With just a few ingredients, you can make a delicious homemade tempura batter! Learn the best tricks to making delicious and 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.
You will learn how to make tempura batter in three ways in this recipe - Choose from classic, gluten-free or vegan options and enjoy the tasty dish!
- This recipe is for you if:
- You love Japanese tempura.
- You want to make crunchy tempura.
- You want to know how to make tempura batter.
Let's get started!
What is tempura and the batter?
Tempura is fried food made by battering and deep-frying ingredients such as shrimps, fish, and vegetables. It's a classic Japanese dish that you will see it on the menu at Japanese restaurants.
It's one of the popular home cooked dish 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.
Tempura batter can make just about anything taste delicious and crispy. Popular ingredients include shrimp, satsumaimo (Japanese sweet potatoes), lotus root, shiitake mushrooms, eggplant, and shiso leaf.
Shrimp tempura is the most popular one. Kabocha, maitake mushrooms, bell peppers, and okra are also great ingredients. Click here for vegetable tempura recipe.
How to make tempura batter from scratch
From the basic tempura batter to gluten-free and even vegan options, I have three tempura batter recipes for you.
1. Authentic tempura batter
This is the basic recipe and ingredients are egg, wheat flour and water. You will find helpful tips in the following section.
How to make the batter: Whisk an egg, add water, mix until combine, add wheat flour and mix.
2. Gluten-free tempura batter
For 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.
How to make the batter: Whisk an egg, add water, mix until combine, add rice flour and mix.
3. Vegan tempura batter (no egg)
Basic batter includes egg, but you can make it without it. I like adding baking powder to add some fluffy texture instead.
How to make the batter: Add cold water to a large bowl, add flour and baking powder, and mix.
Tempura batter mix
The fastest way to make tempura batter is using tempura batter mix. However, they contains additives to make it easy to fry, so I highly recommend making your own batter to experience authentic taste.
Helpful Tips For Making Crispy Batter
Have you ever wondered why some Tempura comes out crisp and light while other's are heavy, like pancakes? It all about gluten formation in the batter!
Follow these tips for a delicious Tempura batter - crispy on the outside and fluffy within.
1. 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%.
2. 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.
3. Shift the flour - Shifting the flour makes the texture finer and airy batter.
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 start to become sticky over time, so it's better to make it right before frying.
Helpful Tips For Deep Flying
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!
1. 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 temperature are optimal when preparing shrimp or fishes.
2. Dust flour on ingredients - It 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 having tempura skin come off. So dust vegetables like bell peppers and eggplants (which contain a lot of moisture) with flour.
3. Fry 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.
4. Remove Tenkasu (Agedama)
Tenkasu (or agedama) is 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.
5. 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 always serve with Tentsuyu, special dipping sauce for tempura. The tempura batter itself doesn't have much taste, so it's common to dip into the sauce and eat.
Tentsuyu (tempura sauce): A dipping sauce made from soy sauce, mirin and dashi (Japanese stock). You can substitute it with Mentsuyu (noodle soup) and I use store-bought one in this recipe (Click here for homemade mentsuyu recipe). Adding daikon oroshi (grated daikon) to the sauce is common as it helps digest fatty food like Tempura. You can also add lemon juice or grated ginger for the same reason.
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.
More Recipes You Might Like
- Vegetable tempura
- Sweet potato tempura
- Kabocha tempura
- Kakiage (Vegetable fritters)
- Kakiage don (Rice bowl)
How To Make Tempura Batter (3 Ways)Print Pin Rate
- 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.