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Perfect Tempura Recipe

Updated on November 3, 2014
Crispy Tempura
Crispy Tempura

When it comes to Japanese food, certain foods come to mind. Sushi, teriyaki and tempura certainly is at the top of the list for many.

Tempura has always been on the very top of my list of favorite foods-in fact my entire family is crazy about these deep-fried morsels of seafood and vegetables.

Almost everybody likes shrimp tempura, but almost any fresh seafood will do. Seasonal vegetables, such a wild mushrooms, asparagus and pumpkins are perfect for deep-frying in tempura batter.

The trick to tempura is to make sure the outside is light and crispy. Although using cake flour will result in a lighter batter, all-purpose flour can be used instead.

Tempura is usually eaten with tempura sauce, called tentsuyu.

Easy Tempura Dipping Sauce Recipe

However, if you're using top-quality ingredients, sea salt and a squeeze of lemon is all that's needed.

Tips for Perfect Results

  • Cut ingredients into an appropriate size. Vegetables such as carrots and pumpkins should be sliced thinly for thorough and even cooking.
  • Make sure to use ice-cold water for a crispy crust.
  • Over-mixing the batter will result in a soggy crust.
  • Using fresh ingredients will result in the best-tasting tempura.

My Japanese Table: A Lifetime of Cooking with Friends and Family
My Japanese Table: A Lifetime of Cooking with Friends and Family

This has got to be one of the best cookbooks on Japanese cooking for the Western kitchen. The recipes call for ingredients that can easily be found in your local supermarket whenever possible. The author, Debra Samuels, has lived in Japan for over 10 years.

Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 20 min
Ready in: 40 min
Yields: 4-6


  • Batter:
  • 1 cup cake flour ( or all-purpose flour )
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup ice cold water
  • Oil for deep frying
  • Ingredients:
  • Peeled shrimp, sliced onions, sliced pumpkins or any combination of your favorite ingredients. This recipe makes enough batter for up to 20-30 pieces.


  1. Heat oil to 325 F or 180 C.
  2. Sift together dry ingredients into a bowl.
  3. Add ice cold water and stir 8-10 times with fork. There should be lumps. Do not overmix.
  4. Dip ingredients into the batter and deep fry until golden brown. Fry a few ingredients at a time for best results.
  5. Drain on paper towel and serve with good-quality salt or tempura sauce (tentsuyu)

What Do You Think?

5 stars from 2 ratings of Crispy Tempura

Did You Enjoy This Recipe?

If you did, please consider checking out my food and travel blog TabiEats. Lots of unique recipes, travel stories and more!


Do you enjoy Japanese food? Are you a fan of tempura? Let me know in the comments below. Thanks for visiting!

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    • Nancy Hardin profile image

      Nancy Carol Brown Hardin 

      4 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      I love tempura, but haven't made it for a while. Your recipe inspires me to make it this week. YUM, it's sooo good!

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 

      4 years ago from Arkansas USA

      I've made tempura, many years ago, and it turned out great. Must do this again someday soon!

    • Gloriousconfusion profile image

      Diana Grant 

      4 years ago from United Kingdom

      It looks fantastic - looking forward to trying it out

    • smine27 profile imageAUTHOR

      Shinichi Mine 

      4 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @DebMartin: It's not that difficult once you get the hang of it. Good luck.

    • smine27 profile imageAUTHOR

      Shinichi Mine 

      4 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @Gypzeerose: Hope you like it.

    • smine27 profile imageAUTHOR

      Shinichi Mine 

      4 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @KandH: Thanks. Hope you get to try it.

    • smine27 profile imageAUTHOR

      Shinichi Mine 

      4 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @caossquidoo: I hope you like it.

    • smine27 profile imageAUTHOR

      Shinichi Mine 

      4 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @sousababy: You could just make the vegetable ones. I eat a lot of veggie tempura.

    • smine27 profile imageAUTHOR

      Shinichi Mine 

      4 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @lesliesinclair: I'm so glad you like tempura.

    • smine27 profile imageAUTHOR

      Shinichi Mine 

      4 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @Craftymarie: You can use a frying pan for this as well.

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      I admire those of you who can make a good tempura. I'll keep trying. Thanks.

    • Charito1962 profile image

      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 

      4 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      Tempura happens to be one of my favorite foods!

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 

      4 years ago

      This sounds delicious, we will try this at our house.

    • KandH profile image


      4 years ago

      Great share - especially enjoy the tips for getting the right texture!

    • smine27 profile imageAUTHOR

      Shinichi Mine 

      4 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @Lady Lorelei: I'm so glad I made thus lens then. Let me know how they turn out.

    • caossquidoo profile image


      4 years ago

      THANK YOU for posting this recipe and tips!! I am not a huge sushi fan, so each time I go to a Japanese restaurant I always end up having tempura! It is so good, that I wish I could do it at home, but never tried it! I'll give it a try now :)

    • sousababy profile image


      4 years ago

      Looks and sounds fabulous - I love the simplicity of your recipe. (Wish I wasn't allergic to seafood).

    • lesliesinclair profile image


      4 years ago

      This really reminds me of some fine food I've eaten in my life. I even made tempura during child raising years, and you've sparked an interest anew.

    • Craftymarie profile image


      4 years ago

      This looks delicious and exactly what I like to eat. I keep meaning to get a deep fat cooker to try things like this out.

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 

      4 years ago from Canada

      I love tempura fried foods and have been thinking that I should try making my own so this recipe came at the ideal time. Thank you. It is as though you read my mind.

    • smine27 profile imageAUTHOR

      Shinichi Mine 

      4 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @Merrci: Aww I'm so glad you like this. I hope you get to try to make this as it's really tasty.

    • Merrci profile image

      Merry Citarella 

      4 years ago from Oregon's Southern Coast

      Oh YUM! You've done it again. This looks so good Smine27, and the tips and directions make it sound do-able. Bet it takes practice though to get it so light. The book choices you've included look really interesting too. Thanks for sharing. Great lens!


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