How to Make Tempura


Several people have requested a tempura recipe, so here you go! This will work for most any type of tempura, from shrimp to vegetables, and even bananas!

  • assorted ingredients to tempura (shrimp, onion, carrot, broccoli, banana, etc.)
  • 1 cup ice cold water
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • cooking oil
Cooking Directions
  1. In a medium bowl, mix the water and the egg.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix the flour and baking soda.
  3. Stir the flour mix into the egg mix. It’s okay if the batter is a little lumpy.
  4. Stick the batter in the fridge while you prepare the other ingredients.
  5. If you are using shrimp, peel, de-vein, and wash it. Make some small cuts across the belly of the shrimp, to keep it from curling when you cook it. (Thanks hien and Rei for the tips!)
  6. If you are using vegetables, clean them and cut them into your desired size. Try not to use very soft ingredients, as they will soften as they cook (softer ingredients tend to fall apart when you take it out of the oil).
  7. Heat the oil in a frying pan. The oil should be hot enough that when you drip batter in it, the drops come to the top immediately.
  8. Coat your ingredients in the batter. Place the coated ingredients in the hot oil, turning when the bottom side is browned.
  9. Place the fried ingredients on a paper towel to drain. Remove any skewers. Serve immediately.

Serving Size: 1 batch

  • Calories:413
  • Fat: 6g, 9% DV
  • Saturated Fat: 2g, 8% DV
  • Cholesterol: 211mg, 70% DV
  • Sodium: 225mg 9% DV
  • Total Carbohydrates: 72g, 24% DV
  • Dietary Fiber: 3g, 10% DV
  • Sugars: 1g
  • Protein: 16g, 32% DV
  • Vitamin A: 5%
  • Vitamin C: 0%
  • Calcium: 5%
  • Iron: 29%
  • Magnesium: 7%
  • Potassium: 5%

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. These values are only estimates based on the individual ingredients, and not meant to replace the advice of a medical professional.

74 thoughts on “How to Make Tempura”

  1. Allison -

    Ralph – Glad I could help! πŸ™‚ Hopefully now your shrimp tempura will turn out better. πŸ™‚

    Will – Hehe you’re welcome! Actually I think you were the first person to request a tempura recipe, so here you go! πŸ˜€

  2. Lara -

    If I didn’t hate to deep fry so much, I’d be all over this recipe. πŸ™‚ Made 5 dozen samosas a few weeks ago which was my first time on over 6 months but I was very motivated … to eat samosas.

  3. Yvo -

    Yummy! I’ve never tempura’d because I try to avoid deep frying anything (fear, health, what have you) but I’ve read that using carbonated/seltzer water gives the batter a little extra oomph that makes it fluffier (that’s not the word, but … airier?) or osmething. If you try that , let me know how that works out (I know I will probably not tempura…) πŸ™‚

  4. Allison -

    Lara – Wow, that’s a lot of samosas! Sounds yummy! I’ll try to find a tempura recipe that doesn’t involve frying so the sushi is maybe a little bit healthier. πŸ˜› I wonder how baking would work… we’ll see!

    Yvo – Hehe I usually make Son do the frying… (I stay away from hot oil, he stays away from knives… it all works out! πŸ˜€ By the way, how is your finger doing? I hope you are feeling better!) I had heard that too about the carbonated water, but forgot about it until you mentioned it! I’ll definitely have to try that next time I make tempura!

  5. hien -

    i believe you don’t need baking soda for tempura. What you do is cover the shrimp with dry tempura powder, then the batter then into the hot oil (350 degree). springle more batter over the shrimp as it’s cooking in the oil.

    for straight shrimp, you shouldn’t be using the skewers (skewers is for boiling only). what you do is… give a some small cuts on the stomach of the shrimp them use your fingers and push on the back (don’t do to hard the shrimp will break) like u roll sushi.( the shrimp is a little long and straigh).

  6. Anonymous -

    Me and deep frying do NOT get along. I’m always getting spattered (for some reason, its almost always in my eye…seriously! lol) and I can’t seem to get the oil hot enough to make my fried items crispy enough. Any one have any tips on how to make things easier? Types of oil (I ususally use canola), pots, screens, utensils?

    By the by, this site is AMAZING. So inspiring! I’ve started coming up with my own creative sushi ideas and finally incorporating sushi into my regular diet πŸ˜‰

  7. Allison -

    πŸ™ I have been using vegetable oil for all my frying. Maybe that would make a difference?

    Also, to make sure the oil is hot enough, I put the handle of a wooden spoon in the oil – if bubbles form around the handle, then the oil is hot enough. Or you could use a thermometer, but I don’t have one and I find that the wooden handle method works just fine. πŸ™‚ We just use a regular frying pan for our frying .

