Vegetable Tempura | Easy Japanese Recipes at

Vegetable Tempura

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: deep fried, tempura
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 2
Author: Nami
Who can resist delicious crispy homemade vegetable tempura? When making tempura at home, the goal is a crispy yet airy coating that doesn't absorb oil when deep fried. I’ll teach you how to achieve excellent results in this recipe.


  • neutral flavor oil (vegetable, canola, etc) (for deep frying) (Vegetable oil : Sesame oil = 10 : 1)

Tempura Ingredients:

Tempura Batter: (egg + water : flour = 1 : 1 by volume)

  • 1 large egg (cold 1 large egg = 40 ml)
  • 200 ml water (iced water)
  • 1 cup all purpose flour (1 cup = 240 ml = 120 g)

Tempura Dipping Sauce:


For Tempura Sauce:

  1. Gather all the ingredients.

    Vegetable Tempura Ingredients 3
  2. Combine dashi stock, mirin, sugar, and soy sauce 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

For Tempura Ingredients:

  1. Gather all the ingredients.

    Vegetable Tempura Ingredients 1
  2. Slice Japanese sweet potato into thin pieces and soak in water for 15-30 minutes to remove excess starch. Then dry them using paper towels.
    Vegetable Tempura 2
  3. Cut kabocha squash and lotus root into thin slices. Soak lotus root in vinegar water (2 cups water + 1 tsp. vinegar).
    Vegetable Tempura 3
  4. Cut King oyster mushroom into thin slices.
    Vegetable Tempura 4
  5. Discard the head of eggplant first, then cut it in half lengthwise. Then cut the eggplant lengthwise into very thin (about 1/8 inch) slices leaving the top 1-inch part intact. Gently press down on the eggplants to fan the slices out.
    Vegetable Tempura 5
  6. Once the ingredients are ready, heat 1 1/2" (3 cm) of the oil to 356F (180C) in a deep fryer or pot. To make batter, sift the flour into a large bowl.

For Tempura Batter:

  1. Gather all the ingredients.

    Vegetable Tempura Ingredients 2
  2. Sift all-purpose flour.

    Vegetable Tempura 6
  3. Add the egg into very cold water.
    Vegetable Tempura 7
  4. Whisk vigorously and discard the form on the surface.
    Vegetable Tempura 8
  5. As you slowly pour the egg mixture into the flour, mix the batter for about 1 minute with chopsticks in a figure 8 motion. Do not over mix and please leave some lumps in batter (See Notes 1). Keep the batter cold all the time (See Notes 2).
    Vegetable Tempura 9

For Deep Frying:

  1. Start deep frying from the root vegetables as oil temperature needs to be a bit lower than non-root vegetables. If the ingredient is wet, dry them with paper towel before dredging in the batter (See Notes 3).
    Vegetable Tempura 10
  2. For root vegetables, deep fry at 320°F (160°C) for 3-4 minutes. For vegetables and mushrooms, at 338-356°F (170-180°C) for 1-2 minutes. Do not over crowd with ingredients. Remember you only put ingredients taking up about 1/2 of oil surface area (See Notes 4). For shiso leaves, sprinkle a bit of sifted flour on the back of leaves and dip only the back of leaf into the batter and deep fry for 15 seconds (See Notes 5).
    Vegetable Tempura 11
  3. Transfer tempura to a wired rack or paper towel to remove excess oil.
    Vegetable Tempura 12
  4. Between batches, Between batches, remove the crumbs which will burn and turn the oil darker if left in fryer.
    Vegetable Tempura 13

To Serve:

  1. Grate daikon and squeeze water out.  Serve tempura immediately with grated daikon.  To enjoy, add grated daikon in tempura dipping sauce for refreshing taste.
    Vegetable Tempura 14

Recipe Notes

1: Make batter right before deep frying to avoid activation of wheat gluten.


2: Add 1-2 ice cubes in the batter or put the batter bowl in a larger bowl containing ice water.  Make sure to keep the batter cold all the time.


3: While tempura is being fried, moisture from the ingredients will be evaporated and tempura will become crispy. However, if the ingredients have extra moisture, the tempura will become soggy after being deep fried.


4: When you put too many ingredients, the oil temperature will drop quickly. Make sure to keep the right temperature all the time.


5: For ingredients that are hard to keep the batter on, such as Shrimp TempuraKakiage, or shiso, we dust extra flour before dredging the ingredient in the batter.  Flour works as a glue and batter tends to stay on the ingredients. 

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.