Learn how to quickly cook delicious, light Eggplant Tempura with this easy recipe, and Enjoy the wonderful flavor of a classic Japanese dish at home!
Japanese eggplant is one of the best and most classic vegetables for Tempura. It has a crisp, light texture that makes you want to eat it again and again! Yummy!
With this recipe, you can enjoy a crunchy coating of tempura skin and an invitingly tender interior.
- This recipe is for you if:
- You love tempura and eggplant.
- You want to make eggplant tempura.
- You are looking for easy eggplant tempura recipe.
Let me walk you through the ingredients and the instructions. If you want to check the recipe, jump to the recipe. Let's get started!
About This Recipe
- Japanese eggplant tempura recipe
- Tips for crispy Tempura
- The batter without egg
- Vegetable variations
Here are the ingredients (amounts are in the recipe card below).
- Oil - I love using White sesame oil (taihaku) or rice oil to get an extra crispy texture. You can use your regular cooking oil, like vegetable oil or olive oil.
- Batter - This recipe uses water, cake flour, and baking powder. No egg is required.
- Tentsuyu (Tempura sauce) - This is the tempura dipping sauce. Put grated daikon radish in mentsuyu (noodle soup) in this recipe.
Tempura Batter Mix
The fastest way to make tempura batter is by using tempura batter mix or tempura flour. You need to add water and mix it up.
But we won't use it as we can easily make the batter with simple ingredients.
Let me show you how to make it. Click here to watch the recipe video.
- Cut eggplants into quarters and make thin slits.
- Make a batter by mixing water, flour, and baking powder in a large bowl.
- Dust the eggplant with flour.
- Put oil about 2 cm (1 inch) high in a pan and heat it to 170C (335F). Dip the eggplant in the batter and put them in the pan.
- Deep fry until cooked, about a couple of minutes. The skin will be a light beige color (not golden brown). Place them on a cooling rack to drip excess oil.
- Dilute mentsuyu (noodle soup) with water according to the bottle instructions and add daikon oroshi.
Here you go! They're so crispy and tasty. Dip them in tempura sauce and enjoy authentic Japanese cooking!
Helpful Tips for Making Crispy Tempura
Tips for Batter
The batter is the key to the success of your Tempura. It's essential to avoid forming gluten in the batter! Otherwise, you will get a pancake-like heavy texture, not crispy!
So, let's check the following easy and simple tips to make your Tempura perfect!
1. Use cake flour - Use cake flour with a lower gluten content (about 7%). You can substitute it with all-purpose flour, which is 8%. Do not use bread flour with a high gluten content (about 13%).
2. Use Cold water - Prepare cold water rather than lukewarm water because gluten is easily formed at high temperatures. It's also better to chill the flour if possible. By the way, fizzy water works well for making crispy tempura.
3. Shift the flour - Shifting the flour makes the texture finer and lighter as air comes in.
4. Do not mix it until smooth - If you combine the batter ingredients too much, the gluten will be formed, and your Tempura will be heavy and chewy.
5. The timing to Make the batter - The batter will become sticky over time, so it is better to make it right before frying.
1. Dust flour on the ingredients - If you dust ingredients with flour, the extra surface will reduce the water content of vegetables and keep them from getting soggy. In addition, the batter sticks to vegetables, and you can fry them without the tempura skin coming off.
2. Do not fry too many at once - You will lower the oil temperature by adding many ingredients to the pot. Then, the moisture in the batter will not evaporate well, and your Tempura might become soggy. To keep the oil temperature consistent, put the ingredients in less than ⅔ of the pot and save some space.
3. Remove Tenkasu (Agedama) - Tenkasu (or agedama) are crunchy bits made from the leftover batter during cooking tempura. If you leave them in the pot, old tenkasu stick to the new Tempura and ruin the texture. Remove them with a fat skimmer spoon before adding a new Tempura to the pot.
4. Drain off the oil - Place cooked tempura on a wire rack or paper towel to remove any excess oil. Keep them upright as much as possible, and do not stack them.
How to Make Tempura Batter 3 Ways!
