Looking for the secrets of making a delicious tempura at home? Learn how to make tempura batter in this recipe and make the perfect crispy tempura!
Tempura is an easy-to-make dish in Japanese cuisine that uses simple ingredients, like freshly prepared batter and your choice of veggies and seafood.
In this guide, you'll master three different tempura batter variations for the best crispy texture:
- Authentic tempura batter
- Rice flour tempura batter (Gluten-free)
- Tempura batter without egg (Vegan)
Choose the one that suits your preferences and savor this tasty dish!
- This recipe is for you if:
- You love Japanese tempura.
- You want to make easy and crunchy tempura.
- You want to know how to make tempura batter.
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!
What is Tempura?
Tempura is fried food made by battering and deep-frying ingredients such as shrimp, fish, and vegetables. It's a classic Japanese dish that you will see on the menu at Japanese restaurants.
It's one of the popular home-cooked dishes as you can quickly make a delicious dinner for the whole family with several simple ingredients.
To get the perfect tempura, a thin and airy batter is key. Whether it's for vegetables or shrimps, simple tips and tricks help create that delicious crispy texture. You will learn more in the following sections.
Popular Tempura Ingredients
Tempura batter can make just about anything taste delicious and crispy. Popular ingredients include shrimp, satsumaimo (Japanese sweet potato), lotus root, shiitake mushrooms, eggplant, shiso leaf, kabocha, maitake mushrooms, bell peppers, and okra! The list goes on and on!
Here are my favorite tempura recipes!
3 Ways to Make Tempura Batter
From the basic tempura batter to gluten-free and even vegan options, I have three options for you!
1. Authentic Tempura Batter
This is the basic recipe, and the ingredients are
- Wheat flour
How to make the batter: Whisk an egg, add water, and mix until combined. Add wheat flour and mix.
2. Rice Flour Tempura Batter (Gluten-free)
For a gluten-free diet, you can substitute wheat flour with rice flour. Rice flour doesn't absorb oil, so its crispiness lasts even after some time. Plus, it's easy to handle the batter as it doesn't include gluten.
- Rice flour
How to make the batter: Whisk an egg, add water, and mix until combined. Add rice flour and mix.
3. Tempura Batter Without Egg (Vegan)
The basic batter includes egg, but you can make it without it. I like adding baking powder to add some fluffy texture instead.
- Wheat flour
- Baking powder
- Cold water
How to make the batter: Mix water, wheat flour, and baking powder.
Tempura batter mix
The fastest way to make tempura batter is by using tempura batter mix. However, they contain additives to make it easy to fry, so I highly recommend making your own batter to experience an authentic taste.
Helpful Tips for Crispy Tempura
Have you ever wondered why some Tempura come out crisp and light while others are heavy, like pancakes? It's all about gluten formation in the batter!
Follow these tips for a delicious Tempura batter - crispy on the outside and fluffy within.
- Select low-protein flour, such as cake flour, with a lower gluten content (about 7%). Do not use bread flour with a high gluten content (about 13%). You can substitute it with all-purpose flour, which is 8%.
- Use cold water or ice water rather than lukewarm water because gluten is easily formed at high temperatures. It's also better to chill the flour if possible.
- Shifting the flour makes the texture finer and airy batter.
- 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.
- Make the batter right before frying. The batter will start to become sticky over time, so it's better to make it right before frying.
Helpful Tips For Deep Frying
After your batter and ingredients are prepped, get ready for frying. Follow these easy-to-follow tips for frying, and you'll get crispy tempura!
- Temperature of the oil - When it comes to frying, getting the right temperature is the key, as not all ingredients require the same heat. Low-temperature cooking is best for leafy greens and root vegetables, while high temperatures are optimal when preparing shrimp or fish.
- Dusting flour on ingredients will reduce excess moisture on ingredients and keep them from getting soggy. In addition, the batter sticks to vegetables, and you can fry them without the tempura skin coming off. So dust vegetables like bell peppers and eggplants (which contain a lot of moisture) with flour.
- Fry in small batches - You will lower the oil temperature by adding many ingredients to the pot at once. Then, the moisture in the batter will not evaporate well, and your Tempura might become soggy. To keep the oil temperature consistent, fry small batches, put the ingredients in less than ⅔ of the pot, and save some space open.
- Remove Tenkasu (Agedama) - Tenkasu (or agedama) are crunchy bits made from the excess batter during cooking tempura. If you leave them in the pot, old tenkasu stick to the new Tempura and ruin the texture. So, remove the tenkasu with a fat skimmer spoon before adding a new Tempura to the pot.
- Drain off the oil - Draining oil after frying is also essential. After cooking the Tempura, remove any excess oil by placing them on a wire rack (or paper towels). Keep them upright as much as possible, and do not stack them.
How To Eat Tempura
If you go to Japanese restaurants, tempura is always served with Tentsuyu, a special dipping sauce for tempura. The tempura batter itself doesn't have much taste, so it's common to dip it into the sauce and eat it.
For an extra touch, you can add grated daikon to aid digestion. Alternatively, a splash of lemon juice or grated ginger serves the same purpose.
What To Serve With
Enhance your tempura experience with a delightful combination of refreshing pickles, crisp salad, and a comforting Japanese miso soup.
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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How To Make Tempura Batter: 3 Ways (Easy and Crispy)Print Pin Save Saved!
- 1 Egg
- 200 ml Water
- 100 g Wheat flour
- 1 Egg
- 200 ml Water
- 150 g Rice flour
- 200 ml Water
- 100 g Wheat flour
- ½ teaspoon Baking powder
- In a large bowl, beat egg until egg yolk and white are well combined.
- Add water and mix until combined.
- Sift the dry ingredients with a strainer, and combine.
- Dip your favorite ingredients into the batter and deep fry in medium heat.
- Use low-protein flour - Use cake flour with a lower gluten content (about 7%). Do not use bread flour with a high gluten content (about 13%). You can substitute it with all-purpose flour, which is 8%.
- Use cold water - Use cold water or ice water rather than lukewarm water because gluten is easily formed when the temperature is high. It's also better to chill the flour if possible.
- Shift the flour - Shifting the flour makes the texture finer and airy batter.
- 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.
- The timing to make the batter - The batter will start to become sticky over time, so it's better to make it right before frying.