We don’t necessarily disagree with the philosophy of “the more the merrier,” but if we’re being perfectly honest, we’re totally fine without human companionship for a while as long as we have a plate of tempura. So when we found out Japanese lifestyle/houseware company Cecile offers a one-person stovetop tempura maker, we ordered one right away.
The Mini Mini Tempura Pot is about the size of a bento box, but taller/deeper than the traditional Japanese lunch container. Aside from the pot itself, there’s a metal rack and a lid, the later of which servers dual duty as a base for the rack when you’re letting freshly cooked pieces dry as their excess oil drips off.
Because it involves deep-frying, tempura can be kind of a pain to make for yourself, what with the prep work and cleanup. The Mini Mini Tempura Pot, though, eliminates a lot of the hassle. For starters, its compact size means you only need about 500 milliliters of oil to get enough depth to cook with.
Less oil not only means less cost and less waste, it also means the pot heats up very quickly once you turn on your stove. By the time we’d finished cutting our selection of shiitake mushrooms, kabocha (Japanese pumpkin), eggplant, and green peppers, the oil was hot enough for us to start frying.
As each piece finished cooking, we plucked it out of the oil with our cooking chopsticks (though tongs would work just as well) and transferred it to the cooling rack.
After about 15 minutes, we had an enviable spread that combined the nutrition of a variety of vegetables with the decadence of deep-frying.
And if you don’t want an all-fried meal? The Mini Mini Tempura Pot’s small size means its easy to have a pot or pan of something else going on the burner right next to it, so that you can have your tempura as a side, not the core of your dietary intake.
Another advantage of its size, and shape, is that it’s a snap to pick the whole thing up as you pour along one of the corners to transfer the leftover cooking oil into whatever container you’re storing it in until you can properly dispose of it. As for the metal of the Mini Mini Tempura Pot itself, it’s been specially treated for easy cleaning. Plus, being so small makes it easy to carry, so it’s also a viable option for camping trips, cookouts, and other outdoor meals, as long as you have access to some sort of cooking-strength heat source.
The Mini Mini Tempura Pot is priced at 3,278 yen and can be ordered through Cecile’s online shop here.
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