Tempura, one of Japan’s most famous and best-loved dishes – seafood and vegetables coated in a special batter and fried to perfection. It’s hard to find great tempura at a restaurant and even harder to make great tempura at home. I’ve been trying to perfect my batter for years and I’m still tweaking it, but I’m happy enough with the results to share it – you’ll love it if you like very light and crispy tempura.
Tips & Tricks:
- Make sure everything you are planning on frying is dry, use a paper towel to dab moisture off any seafood
- Don’t overcrowd the pot by cooking too many pieces at once, it might drop the oil temp too much and you’ll end up with soggy, oily tempura
- Cut the vegetables thin enough so they cook all the way through, about ⅛-¼ inch thick works well for me.
- I place the bowl of tempura batter on top of another bowl filled with ice to keep the batter extra cold.
- My favorite oil to fry with is Rice Bran Oil, if you can’t find it, Peanut Oil works well too. You can also add 2 Tablespoons of Sesame oil to the frying oil to improve the flavor of the tempura
- Watch this short video by Chef Hiroyuki Terada on how to prep & stretch shrimp for tempura
- Constantly remove any tempura bits floating around the oil using a fine mesh skimmer
I made this tempura dish today to celebrate the U.S. premier of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba the Movie: Mugen Train. Shrimp, Japanese Sweet Potato, Kabocha, Lotus Root, Green Beans, Grated Daikon and Shiso Leaf (in Demon Slayer, it looks like they used Shungiku / Chrysanthemum leaves, but I couldn’t find it, so I used Shiso instead).
This is from the episode “The House with the Wisteria Family Crest” Hisa, the sweet old lady serves this wonderful tempura meal to Tanjiro, Zenitsu, and Inosuke.
You can make Tentsuyu (Tempura Dipping Suace) by combining 1 Cup Dashi, 1/4 Cup Soy Sauce, 1 Tablespoon Sugar, 2 Tablespoons Mirin – stir until the sugar is dissolved. Add grated daikon when serving.