3 Easy Homemade Tempura Batter Recipe (Gluten-Free & Vegan)

5 from 4 votes
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Want to make delicious tempura at home? Learn the secrets to crispy, Homemade Tempura Batter with these three easy recipes, including gluten-free and vegan options!

Looking for tempura variations? Try my Eggplant Tempura, Kabocha Tempura, and Sweet Potato Tempura!

Homemade tempura batter.

I’ll walk you through the ingredients and step-by-step instructions. I hope you enjoy it!

Why You Will Love This Recipe 

  • This homemade tempura batter recipe offers gluten-free and vegan variations to suit different dietary needs.
  • You will achieve the perfect crispy texture every time.
  • This tempura recipe brings authentic Japanese flavors to your kitchen.

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 also one of the popular home-cooked dishes as you can quickly make a delicious dinner for the whole family with several simple ingredients.

Recipe Ingredients

A thin and airy batter is key to getting the perfect tempura. Whether it’s for vegetables or shrimp, simple tips and tricks help create that delicious crispy texture. From the basic tempura batter to gluten-free and even vegan options, I have three options for you!

Ingredients for authentic tempura batter
  • Authentic Tempura Batter: Wheat flour, egg, and water.
  • Gluten-free Tempura Batter: Rice flour, egg, and water. 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, the batter is easy to handle as it doesn’t create gluten.
  • Vegan Tempura Batter: Wheat flour, baking powder, and water. The basic batter includes an egg, but you can make it without it. I like adding baking powder to add some fluffy texture instead.

How To Make Homemade Tempura Batter: STEP BY STEP 

Here are some quick visual instructions! For the video and all the detailed ingredients and instructions, go to the printable recipe card below.

How to make tempura batter.

Step 1

Beat the egg until well combined. (Skip this step for the vegan option.)

How to make tempura batter.

Step 2

Add water and sift the dry ingredients in a large bowl.

How to make tempura batter.

Step 3

Stir to make the batter.

tempura batter in a large bowl.

Recipe Tips

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, gluten will form, 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.

How To Make Tempura

vegetable tempura served on a tray.

Once your batter is ready, you can fry your choice of ingredients. This vegetable tempura recipe provides more details on preparing ingredients and frying tips.

Popular Ingredients For Tempura

Tempura batter can make just about anything taste delicious and crispy. Here are the popular ingredients:

  • Shrimp
  • Japanese sweet potato
  • Lotus root
  • Shiitake mushrooms
  • Eggplant
  • Shiso leaf
  • Kabocha
  • Bell peppers
  • Okra

Your Questions Answered

Why is my tempura batter not crispy?

The batter is not cold enough (see the “Recipe Tips” above), or the oil is not hot enough (around 170°C/340°F). If the oil is too cool, the batter will absorb more oil and become soggy.

What are the best ingredients to use for making tempura?

Shrimp, shiitake mushrooms, sweet potato, bell pepper, and kabocha are ideal ingredients for tempura because they maintain their texture and flavor when quickly fried in the light, crispy batter.

Can tempura batter be made ahead of time?

It’s generally not recommended to make tempura batter far ahead of time because allowing the batter to sit for too long can cause gluten to develop, making the batter heavier and less crispy.

What can I serve with this tempura?

Tempura pairs well with a variety of side dishes and condiments. Here are some examples to serve with tempura: Japanese steamed rice, tofu miso soup, nukazuke, daikon salad, and mentsuyu with grated daikon for dipping sauce.

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Homemade tempura batter.

3 Easy Homemade Tempura Batter Recipe (Gluten-Free & Vegan)

5 from 4 votes
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Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 15 minutes
Servings: 4 serving
Author: Juri Austin
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!

Ingredients

Basic Batter

  • 1 Egg
  • 200 ml Water
  • 100 g Wheat flour

Gluten-free Batter

  • 1 Egg
  • 200 ml Water
  • 150 g Rice flour

Vegan Batter

  • 200 ml Water
  • 100 g Wheat flour
  • ½ tsp Baking powder

Instructions

  • Egg mixture: In a large bowl, beat the egg until the yolk and white are well combined. (Skip this step for the vegan option.) Then, add water and mix until combined.
  • Combine with Flour: Sift the dry ingredients with a strainer and combine to make the batter.
  • Use the Better: Dip your choice of ingredients, such as vegetables and seafood, into the batter, and deep-fry them at medium heat (170°C/340°F) until cooked.

Video

Notes

  • 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.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 107kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 4g
Course: Main
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: homemade tempura batter
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