
especially if you intend to eat the leaves raw in salads.
The older leaves are still fine to eat, but tend to be rather bitter and benefit from long slow cooking, such as soups and stews.
Steeped leaves in boiling water also make healthy tea to cleanse the kidneys and the liver and the dandelion tap root is often slowly roasted and ground down to be used as a replacement for coffee which is caffeine free. Dandelion coffee is also suitable for many diabetics due to its insulin content and can be used as a mild laxative, if you need help in that department.
I’m yet to try dandelion root myself, however my foraging friend Johanna has had some successful attempts with it.

Dandelion Seed

It’s fair to say the Dandelion plant is fairly good for us in most of it’s forms with abundant amounts of vitamins and minerals, especially Vitamins A, C and K, and is a great source of calcium, potassium and iron too.
Today I’m focusing on the brilliant yellow blooms, which some of you might argue are plaguing our property at the moment.
But I can only smile at them myself and think how great for our health.

Dandelion Flowers

Dandelion Gathering

Not only do dandelions simply uplift your mood with their sunny little faces, they can also help relieve the pain of headaches, menstrual cramps, stomach aches and depression. In my research I found several ideas and recipes to utilise and try making with the blooms, wines, jellies and jams.
Now even though we quite enjoy collecting the flowers, we’ve yet to try any of these other ideas, simply because these Tempura Dandelion fritters are utterly addictive and simple to make.Dandelion Cone

The best fritters are made from fresh newly opened full blooms, older ones turn a little fluffy before they set the seed head and young buds simply don’t make as pretty fritter. You just want to pick the very top of the opened flower in full sunlight as the stems are bitter and only pick them when you plan to make the fritters immediately or fairly soon afterwards.

Lastly one other tip is be sure to pick the dandelion blooms from somewhere you know animals haven’t “been” and where there is little to no other traffic, pollution of any sort. Sensible advice sure, but I also recommend this because I prefer not to wash or rinse them myself, washing bruises and sticks the fine petals together and makes it harder for the batter to adhere.

After picking them I simply check them over for bugs, pick each one up and giving them a bit of a blow through to make doubley sure and drop them in the tempura batter.

The more attractive fritter results from ones that are dropped face down first into the hot oil, this way they keep their flower shape rather than resulting in UFOs - unidentifiable fried orbs!

I use white rice flour which gives the fritters a lovely added crunch and also makes them gluten-free. If you don’t have rice flour you can substitute 2 tablespoons plain flour & 1 tablespoon cornflour / corn starch.

Dandelion Tempura

The flowers with the plain crispy tempura batter are quite moresh with just with a little fancy salt. However feel free to use your imagination by adding a few spices like chilli, curry, mustard or other seasonings to the batter before cooking them.
For a sweet alternative try sprinkling the cooked fritters with a little sugar.

Dandelion Bee

Some of our favourite ways to have them are
- plain with a Sweet Shoyu Soy, fresh ginger, garlic Teriyaki style dipping sauce
- a spiced tempura batter by adding 1 teaspoon of cumin and a good pinch of ground chilli
- plain batter, but sprinkled with icing sugar and ground cinnamon and ginger mix

No matter how we choose to serve them though, from first gathering up way more dandelion blooms than we could possibly eat in their little basket, to rolling them in sugar dust… Fairies just LOVE them!

If you decide to make them; I’d love to hear how you get on.. where found your blooms, how you chose to serve them and what spices, coatings and dips you thought suited them best!

Dandelion Fritters

  • Tempura Dandelion Flowers
  • 1 large free range/organic egg, cold from the fridge
  • 3 tablespoons of white rice flour
  • a good pinch of sea salt
  • 4 tablespoons of ice cold water
  • 2 cups freshly picked dandelions, approximately
  • Vegetable oil, olive, canola etc. for deep-frying
  1. Gather together your fresh new dandelion blooms in full sunlight and check them over for bugs.
  2. Heat a deep-fry, saucepan or wok with vegetable oil, not more than 3/4 full for deep frying.
  3. Test for the correct temperature with a cube of bread, when it sizzles and rises to the top immediately, it’s ready, which is approximately 175°C / 350°F if you have a thermometer.
  4. In a bowl, whisk the egg well to break it up.
  5. Add the rice flour, salt and enough ice cold water to make a thin runny batter, that covers the back of a spoon.
  6. Dip the dandelion blooms into the batter head first, and nappe / spoon over batter to cover the green back, drain excess batter and gently drop head first into the hot oil.
  7. Fry for a couple of seconds until golden, flip and cook the other side for a further few seconds.
  8. Remove from the oil with a slotted or mesh spoon and drain on absorbent paper.
  9. Continue with the remaining blooms and batter.
  10. Sprinkle with salt, and or preferred seasonings and serve immediately!

Enjoy!
Bron

16 comments »

  1. As a child we used to refer to the dried out, white parachute dandelions as a ‘Nana Bozza’. Have no idea what the literal translation from Maltese to English is, but my kids now call them Nana Bozza’s too!