    I have found that often when the oil is spattering, it is because a little water has come into contact with the oil, so I try to make sure my pan and the food I am frying is free of water if possible. Of course, that isn’t always the case, so be careful anyways!

    I’m glad you like the site! Feel free to share any sushi ideas you would like to see up here! πŸ™‚

  8. Ryan -

    Just to say, even if many have already said it, this site is so cool. It’s so neat, and organized and not straining to look at.

    I am new in making sushi, specifically maki, and saw this site, I learned how to cook the sushi rice from here. Thank you for the recipe, I’ll probably try doing my own varieties some time.

    Anyways, about the frying issue, the oil does splatter if there’s water. Also, when I fry, it usually splatters when the oil is just getting there. I mean, when it is already hot, but not yet enough. It’ like midway through the halfway.

    But, if everything else fails, I would suggest wearing a costume. Probably wearing a mask would help avoid those splatters :D.

    Well, good luck in frying and thank you again for this site.

  9. Allison -

    Thanks Ryan! πŸ™‚ I’m glad you like the site! Thanks so much for the frying tips… I definitely appreciate them and I’m sure many others will benefit from them too! Happy sushi making!

  10. Rei -

    Yup! hien is correct. The proper way to stop the shrimp from curling when frying is to first make several little slits ACROSS the belly of each shrimp. (Note: “across” is different from “along”!) Also be careful not to slice all the way/too much through the shrimp. The shrimp will then become all skinny and long when you lay it out, like hien describe.

  11. Allison -

    Rei – Thanks for the tips!

    Anonymous – If you use large shrimp, this should make about 12-18 shrimp, depending on how heavily battered you make them.

  12. tina -

    I have tried taking boxed tempura and frying it so I can crunch it for the crunchie on my sushi, but it never turns out right. It is doughy too much. So someone said for me to get wontons and fry them and crunch them up and that might work for the crunchie for sushi.

  13. Allison -

    tina – Wontons might work, or you can try getting panko and using that… I think that might work better.

    dok – Awesome… let me know how that goes and if you get any good sushi ideas out of it!

  14. rick -

    it’s been really helpful, thanks mate!
    i gonna try to make my tempura soon…
    btw i’m a commercial cookery student at present…

  15. Katie -

    I recently had a heated debate with my husband and his best mate (one who managed a restaurant, the other was an apprentice chef) about whether a tempura batter can be still classed as tempura if beer is used instead of water ?? They were adament it was not a tempura. Any experts out there who can assist ?

  16. Chele -

    I did some shrimp last night that were absolutely delicious. I simply cleaned, deveined and butterflied them. Then I coated them in flour, eggwash, then Panko crumbs(pre-toasted) and baked them in a 375 oven for about 15-20 minutes.

    Hint: Sprinkle Panko crumbs onto a cookie sheet and drizzle olive oil over them. Stir well with a rubber spatula, then bake in oven for about 5-10 minutes or until lightly browned prior to using on shrimp. You ‘ll swear you fried them. The results were awsome.

  17. Allison -

    That sounds great! Panko is another great way to bake or fry foods like shrimp, but it is different from tempura. Panko-coated foods are more like stuff coated with bread crumbs, while tempura is more like beer battered foods. Very different, but both are delicious!

  18. Robert( Bob) Saunders -

    Is there a premixed Tempura product named KRARSTURS. I was told that resturants use this and that it was sold by Smart and final but the stores around my home donot sell it, can you help??

  19. Allison -

    Bob – I have not heard about that product, and I don’t think I’ve seen it in the stores near me. Sorry. πŸ™

    Phil – I’ve done it with both chilled and room temperature ingredients, and both have worked fine. However, I would think that for shrimp, it would be safer to do it with colder shrimp.

  20. PaHNdA -

    So Pretty Much this makes me soo angry…
    but hear me out..
    dropping about 50$ is what it would of been to feed my family last night.. =P
    and just to know that i used to pay some sushi joint 10 bucks for something i could of made my self awhile ago.. haha!
    my family loved it.

  21. island mom -

    we are going to try your shrimp tempura recipe (first time making sushi at home) this evening….if we can find all of the ingredients in our grocery store here in lovely puerto rico! anyway–just want all sushi lovers out there to know that we just got back from a trip to disney world in orlando, florida. we ate at the california grill in the contemporary resort, and tried sushi for the first time. a shrimp tempura with a soy wrap—-EXCELLENT!!

  22. Allison -

    All the ingredients are pretty basic, so hopefully you can make the tempura. πŸ™‚ I’m glad to hear you loved your first sushi, and I hope you enjoyed your trip to the US just as much! πŸ™‚

  23. Dottie -

    Just came across your site today. Very interesting even though I cannot eat most seafood (primarily shellfish) due to allergies.

    Just wondering if you adhere strictly to seafood recipes or if you sometimes cover other cooking and/or baking ideas.

