Learn How to Make Tempura

Everyone Can Suceed at Making Tempura

Tempura is one of the most popular and well known Japanese dishes around the world. Learn how to make Tempura the easy way,  so that you can always succeed when making tempura.

Normally tempura is a deep fried dish and this type of Japanese food requires technical skill that is not easy. I will show you an easier way to make this great dish. 

Easy Tempura - Prawn and vegetable kakiage

Traditional Tempura that you eat at a Japanese restaurant uses quite a lot of oil for cooking.  It can be messy in the kitchen and that’s why young Japanese people don’t like to cook “Tempura” at home. 

I’ll show you how to make tempura called - Prawn and vegetable kakiage.  We call this type of Tempura “Kakiage” and it is popular for home cooking as an easy and inexpensive dish. Prawn and vegetable tempura seals the flavours of a variety of ingredients with a light, crispy batter and is served with a Tempura dipping sauce. 

There are a couple of steps involved,but first of all decide which ingredients you need..

Tempura Ingredients         Serves 3-4

First select your ingredients

  • 1 cup frozen mixed vegetables (peas, carrots and corn)
  • 1 onion (medium, diced 1cm)
  • 6-7 raw prawns or shrimp cut into small 1-2cm pieces
  • Optional; (Calamari, capsicum and beans can also be use (instead mixed frozen vegetable) -- chopped small) 
  • Vegetable oil 3-4cm depth of your frying pan 

Tempura Dipping Sauce Recipe and Method

Tempura dipping sauce recipe

  • 150ml  water
  • 70ml of Mirin
  • 50ml of Japanese Soysauce (Kikkoman)
  • 1& ½ teaspoon Dashi  --(7.5g)
  • ½ teaspoon brown sugar


Boil all the dipping sauce ingredients in a small saucepan cook for few minutes. Or cook in the microwave for few minutes.

*Tip: Any unused sauce can be used for other dishes e.g. meat or vegetables. This sauce can keep in the fridge for 1-2 months.

How to Make Tempura - Step by Step Instructions

Making tempura involves a bit of preparation, so I'll guide you through those steps first, then we get to cook tempura!

Preparation for Tempura

  1. Cover the frozen vegetables with boiling water and cook in the microwave 1-2 minutes. (Or boil for 2 minutes in a pot.) Drain and set aside.
  2. Cut onion into cubes about the same size as the mixed vegetables so that they cook at the same time as the other ingredients.
  3. Peel prawns, cut into small pieces about 1cm.

Tempura Batter Recipe and Method

Tempura batter recipe

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 egg
  • 4/5  cup plain flour (and a handful extra flour to coat the ingredients)
  • 1 tbsp corn flour

1. Beat the egg in a bowl, add the cold water and mix well. 

*Important Tip: Add the flour for the batter just before you are ready to make and serve the tempura, for a crispy batter. 

2. Add the flour, sifting out any lumps, then mix together. If you use whisk moving it to the right and left. NOT CIRCULAR. Mix it roughly until combined, even if some lumps of flour can still be seen in the batter it is OK.  

making tempura batter

*Tip: Important Don't mix the batter too much or the tempura will not be crispy once fried.  

We're Ready to Make Tempura..

Okay, now that you have done some preparation you are ready to make your tempura!

1. Sprinkle half a handful of plain flour to coat all ingredients (prawn, onion, mix vegetable) just before making the tempura. Remove any excess flour to keep the coating light.  Then place all ingredients into the tempura batter and gently fold to coat them.

*Tip: The flour helps to combine all the ingredients and so the batter coats it all and prevent the oil splashing up when frying.

2. Heat enough oil to cover the tempura in a frying pan or pot (shallow is better with this method). The oil should be about 180C. Test that the oil is hot enough by dropping in a small amount of batter into the oil. It should cook to a crisp batter immediately.

3. Scoop the mixed prawn and vegetables with spatula and put in to the oil slowly and fry it immediately. When they begin to change colour, turn over to cook the other side.   

Tip: Don't cook too many pieces at once as the temperature in the oil will drop and a high temperature is what gets the tempura crispy. 

frying tempura

4. Place the cooked tempura on a paper towel to drain any excess oil.

5. Place on a plate with tempura dipping sauce drizzled on to the tempura or dip into sauce and eat either method will taste great. 

draining tempura

Optional; You can sprinkle some sliced chopped ginger and shallots on top of the tempura and drizzle with sauce. This will take your tastebuds to the next level.   

Serve with a bowl of rice and plenty of green vegetables/salad, now it is a perfect meal. 

This recipe is so tasty and much easier than deep frying. It is simple enough to try Japanese cooking at home. Now you know how to make Tempura you can show off to your family and friends.

Enjoy the authentic Japanese flavours you will love.

Easy Tempura Prawns and Vegetables - Prawn and vegetable kakiage

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