Tempura is probably the best known Japanese dish after sushi and sashimi. However, strictly speaking, tempura is not of Japanese origin: It was the Portuguese who brought tempura here, back in the 16th century. Since then, however, it has undergone a transformation and is now considered one of the most iconic Japanese dishes. Tempura seems very easy to make, but there are a few tricks that need to be mastered to make it come out just right.
Tempura can also be served on top of a bowl of rice, making it the popular tempuradon.

It should be relatively easy to make: cut the veggies, throw in batter, fry in hot oil, but what I have heard, it appears to be rather tricky to get the consistency and taste just right. To be honest, at this point, I have not tried making tempura myself. However, I did look up tempura recipes, and one of them you can find below. Happy frying!


Basic Ingredients

Tentsuyu Tempura Sauce
200 ml water
– 2-3 tablespoons soy sauce
– 2-3 tablespoons mirin
– 5 g bonito flakes (optional)
Mix together and put aside until eating.

Things to fry
– vegetables (bell peppers, eggplant, (sweet) potatoes, pumpkin, mushrooms, carrots…)
fish fillets, squid, or shrimp
Cut into small, even sized pieces that can be eaten with a bite or two. Seafood should be cleaned and everything inedible, like shells or bones, should be removed.

100 g flour
200 ml cold water (the colder the better, the tempura will absorb less oil)
1 egg
Lightly break up the egg and add the water and the flour. Mix together quickly, it is okay (even desired) if there are still some clumps of flour left. Don’t make the batter in advance. It should be the last thing prepared before the frying.

Heat a large pan with cooking oil. The oil should be at a stable temperature of about 170 degrees throughout the whole process to ensure the best outcome. Temperature for seafood should be about 190 degrees.

Lightly coat the vegetables or seafood with the batter. Don’t use too much, the result should be crispy. Fry each piece for about 1 – 2 minutes on each side (or use enough oil to deep fry), then put them on a kitchen towel to drain the oil.

Eat as hot as possible with salt, lemon or the tentsuyu sauce above.