  2. Nana Bozza… how cute! I’ve never heard of that before, thanks Nanette!
  3. MsGourmet — Tuesday 20th October 2009 1:40 pm

  4. i love it! i never thought of frying dandelions! i’m a fan of dandelion greens but for some reason it never occurred to me to eat the flowers or to fry the flowers. I bet this are out of this world! Gorgeous photos as always, Bron!

  5. Hi Amanda, they’re cute hey! Sadly it’s not an original idea as there are heaps of different versions on the web for dandelion fritters, but I preferred a tempura batter keeping them light and crispy. Thanks heaps
  6. amanda — Tuesday 20th October 2009 1:52 pm

  7. This post has the word beauty written all over it. So lovely and graceful!

  8. Thanks so much for your sweet words Anh, xx
  9. Anh — Tuesday 20th October 2009 2:18 pm

  10. Wow, how absolutely gorgeous. I especially love how fluffy these look.
    Your photos are stunning too :) Just added you to my feed. Hope to chat soon!

  11. Thanks so much Mel
  12. Mel @ bouchonfor2.com — Tuesday 20th October 2009 7:56 pm

  13. Oh WOW! Love that yellow - fabulous post to wake up to! I love living vicariously through my second spring this year through your blog photos - thank you x

  14. Hi Mowie, thank you so much, likewise I’m very glad to have along for the ride, take care.
  15. Mowie @ Mowielicious — Tuesday 20th October 2009 8:07 pm

  16. O this is so funny! I never knew you could actually eat them! I have plenty of dandelions in my garden each year, wether I like it or not they keep coming back. Ofcourse it’s autumn now here so I will have to wait until next year, but will for sure try this out! love the photos!

  17. Thank you Simone, yes it feels a little strange eating weeds, but they’re all good. Thanks again
  18. Simone (junglefrog) — Tuesday 20th October 2009 9:27 pm

  19. I made these today for my girlfriend who came over to visit….we loved them. I had some plain dipped in soy sauce, some with icing sugar sprinkled on, and some with a tiny bit of salt. We both preferred the salted ones the best, followed by the icing sugar ones. Lovely idea and Sahara was very curious about why we were eating flowers! hehe. I thought we had paddocks of them, as our paddocks are also yellow, but on closer inspection most were buttercups….so only found a handful of dandelions unfortunately :( Love the photos too Bron, you clever thing you! Are you taking them on manual settings, what sort of camera do you have?

  20. Oh super! I’m so glad you made them and enjoyed them Lisa. Thank you for your kind comments, I’ve emailed you about the camera.
  21. Lisa Brook — Wednesday 21st October 2009 4:42 pm

  22. Dandelion tempura sounds absolutely great. Dandelions are common in Japan. I wonder why they don’t make it there? After all they do eat chrysanthemums.

    Murasaki Shikibu — Friday 23rd October 2009 6:13 am

  23. That is an original recipe! In spring, I’ll have to try it…

    Great shots and lovely flowers!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

    Rosa — Wednesday 28th October 2009 3:00 am

  24. lovely photos and amazing tempura, it looks tooo nice to eat! well done! cheers from london,

    pity — Wednesday 28th October 2009 6:50 am

  25. I love these flowers. Didn’t know they were edible. Wow! Love the photos. All winners, including the last one with the bee.

    Paz

    Paz — Thursday 29th October 2009 12:26 pm

  26. Very interesting post. Love the photos. My father used to make dandelion wine but unfortunately that was well before I acquired a taste for wine so I never tried it.
    The tempura blossoms look interesting.

    Joanne — Thursday 5th November 2009 1:20 pm

  27. i must remember this… as a budding herbalist and a strong believer in home remedies and choosing the herbs that grow in your garden over store-bought ones, this is a lovely and delectable recommendation for people who need liver support… of course, deep-frying is probably not the best option, but then, you can’t have your cake AND eat it, can you?

  28. Hehe, I agree Johanna the deep-frying sort of offsets the “healthy”, however they’re equally delicious in an omelette and I imagine most egg dishes, being a little healthier. They’re also a simple edible garnish to salads. Thanks heaps
  29. johanna — Friday 6th November 2009 7:23 am

  30. Oh Bron - too gorgeous! I have eaten dandelion leaves in salad but I did not think to eat the flowers. What gorgeous fritters they make! We have a field of them that appear every spring near the house… but there is a busy road nearby and occasionally there are horses, dogs and probably foxes that also use the field… so probably not ideal :(

    Jeanne — Thursday 19th November 2009 3:44 am

  31. i love your photo

    so clear so gorgeous!

    YOYO love cooking — Thursday 3rd December 2009 3:28 am

  32. Thank you everyone for your delightful, kind and generous comments.
    I really really appreciate them and I apologise once again for being so slack in responding to you all.
    xxx
    Bron

    bron — Tuesday 8th December 2009 5:26 pm

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