Tempura Squash Blossoms with Herbed Goat Cheese

The final outcome of the recipe was not exactly what I expected, and as I’m not afraid to include my failures as well as my triumphs, figured I’d still put this out for public consumption as a public service announcement on how not to ruin a perfectly good bag of squash blossoms. You see, it looked awful when I was done, and didn’t taste much better.


Let me just say that squash blossoms are kind of hard to work with. The petals are quite delicate and easily damaged when you try to remove the stamen. And they’re pretty diffucult to clean, too. I had the bright idea to stuff them with an herbed goat cheese, and then dip them into tempura batter and fry them. Although it sounds great in theory, in practice – even with following the recipe exactly, the goat cheese mixture was too fragrant and herby, and totally overpowered the delicate flavor of the blossoms, and the tempura batter clung too much and puffed up too much and totally obscured the beauty of the blossoms – all pictures I’ve ever seen of tempura fried squash blossoms have just a thin coating of tempura here and there, but you can see most of the blossom. I *must* be doing something wrong, or else it just isn’t a very good recipe. If you decide to make this recipe, let me know how it turns out for you.

I think next time around, I’m going to try something different – there are two other recipes that sounded good. One was a crab stuffed squash blossom sauteed in butter, the other was this Emeril recipe. We’ll see – at least now I’m a little more familiar with the ingredient.

Tempura Squash Blossoms with Herbed Goat Cheese
courtesty Earthbound Farm Organic

Serves 6

Squash Blossom Stuffing:

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 shallots, peeled and minced
1 tablespoon fresh minced garlic
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon snipped fresh chives
6 ounces plain goat cheese
Salt and pepper, to taste
12 fresh squash blossoms
Canola oil, for frying

Heat the 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a small skillet over low heat. Add the shallots and garlic and cook until the moisture has mostly evaporated and the onions have just begun to caramelize. Cool mixture to room temperature.
Place the herbs and goat cheese in the bowl of a mixer and blend at low speed until the herbs are evenly distributed. Add the shallot-garlic mixture and blend again. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.
Carefully stuff each blossom with some of the herbed cheese. Set aside.

Tempura Batter:

1 1/2 cups soda water, plus more if necessary
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Combine the cornstarch and 1/2 cup of soda water in a small bowl and whisk to blend. Set aside.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and cayenne pepper. Add the remaining cup of soda water and stir to blend. Whisk in the cornstarch mixture. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside for 10 minutes.
Fill a deep frying pan or pot with 2 inches of canola oil and heat to 350 F over medium high heat.
Dip each blossom into the tempura batter. Transfer to the hot oil and cook until golden brown, about 1 minute. Transfer blossoms to paper towels to absorb excess oil. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

8 thoughts on “Tempura Squash Blossoms with Herbed Goat Cheese

  1. lisa the waitress

    Based upon the recipe you used, I think the tempura batter was way too warm. Tempura has to be ice cold when used, and it should not sit around for long. The recipe seems to be just for a regular batter; tempura batter contains eggs and must be made with ice water, which is how it develops that charactertic lacy coating. Also, it should be mixed only briefly.

    Also, using a piping bag helps alot when trying to stuff them. Lastly, I found that the squash blossoms are just as well-used when left unstuffed.

  2. Trig

    I agree with lisa the waitress on this one. Tempura batter should always be made with ICE cold still water, and I emphasize on the “still” because of the common misconception that sparkling water is what makes a tempura light and bubbly. Tempura is light and bubbly because it’s mixed (note no whisking should ever take place) with chopsticks, very briefly and very shortly before use. The batter shouldn’t be smooth and thoroughly mixed, it should be messy with lumps everywhere and very importantly, bits of flour that haven’t even seen the liquid (particularly around the edges). That method, and only that method, will achieve a genuine crispy yet fluffy Japanese tempura

  3. John

    Squash blossoms? Hmmm. I’ve never heard of that before. It sounds good, though. I wonder if you could do this with zucchini. Cool.

  4. Dolores

    Glad to see I’m not the only one that failed with this recipe — and I started with ice-cold tempura batter. I think these just join sushi, dim sum and fondue on my list of food I’d rather order out than attempt in my kitchen

  5. Pingback: Seasonal Vegetable Tempura Recipe | Leite's Culinaria

Comments are closed.