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Shrimp Tempura 海老の天ぷら

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    Crispy and delicious homemade Shrimp Tempura! The secret to making a light, crisp coating that doesn’t absorb oil when fried is in the batter and deep-frying technique.

    Shrimp tempura on a plate along with the dipping sauce.

    Tempura is one of the most popular and well-known Japanese dishes that is widely enjoyed around the world. At your local Japanese restaurants, you probably see Shrimp Tempura (海老の天ぷら) and Vegetable Tempura, but the Japanese make tempura with various fresh ingredients.

    Besides being a standalone dish, Shrimp Tempura is also served over rice bowl (Tendon) or noodle soup (Tempura Soba or Tempura Udon).

    What is the Shrimp Tempura?

    In Japan, we call Shrimp Tempura Ebi no Tempura (海老の天ぷら) or Ebi Ten (えび天). Ebi means shrimp and ten comes from tempura.

    Seafood is often used as ingredients for tempura besides vegetables. And among seafood, shrimp is definitely the most popular one.

    Extra Crumbs around Shrimp Tempura

    When you order Shrimp Tempura at Japanese restaurants, it’s usually coated with crispy tempura crumbs.

    The cooking method is called Hanaage (花揚げ); hana means flower and age means deep-frying. Why flower? When tempura batter is added to the hot oil, it blooms like a flower. Check this video below.

    Did you see the chef dip his hand in the oil? Crazy, isn’t it?

    However, if you go to tempura specialized restaurants in Japan, the tempura chefs will not serve Tempura with excess batter because they want you to enjoy the flavor of the ingredient, not the excess batter.

    You will see Hanaage-style Shrimp Tempura with extra crispy batter on noodle soup dishes or tempura rice bowl dishes.

    Shrimp and vegetable tempura on a plate along with the dipping sauce.

    You Can Serve Shrimp Tempura with Vegetable Tempura.

    5 Tips To Make Shrimp Tempura

    The majority of Japanese home cooks don’t make the Hanaage-style Tempura as it’s time-consuming and difficult to make. It’s a lot easier to simply coat the shrimp with batter and deep fry.

    Here are some helpful tips on making tempura:

    1. Keep all the ingredients (flour, water, egg) cold.
    2. Never overmix the batter, and it’s okay if there are some flour lumps in the batter.
    3. Start deep-frying as soon as you make the tempura batter.
    4. Keep the oil temperature steady at all times.
    5. Just half of the oil surface should be covered with ingredients.

    Shrimp tempura on a plate along with the dipping sauce.

    Japanese Ingredient Substitution: If you want to look for substitutes for Japanese condiments and ingredients, click here.

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    4.45 from 40 votes
    Shrimp tempura on a plate along with the dipping sauce.
    Shrimp Tempura
    Prep Time
    30 mins
    Cook Time
    15 mins
    Total Time
    45 mins

    Delicious Shrimp Tempura recipe! The secret to making a light, crisp coating that doesn't absorb oil when fried is in the batter and deep-frying technique.

    Course: Main Course
    Cuisine: Japanese
    Keyword: shrimp, tempura
    Servings: 10 pieces
    Author: Namiko Chen
    • 10 prawn (Typically, Black Tiger Prawn is used for shrimp tempura at home; more expensive Japanese Tiger Prawns are used at tempura specialized restaurants in Japan)
    • potato starch/cornstarch (for dusting)
    • neutral-flavored oil (vegetable, canola, etc) (for deep frying; vegetable oil : sesame oil = 10 : 1)
    Tempura Batter: (egg + water : flour = 1 : 1 by volume)
    • 1 large egg (50 g w/o shell) (cold, about 50 g)
    • 200 ml iced water
    • 1 cup all-purpose flour (plain flour) (120 g)
    Tempura Sauce:
    1. Gather Tempura sauce ingredients.

      Vegetable Tempura Ingredients 3
    To Make Tempura Sauce
    1. Combine dashi, soy sauce, mirin, and sugar in a small saucepan and bring it to a boil. Then lower the heat and let it simmer until sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from heat and set aside.

      Vegetable Tempura 1
    To Prepare Shrimp
    1. To prepare shrimp, follow the instruction on how to straighten the shrimp.

      Shrimp Tempura 1
    To Make Tempura
    1. In a wok or a medium-size pot, heat 1 ½" (3 cm) of the oil to 340-350 ºF (170-180 ºC) and maintain the oil temperature at all times. You can check the temperature with chopsticks or with a thermometer. When you see small bubbles around chopsticks, it’s ready for deep frying. If you want to read more about deep frying tips, please read this post.

      Shrimp Tempura 2
    2. Gather Tempura batter ingredients.

      Vegetable Tempura Ingredients 2
    3. Sift the flour into a large bowl.

      Vegetable Tempura 6
    4. Add the egg into very cold water.
      Vegetable Tempura 7
    5. Whisk the egg mixture vigorously and discard the foam on the surface.

      Vegetable Tempura 8
    6. Slowly pour the egg mixture into the flour. Mix the batter but do not over mix; it's okay to leave some lumps in the batter. Keep the batter cold all the time. Make batter right before deep frying to avoid activation of wheat gluten.

      Vegetable Tempura 9
    7. Dust potato starch (or cornstarch) over the shrimp. This will help the shrimp adhere to the tempura batter.

      Shrimp Tempura 6
    8. Coat the shrimp in the batter.

      Shrimp Tempura 7
    9. Deep fry the shrimp until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Do not crowd the wok (pot) because the oil temperature will drop quickly. Don't overcook the shrimp; otherwise, the texture will be tough and dry. Transfer the Shrimp Tempura to a wire rack or a plate lined with a paper towel to drain excess oil. Between batches, skim the crumbs in the oil, which will burn and turn the oil darker if left in the wok (pot).

      Shrimp Tempura 8
    To Serve
    1. Grate the daikon and squeeze the liquid out.

      Vegetable Tempura 14
    2. Serve shrimp tempura with warm tempura dipping sauce and grated daikon on the side. Put some grated daikon in the dipping sauce and dip the tempura in the sauce to enjoy.

      Shrimp Tempura | Easy Japanese Recipes at
    Recipe Notes

    Recipe by Namiko Chen of Just One Cookbook. All images and content on this site are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission. If you’d like to share this recipe on your site, please re-write the recipe in your own words and link to this post as the original source. Thank you.

    Other Tempura Recipes

    Editor’s Note: Photos and recipe updated in November 2013.

    Make It Into A Meal

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