Are you a fan of Japanese cuisine looking to explore outside sushi and ramen? Tempura might be the perfect dish for you! This popular dish boasts light, crispy batter packed with flavor and usually consists of vegetables like squash, potatoes, mushrooms, or seafood – making it delicious and nutritious. You may already know that tempura is a Japanese specialty, but what makes it unique? Read on as we investigate what tempura is and how it’s made.

What Is Tempura?

Tempura is a popular dish in Japanese cuisine, beloved for its unique, light, and crispy batter. It’s a deep-fried delicacy created by coating pieces of vegetables or seafood in tempura batter and then quickly frying them in hot oil until they reach perfect crispiness. The batter is unique, often made from water, flour, and sometimes egg, resulting in an airy, delicate, and greasy finish. Making tempura requires skill to ensure the batter adheres well and fries to a golden brown. Typical ingredients for tempura include shrimp, fish, and a variety of vegetables like bell peppers, sweet potatoes, and mushrooms. The finished tempura is typically served with a dipping sauce, adding a flavorful zing to each crunchy bite. Whether you’re into seafood or strictly veggies, there’s a tempura for everyone! So next time you’re in the mood for Japanese food, remember – there’s more to explore beyond sushi and ramen, and tempura might just become your new favorite.

What Is Tempura Batter?

Tempura is a delicious dish from Japan, well-known for its light and crispy coating. It’s made by taking pieces of fresh vegetables or seafood and dipping them into a special tempura batter before they are quickly fried in hot oil. This gives tempura its distinctive golden color and delightfully crunchy texture. The batter, often a mixture of water, flour, and sometimes egg, produces a light, airy finish that’s not greasy. Making tempura is an art, requiring the proper technique to get the batter and frying just right. You can find tempura made from a variety of ingredients, including shrimp, fish, bell peppers, sweet potatoes, and mushrooms. Once cooked, tempura is usually served with a flavorful dipping sauce that adds an extra punch to every bite. If you’re considering trying something new from Japanese cuisine beyond sushi and ramen, tempura might be your next favorite!

How Does Tempura Batter Differ From Conventional Batter?

Tempura batter differs slightly from your typical pancake or fried chicken batter. It’s made with baking powder, offering an extra boost of leavening and airiness that helps the fry up light and crisp without being greasy. Tempura batter usually has no dairy products, making it a great vegan-friendly option. Finally, for best results, tempura batter should be kept cold until right before you use it. This helps create the perfect airy texture and ensures it sticks to your ingredients without falling off during frying.

How Is Tempura Made?

Preparing the Batter

Making tempura is a two-step process of first preparing the batter and then frying it. The batter is made up of water, flour, and sometimes egg to add a bit of richness. Some recipes also call for cornstarch, potato starch, and sesame oil for added flavor. Baking powder helps make the coating extra light and airy. To make the batter, combine all your ingredients and mix until you get a thick but pourable consistency – it should be like a light pancake batter with no lumps. Once the batter is ready, cover it and set aside to let the air bubbles settle for about 30 minutes before frying.

Gathering Extra Ingredients

Now that the batter is ready, it’s time to gather everything you need to fry. Tempura is usually made with vegetables or seafood, such as sweet potatoes, mushrooms, bell peppers, shrimp, and fish. For a vegan-friendly version, opt for just vegetables and skip the animal proteins. If you choose to use seafood, ensure it has been properly defrosted before frying. You’ll also need oil for deep-frying – vegetable oil is the safest option here, but you can also experiment with other fats, such as coconut or sesame oil. A slotted spoon is handy when frying, allowing you to easily scoop out pieces from the hot oil without sticking them to your utensils.

Prepping the Oil

Once all the ingredients are ready, it’s time to heat the oil. Fill a deep saucepan or wok with your frying oil and set it over medium heat. Ensure you use enough oil so that whatever ingredients you use can be completely submerged in it. You’ll know your oil is hot enough when a drop of batter is placed in it, and it starts sizzling. If the oil is too hot, reduce the heat a bit – you don’t want it to smoke or even start burning.

Dipping & Frying

To make the tempura:

  1. Dip each piece into the cold batter before dropping it into the hot oil.
  2. Make sure you move quickly while doing this – the longer ingredients stay in the batter, the more likely they are to become soggy.
  3. Once all the pieces have been added, fry them for two to three minutes or until they are golden brown on both sides.
  4. Use a slotted spoon to turn each piece over and ensure even cooking.
  5. When finished, remove the tempura from the oil with a slotted spoon and let it drain on paper towels before serving.