    Love your format (and your humor) *giggle*, Dottie

  24. Allison -

    Nope, if you have a look around, you’ll see that very many of my recipes in fact don’t use any seafood at all! There’s something for everyone here, even those people who don’t like seafood. πŸ™‚

  25. Marichu -

    I am very happy to come across your Tempura Recipe! πŸ˜‰ I am interested in preparing Tempura for my family this holiday so to be different. I love to eat Japanese Foods but don’t have enough budget to be dining in Japanese Restaurants. And the usual dishes I prepare is kinda boring. Thank you for all the Tips! This site is organized, helpful and friendly!

    Just wondering if you can help me on the Sauce that comes with Tempura πŸ™‚ . I love it!

  26. Chimpo -

    whenever i do a tempura style type deep frying or baking, i keep the tempura batter ice cold as the oil hot enough to deep fry the shrimp tempura.

    i tend to make my own blend of coarse tempura batter from regular bread and roasted sesame seeds to give it that nutty and roast flavor to the shrimp tempura itself

  27. Marichu -

    Hi Chimpo,

    Thanks for responding to my request over this website. I sure will try the batter you have created. I can imagine it will make the tempura so tasty!

    πŸ™‚ Marichu

  28. Katie -

    Allison..our favorite roll at our local sushi bar uses panko fried shrimp. I tried it at home but it’s such a mess to cook up all the shrimp…he resorted to sprinkling those french fried onions you use in green bean casserole instead and he loves it! I am going to try the olive oil and panko in the oven though – sounds a lot healthier!

  29. ddysgal -

    Has anyone tried to use the tempura batter then roll it in panko bread crumbs prior to frying? Just wondering how my local restaurant gets the tempura to look so ‘crunchy’ looking. Thanks for any info πŸ™‚

  30. Bob -

    I have heard that the reason for using ice cold water is to keep batter from being sticky. Sticky batter causes more oil to be absorbed into the batter.

  31. Dustin Brown -

    I was wandering how the restaurants fry the sushi rolls. Im new at this sushi deal and I love the rolls that are fried and crunchy. Do you just use this batter and roll the sushi roll into it and fry it. Please help out.

  32. chef jun -

    make sure the oil is good, high smoke point, if the tempura starts to sink towards the end, the oil have decomposed, time to change the oil, otherwise you will end up with a rancid taste tempura. Make sure your tempura dipping sauce is ready with fresh grated ginger and radish… Oishi !

  33. Allison -

    Marichu – Thanks! I’ve never made the tempura sauce from scratch, but if I come across a good recipe I’ll certainly post it. πŸ™‚

    Chimpo – Great tips, I do the same with ice-cold batter. The batter you make with the breadcrumbs sounds more like panko, which is definitely delicious too! πŸ™‚

    Katie – Yeah, it can be a bit messy trying to fry up so many shrimp like that. But your solution sounds delicious! πŸ™‚

    ddysgal – I haven’t tried that, but it sounds as if it might work. πŸ™‚

    Bob – I’m not entirely sure of the reason, but that sounds like it would make sense.

    Nathan – Thanks for the advice. πŸ™‚

    Dustin – Yes, that’s exactly what I do! Check out the Crazy California Roll, where I did just that. πŸ™‚

    Recipe Collector – That might work well too. πŸ™‚

    Chef Jun – Thanks for the tips!

    Slim Ice – You’re welcome. πŸ™‚

    grill – I’m glad you liked it!

  34. Paula -

    I’d like to use this recipe for my assignment. Based on the comments I’ve read it seems that this is the perfect recipe to use ! πŸ™‚ Can I please ask for how many people I could serve this recipe? (How many is the serving for this recipe?)
    Thank you so much!!

  35. Elisa S. Chappell -

    Thank you, now I know how and I’m going to make one for my husband, I know this is his favorite.

  36. Marche -

    tempura bananas? that defies all logical thought. thanks for the recipe now i can go make that tempura udon that i need……

  37. Fred -

    I came here in pursuit of a sushi-tempura style I’ve only seen a few times; fried sushi rolls? I’m thinking I’m going to just pan sear my rolled roll in olive oil but I have no idea how/if that works, especially an even coat…don’t want to deep fry

  38. Gemma -

    Found this recipe using Google after my boyfriend requested tempura broccoli and carrots for dinner – This recipe was so easy to follow and the end result is great! He’s giving it an ‘om nom nom’ rating!

  39. gokce -

    I’ve just come back from my first trip to Japan and fell in love with the Tempura they have there. I am so glad I came across your recipe. I’ll try it immediately and give feedback. Thanks a bunch!

  40. Jill -

    Doubled this recipe and fried whole sushi rolls in it. Then sliced the rolls for serving. It was DELICIOUS. Perfect. Thank you for the best, easiest tempura recipe I’ve ever tried. Going to use it next on some gulf shrimp–cannot wait to get the shrimp!