Our resident chef Mark Hix extends the brassica-love into the new year with this recipe for deep-fried January King tempura

Mark Hix

You might be sick to death of overcooked sprouts after Christmas, but for die-hard fans of brassicas there’s no better time of the year than right this second, when there’s more variety than ever to choose from.

There are many members of the brassica family and the January King is one of the oldest, a variety that’s been grown since the mid-1800s. It’s somewhere between a white and savoy cabbage, with tinges of green and purple.

Between Christmas and New Year I had it in tempura in Koya in Soho where my daughter Ellie works. It was delicious and a great way to eat a simple, humble winter vegetable.

January King tempura with ponzu recipe (serves 4-6)


Dove farm gluten free flour is a great for any deep fried foods and is as light as a classic japanese tempura

  • Half a small January King cabbage
  • 80-100g dove farm self raising flour or tempura flour
  • Enough cold sparkling water to make a light batter
  • Sea salt and freshly ground white pepper
  • Vegetable or corn oil for deep frying

For the dressing

  • 2-3 tbsp ponzu
  • 1 small red chilli, finely chopped
  • A small piece of root ginger, finely chopped or grated


  • Trim any brown outer leaves from the cabbage if necessary and cut into 4-6 wedges about 2-3cm, thick at the widest end. Bring a pan of salted water to the boil and simmer the cabbage for 3-4 minutes then drain and dry on some kitchen paper.
  • Mix all of the ingredients together for the dressing and transfer to dipping pots. Preheat about 8cm of oil to 160-180°C in a large thick bottomed saucepan or electric deep fat fryer. Meanwhile, mix the flour with enough sparkling water to make a thin-ish light batter and season. You can test the batter with a cabbage leaf for consistency.
  • To serve, dip the pieces of cabbage into the batter then into the hot fat, two or three at a time, cooking for a minute or so, turning as they are cooking with a slotted spoon and not allowing them to colour then transfer to a plate with kitchen paper to drain and serve immediately.

Related articles