Light and Crispy Tempura

Posted March 8th, 2010 in Food 2 Comments »

The keys to delicious, crispy and light tempura are:

  • Don’t mix the batter too much ( as it will develop the gluten from the flour)
  • Cold batter x hot oil 

If you do so, the tempura stays crispy even when it’s cold.


  • 45 g plain flour 
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 80 ml water
  • 1/2 tbs sake (cooking wine)
  • 2~3 ice cubes
  1. Place water, sake and ice cubes in a bowl, and shift in the dry ingredient.  Using a pair of chopsticks, lightly mix the batter.  (there should be lumps of flour in the batter.  Don’t mix too much!)
  2. Heat oil in a deep pan to 180℃.
  3. Coat prepared vegetables or seafood with batter, drain any excess batter, and deep-fry.  (Don’t fry too many vegetables/seafood at once, as it will drop the temperature of the oil.)
  4. Drain, and serve with salt or tsuyu sauce.
* If you are making seafood tempura, you may want to dust with plain flour before coating with batter.
Tsuyu sauce:

50 ml soy sauce
50 ml mirin
200 ml water
10 g katsuo-bushi (bonito flakes)

* mix all the ingredients in a microwave safe bowl, and microwave for 2 minutes. let it cool down, and remove the katsuo-bushi.

You can keep this for 2 days in the fridge.


  • Thinly shredded onion and carrot, and chopped onion.  (equal amount) Mix into batter.  Using a spoon, scoop the mixture and carefully drop into hot oil.  Deep-fry both sides until cooked through. 
  • Fresh herbs (eg: basil, parsley, coriander etc).  Coat with batter lightly and deep-fry for 30 seconds. (both sides)
  • Silver fish, or any small fish.  
  • Camembert cheese … my favorite 🙂

2 Comments on “Light and Crispy Tempura”

  1. 1 Squire Starsquid said at 5:42 pm on March 9th, 2010:

    I tried making tempura quite some times, I just cant get it to be light and crispy. It does come out really crisy at first but really soon it gets soft and soggy not to mention oily. I think controlling the heat of the oil is also difficult. The photos look delicious!

  2. 2 umepontarou said at 8:20 pm on March 9th, 2010:

    Squire Starsquid,

    Thanks for visiting my blog 🙂

    I understand what you mean. Making tempura is little tricky.

    One important thing is the temperature difference: the batter should be cold and the oil should be hot.

    Adding baking powder and sake may help, I think.
    Let me know if you try making tempura with this recipe, and worked or not 🙂

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