Get creative in the kitchen with three simple tempura batter recipes - from traditional Japanese to gluten-free or vegan options.
How to Eat It
Tempura is commonly served with tentsuyu (tempura sauce) or salt when you go to Japanese restaurants. But at home, you can enjoy more options. Here is how to eat Tempura!
- Tentsuyu: It's a dipping sauce for Tempura made from soy sauce and dashi. See the following section for more details.
- Salt: Add a pinch of salt on top and eat it; then, you can enjoy the simple taste. You can also use flavored salts such as matcha, spicy, citrus, etc.
- Soy sauce: Add a bit of soy sauce. Do not dip in it as it is salty and overpowers the taste of Tempura.
- Chuno sauce (Japanese Worcestershire-style sauce): Add the sauce to your taste.
- Or without any condiments.
Tentsuyu is a special dipping sauce for Tempura made from dashi (soup stock), soy sauce, and mirin.
Mentsuyu (noodle soup) is made from the same ingredients, and it's easier to get at a store, so I use store-bought mentsuyu for this recipe. (You can also check my homemade mentsuyu recipe.)
Adding grated daikon to tentsuyu is common as it helps digest fatty food like Tempura. You can also add lemon juice or grated ginger for the same reason.
If you are a vegetarian
Store-bought tentsuyu or mentsuyu include dashi stock made from fish, so you should avoid using them.
Best Vegetables for Tempura
Let's make more vegetable tempura!
Shiso, asparagus, and okra are all delicious. This Japanese dish has so much variety that you could try something new every time!! Try these veggies!
- Kabocha squash, Sweet potato, Eggplant, Bell pepper, Okura, Shiso, Shishito pepper, Asparagus, Zucchini, Onion, Carrot, Shiitake mushroom, Maitake mushroom, Eringi mushroom, Enoki mushroom, Lotus root, Kale
My favorites are shiitake mushrooms and sweet potato! Check other vegetable tempura recipes below!
Other Ways to Cook Japanese Eggplants
Eggplant is a versatile vegetable and well-suited for quick cooking methods such as stir-frying, deep-frying, and sautéing. Here are some delicious eggplant recipes:
- Eggplant Tempura (Deep Fried Eggplant)
- Teriyaki Nasu
- Pickled Japanese Eggplants
- Miso Glazed Eggplant
- Panko-crusted Fried Eggplants
Thanks For Stopping By!
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Also, feel free to leave comments if you have any questions. I love hearing from you!
Chef JA Cooks is a Japanese food blog that shares simple and healthy Japanese home cooking recipes, including vegan and vegetarian. From traditional Japanese recipes to modern recipes with step-by-step instructions.
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Eggplant TempuraPrint Pin Save Saved!
- 2 Eggplants
- Oil for deep-frying
- 200 ml Cold water
- 100 g Cake flour
- ½ teaspoon Baking powder
- 600 ml Mentsuyu, Dilute with water according to the bottle instructions.
- 1 inch Daikon radish
- Cut eggplant: Cut eggplant into quarters and make thin slits.
- Prepare a pan: Put oil about 2 cm (1 inch) high in a pan and heat it to 170C (335F).
- Make the batter: Add cold water to a large bowl, sift the flour and baking powder with a strainer, and mix.
- Dust with flour: Dust the eggplant with flour.
- Deep-fry: Dip the eggplant in batter, put them in the pan, and deep-fry until cooked (about a couple of minutes). Place them on a cooling rack to drip excess oil.
- Make Tentsuyu: Grate the daikon radish (daikon oroshi). Dilute mentsuyu (noodle soup) with water according to the bottle instructions and add daikon oroshi.
- Equipment: I use an Iron frying pan 22 cm/9 inches. Any deep pot is ok.
- Variations: See "Best vegetables for tempura" for more variations.
- Do not mix the batter until smooth. If you mix too much, the gluten will be formed, and your tempura will be heavy and chewy.
- Do not fry too many at once to keep the oil temperature consistent.
- Do not throw the leftover batter. You can make tenkasu (tempura flakes) and use it as a topping on noodles or rice bowls.