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Earth Eats: Real Food, Green Living

Acorn Squash Tempura

Here's a local and seasonal spin on a traditional Japanese dish. Local acorn squash and local beer make this tempura especially Indiana.

Try this local and seasonal take on a Japanese classic.

This traditional Japanese dish will taste especially local — We’re using beer from the Upland Brewing Company in the batter!

I picked up some local acorn squash for this recipe because you can eat the skin and all. If you purchase it from a grocery store, you will want to peel off the waxy coating.

When mixing the batter, make sure the ingredients are cold. This will help the batter adhere to the veggies. Do a test-run in your fryer. If the batter doesn’t adhere well, add more flour.

Enjoy this with your favorite dipping sauce, like our Beet And Honey Vinaigrette With Orange.

Acorn Squash Tempura


  • vegetable oil, for frying
  • 2 acorn squash-local, unwaxed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup unbleached flour
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 cup ice-cold beer

Cooking Directions

  1. Wash and cut squash into thin ½ moon shapes. Combine remaining ingredients for batter, mix just to combine.
  2. Heat oil to 350 degrees.
  3. Do a test batch by frying one or two pieces until lightly browned and crunchy. The batter should be light and crisp. If too thin add some more flour, little by little. If too thick a touch more beer or water.
  4. Just before serving toss the squash in the batter and fry until crispy, about 2-3 minutes.
  5. Drain on paper towel and season with salt while hot from the fryer.
  6. Serve straight away with assorted dipping sauces.

Chef Daniel Orr

Chef Daniel Orr is the owner of FARMbloomington and the author of several cookbooks. He draws from a lifelong curiosity about individual ingredients combined with extensive training in the art of finding food’s true essence and flavor. The result is simple, yet sophisticated; the best of American food tempered by classic European training.

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