This recipe is ideal for spring veg (especially asparagus) and elderflowers, but you can also add mushrooms, onion slices, pepper or whatever veg looks freshest.

Elderflowers are popping up throughout our hedgerows and the flowers seem particularly fragrant after some good sunshine.  Pick the heads whole, give them a quick shake, and cook them as soon as you can after picking.  Make sure that you only eat the flowers, not the stems.  You can enjoy the elderflowers alongside the spring veg, or sprinkle the heads with icing sugar and enjoy the floral notes with some ice cream for pudding.

Serves 4


  • 200g asparagus, 200g spring Veg or 4 large heads of Elderflower.
  • sunflower or vegetable oil (enough to shallow fry 1″ in a large pot)


  • 100g plain flour
  • 100g rice flour (or another 50g of plain flour)
  • 4 tsp cornflour
  • 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 320ml ice-cold sparkling water or beer.
  • salt

Dipping sauce:

  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp mirin
  • 1 tsp light brown sugar
  • 2cm piece fresh ginger, peeled & finely grated


  1. Prepare the veg, sliced, with the asparagus bottom ends trimmed.
  2. Heat 1.5″ of oil in a high-sided pan to 190⁰C.
  3. Mix dipping sauce ingredients together in a bowl
  4. Make the batter: sift the dry ingredients in a bowl large enough to fit the asparagus. Season with salt and mix well. Add the ice-cold water and mix together quickly with a chop stick. Don’t worry if there are a few lumps, speed is of the essennce.
  5. Dip the asparagus/veg/elderflower into the batter and gently into the oil in small batches.
  6. Fry for 2 minutes until golden, remove and drain on kitchen paper.
  7. Season and serve with the dipping sauce.