1. Prep the courgettes

    Preheat the oven to gas 2, 150°C, fan 130°C. Line 2 baking trays with kitchen paper. Cut 4 medium courgettes lengthways into 1cm-thick strips, then cut across the width to create chips. Discard any that have no skin on them.

  2. Make the batter

    Fill a deep pan with enough sunflower oil to come a third of the way up the sides; heat on the hob while you make the tempura batter. Mix 50g plain flour and 50g cornflour in a large bowl with a pinch of salt. Make a well in the centre and, working quickly, whisk in 1 egg white and 125ml chilled sparkling water. Don’t over-whisk your batter – it should be a little lumpy.

  3. Keep the batter light

    Whisk in an ice cube to help keep the mixture cool, but don’t let it stand for long, or it will become too thick. The batter should be light and airy with bubbles.

  4. Test the oil

    To test if the oil is hot enough for frying, drop in a little batter. If it immediately starts to sizzle, it’s ready for cooking. Alternatively, use a cooking thermometer to check that the temperature is somewhere between 170°C and 190°C.

  5. Fry the courgettes

    Working in batches, use a slotted spoon to dip a few courgettes in the batter, shake off the excess, and then carefully lower into the hot oil. Fry for 2 mins, turning until lightly golden and crisp. Remove with the slotted spoon.

  6. Keep warm

    Transfer each cooked batch to the prepared baking tray and lightly season. Keep warm in the oven, leaving the door slightly ajar to prevent the batter from turning soggy.

  7. Serve

    Serve hot with lemon wedges, or if serving as a snack, pop into paper cones made from baking paper.

    RFO Main 472x310 Tampura2

    Calories 176 (9%), sugar 2g (2%), fat 12g (16%), saturates 1g (7%), salt 0.2g (4%), based on 6 servings.

  8. Tasty twists

    Once you've mastered a light and fluffy tempura batter, you can try using it in lots of other tasty recipes.

    Seafood fritto misto: Cut 2 firm, skinless white fish fillets (such as pollock or haddock) into bite-size pieces. Dip in the tempura batter, along with 12 king prawns and 150g raw squid rings. Fry until cooked through and golden.

    Mixed tempura with dipping sauce: Thinly slice your choice of veg, such as red pepper, onion, sweet potato and aubergine. Smaller items, such as baby corn, green beans and asparagus also work well and don’t need chopping. Dip in the batter and fry until golden. Serve with a dipping sauce made from 100ml soy sauce, 2 tbsp each clear honey and lime juice, 1 tsp grated ginger and 1 finely chopped red chilli.

    Banana and coconut fritters: Chop 4 bananas into 5cm chunks. Add 1 tbsp clear honey and 3 tbsp desiccated coconut to the tempura batter. Dip the banana in the batter and fry until crisp and golden. Serve with vanilla or coconut ice cream.

  9. Ingredients

    Ready to give these crispy courgettes a go at home? Here's your handy shopping list for all the ingredients you need, just jot down or take a screenshot before you head to the shops.

    4 medium courgettes
    sunflower oil, for frying
    50g plain flour
    50g cornflour
    1 egg white
    125ml sparkling water, chilled
    lemon wedges, to serve (optional)