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How to Make Tempura – Authentic Tempura (Recipe Guide)

How to Make Tempura – Authentic Tempura (Recipe Guide)

Our full recipe guide on how to make Tempura is one of the most popular dishes in Japan.

Tempura is a popular Japanese dish known for its light, crispy batter and deliciously tender inside. Tempura is made with a variety of vegetables and seafood.

Here’s an authentic guide to making tempura at home, just like it’s served in Japan.

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How to Make Tempura

Tempura Recipe Ingredients

How to Make Tempura – Authentic Tempura (Recipe Guide)

For Tempura:
Assorted vegetables (such as sweet potato, bell pepper, broccoli, and zucchini), sliced
Seafood (such as shrimp, squid, and white fish fillets), cleaned and prepared
Vegetable oil, for deep frying
For Tempura Batter:
1 cup ice-cold water (very important for a light batter)
1 large egg
1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted (important to avoid clumps)
For Dipping Sauce (Tentsuyu):
1 cup dashi stock (you can use instant dashi powder)
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup mirin (sweet cooking sake)
Grated daikon radish (optional, for serving)
Grated ginger

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Step By Step How to Make Tempura

Preparing the Dipping Sauce

If using instant dashi, prepare it according to package instructions. In a small saucepan, combine the dashi, soy sauce, and mirin. Bring to a light simmer, then remove from heat. Set aside and keep warm.

How to Make Tempura – Authentic Tempura (Recipe Guide)

Making Tempura

Peel and slice vegetables into bite-sized pieces. For shrimp, make a few shallow cuts along the belly and gently press down to straighten them. In a deep fryer or large heavy-bottomed pot, heat vegetable oil to 340-350°F (170-175°C). Use a thermometer to monitor the temperature.

How to Make Tempura – Authentic Tempura (Recipe Guide)

Make Tempura Batter

In a bowl, lightly beat the egg and mix with the ice-cold water. Add the sifted flour to the mixture. Stir gently with chopsticks just until the flour is incorporated; it’s okay if the batter is lumpy. Dip the vegetables and seafood into the batter one piece at a time, then carefully place them into the hot oil.

Do not overcrowd the fryer. Fry until lightly golden, about 2-3 minutes, turning halfway through. Remove the tempura from the oil and drain on paper towels. Keep them in a warm oven if frying in batches.


Serve the tempura immediately with the warm tentsuyu dipping sauce. You can add grated daikon radish and ginger to the sauce for extra flavor.

How to Make Tempura – Authentic Tempura (Recipe Guide)

Tips To Make Tempura

The key to crispy tempura is keeping the batter cold. Use ice water for the batter, and some even place the batter bowl in a larger bowl filled with ice during frying. Overmixing develops the gluten in the flour, resulting in a heavy, oily batter.

Mix just until ingredients are incorporated. Maintaining the right oil temperature is crucial. If too low, tempura will be oily; if too high, it will burn easily. Tempura is best enjoyed fresh and hot for maximum crispiness.

How Many Calories Has A Tempura

Assorted vegetable tempura (about 5 pieces): 150-300 calories
Shrimp tempura (about 3 pieces): 60-90 calories
Fish tempura (about 2 pieces): 100-200 calories
A typical plate of tempura could be around 310 to 590 calories.

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