Tempura

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Beside Sushi and Ramen, when dining out in a Japanese restaurant, I think most of us would rarely forget to order a side of Tempura (天 ぷ ら), added to our main course. Eye-catching colours, a wide range of variety, not to mention that delicious crunchy texture, no wonder Tempura is enjoyed everywhere around the globe. Today, onward with our Food Passport journey, I will share with you some tips and techniques to make Tempura at home.

In order to make the perfect Tempura, there are two key factors that we should always consider: fry batter and oil temperature.

For the batter, it is utmost important that ingredients must be cold. This will help to achieve that famous fluffy, crispy texture that we all loved. Also, the cold batter prevents Tempura from absorbing too much oil. When mixing the ingredients together, restrain from over-mixing the batter, you will want it to be a little bit lumpy. Excessively mixing will result in an unattractive gooey fried dough. Last but not least, do not prepare the batter too far ahead. Making it right before frying the Tempura will reward you with the best result.

Ideally, the temperature for frying Tempura is from 160*C to 180*C. Depend on the ingredient that we will adjust the temperature accordingly. Temperature too high will cook the batter too fast and the inside will not be cooked enough. Too low, then you will end up with soggy Tempura. The best way to do is using a thermometer. Also, do not fry too much Tempura at the same time, as this will drop the oil temperature very fast.

I hope this knowledge will be useful to you while making the perfect Tempura. And see you in the kitchen!

(Recipe video below)

THE RECIPE

Tempura

Serving 2 people

Prep time Cook time
5 mins 5 mins

Ingredients:

Your choice of seafood and vegetable. Im using prawns, baby octopus, carrot, dried kelp and enoki mushroom

Egg 1
Cold water 1 cup
All-purpose flour 1 cup
Corn flour 1 cup

Method:

1. If you are using prawns. Take off the prawn shells (save it to make the most amazing Laksa). Remove the vein. Use your knife to cut of the end of prawn tail. And then scrape the tail to remove excess water. This will prevent oil plashing when cooking prawn Tempura.

2. Lightly score across the prawn belly. Turn it over and press down to stretch the prawn. You will hear snapping sound. This will prevent the prawn from curling up while frying.

3. For veggetable, cut according to your referred shape. Keep in my do not cut it too thick as it wont cook through properly.

4. Combine cold water and egg together, whisk to cooperate the egg with cold water. Sift the flour into the mixture and mix.

5. Do not over mix, you still want some lump in it.

6. Fry the tempura at 180*C. Start with vegetable first. Check the oil temperature with a thermometer or sprinkle a few drops of the Tempura batter into the oil. If the batter float up immediately, you are good too go.

7. Lightly coat the ingredients with corn flour, then dip into the batter. Shake off the excess batter and carefully drop into the oil.

8. To create the crispy layer outside the tempura. Push the Tempura to the side of you frying pot/wok. Then sprinkle the batter over it. Hold it for short moment for the batter to stick then let go.

9. Fry each side fro 1 to 2 mins. Then rest on a cooling rack. Sprinkle some salt.

10. Your Tempura is done!!! Enjoy it hot with Japanese mayonaise or Tempura sauce.

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