What Are the Most Common Types of Tempura?

Shrimp Tempura

Shrimp Tempura is one of the most popular types of tempura and a favorite in many Japanese restaurants worldwide. Plump, juicy shrimp are peeled and deveined, then dipped in the light, airy tempura batter before being quickly deep-fried to golden perfection. The result is a delightfully crunchy exterior enveloping a succulent, perfectly cooked shrimp. It’s a feast for the senses with the crunch of the crispy batter, the tender bite of the shrimp, and the visually appealing golden hue. Often served with a tangy, soy-based dipping sauce, shrimp tempura is a perfect blend of texture and flavor that can be enjoyed as a standalone dish or as part of a larger meal. Indulge in a batch of shrimp tempura and experience a symphony of flavors that is uniquely Japanese.

Vegetable Tempura

Vegetable Tempura is spotlighted for those who prefer a greener, lighter option. It showcases the versatility of the tempura batter, proving that it pairs delightfully well with a wide variety of vegetables. From sweet potatoes and bell peppers to mushrooms and zucchini, each vegetable, when coated in the airy, crispy batter and swiftly deep-fried, transforms into a crunchy, golden delight. Each bite reveals the tender, perfectly cooked vegetable within, offering a beautiful contrast with the crunchy exterior. Served with a dipping sauce for an extra burst of flavor, Vegetable Tempura is a nutritious and flavorful choice for those exploring Japanese cuisine or seeking a vegan-friendly option. Vegetable Tempura promises a scrumptious, visually appealing, and health-conscious meal, whether as a standalone dish or an accompaniment to other dishes.

Chicken Tempura

Chicken Tempura is a delightful twist on traditional tempura, featuring tender pieces of chicken encased in a crispy tempura batter. The chicken is marinated, dipped in the airy batter, and swiftly deep-fried, resulting in a golden, crunchy exterior enveloping a juicy, flavorful interior. The chicken’s succulence pairs beautifully with the light, crispy tempura batter, presenting a satisfying balance of tastes and textures. Its crisp exterior is achieved through the perfect blend of flour, water, and sometimes egg, mixed to the right consistency and temperature. Served with a tangy, umami-rich dipping sauce, Chicken Tempura is an irresistible fusion of the comforting familiarity of fried chicken with the unique, light crispiness of traditional Japanese tempura. Whether relished as a standalone dish or as part of a larger meal, Chicken Tempura promises an exciting culinary journey into Japanese cuisine.

Tempura Sushi

Tempura Sushi brings a delightful crunch to the typically soft and delicate sushi experience. It’s a unique blend of classic sushi elements, such as sushi rice and nori, filled with tempura-battered ingredients like shrimp or vegetables. The tempura component provides a crispy, golden texture, a delightful contrast to the soft, vinegared sushi rice and the tender nori wrapping. The tempura-fried filling adds a burst of flavor, elevating the sushi roll to a whole new level of deliciousness. Each bite of Tempura Sushi is a unique fusion of traditional sushi and the light, airy crispiness of tempura, creating an unforgettable culinary experience. Paired with a side of soy sauce for dipping, Tempura Sushi is a must-try for sushi and tempura lovers alike, promising a tantalizing exploration of Japanese cuisine.


Diving into the world of Tempura is a sensory delight – the light, crisp batter encasing succulent shrimp or tender vegetables, all swiftly deep-fried to golden perfection. In this article, we’ve illuminated the artistry of crafting tempura and its distinctive experience. Just as Tempura transforms simple ingredients into culinary wonders, Orderific revolutionizes restaurant operations, optimizing revenue and user experience. With seamless integration into leading POS systems and payment partners, you can focus on tailoring customer experiences. Thrill your senses with tempura, and empower your restaurant with Orderific. Schedule a FREE DEMO today for a taste of this transformative platform!


What is tempura, and how is it prepared in Japanese cuisine?

Tempura is a Japanese dish of seafood or vegetables battered and deep-fried to a crispy, light, and golden perfection.

Can you provide insights into the key ingredients used in tempura batter and the ideal frying techniques?

Tempura batter primarily includes flour, water, and sometimes eggs. Perfect frying involves quick submersion in hot oil.

Are there any regional variations of tempura or specific types of ingredients that are commonly used?

Yes, tempura varies with ingredients ranging from shrimp, fish, and various vegetables to more unique options like chicken and sushi.

Can you recommend delicious dipping sauces or accompaniments that pair well with tempura dishes?

Traditional dipping sauces for tempura include soy-based sauces, dashi-based sauces, and even ponzu for a citrusy twist.