Chicken Tempura (Toriten) in a bamboo basket, served with ponzu sauce and Japanese hot mustard karashi.

Chicken Tempura (Toriten)

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: crispy chicken, crispy tempura
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 2
Chicken Tempura is a regional favorite in Oita Prefecture of Kyushu region in Japan. With a crispy and fluffy batter on the outside and juicy and tender meat inside, this Chicken Tempura is best enjoyed by dipping with karashi mustard ponzu sauce.


  • ¾ lb chicken breast (320 g)
  • 1 knob ginger
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ tsp salt (kosher or sea salt; use half if using table salt)
  • 1 tsp sake
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup cake flour (45 g)
  • 1/3 cup potato starch/cornstarch (55 g)
  • 1/3 cup water (75 ml)
  • 3-4 cups deep fry oil (700-950 ml)


  1. Gather all the ingredients.
    Chicken Tempura Ingredients
  2. Pound the chicken breast with a meat tenderizer. If you don’t own one, you can use the back of the knife. This helps to yield thinner and flatter piece of meat, so the meat cooks faster and more evenly (no more overcooking!).
    Chicken Tempura 1
  3. Cut the meat into roughly ¾ inch (2 cm)-wide and 3 inch (7.5 cm)-long strips.
    Chicken Tempura 2
  4. Grate 1 knob ginger and 1 garlic clove.

    Chicken Tempura 3
  5. Season the chicken with freshly ground black pepper, ¼ tsp kosher salt, 1 tsp sake, and 2 tsp soy sauce.

    Chicken Tempura 4
  6. Add the grated ginger and garlic and mix well with hands (rub the chicken with seasonings).
    Chicken Tempura 5
  7. Set a medium bowl over a large bowl with ice water in it. Add 1 egg and whisk well.

    Chicken Tempura 6
  8. With a fine mesh sieve, sift the 1/3 cup (45 g) cake flour and 1/3 cup (55 g) potato or corn starch  into the bowl with the egg.

    Chicken Tempura 7
  9. Gradually add 1/3 cup (75 ml) water and mix all together until just enough to combine (don’t over mix).

    Chicken Tempura 8
  10. Add the chicken pieces and coat well with the batter.
    Chicken Tempura 9
  11. Heat the 3-4 cups (700-950 ml) oil to 350 ºF (180 ºC) in a deep fryer (or in a medium size pot). Add in only 2-3 pieces of battered chicken at one time. To prevent the temperature of the oil from decreasing, do not add too many cold chicken pieces at once. Deep fry each batch until crispy on the outside, about 4 minutes total, 2 minutes each side. Then repeat with another 2-3 pieces, until all pieces are cooked. Pick up tempura crumbs in the oil to keep your oil clean.

    Chicken Tempura 10
  12. Serve the Chicken Tempura with shredded cabbage (I use this cabbage slicer which yields super thin shredded cabbage) and ponzu with karashi mustard on the side.
    Chicken Tempura 11

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 and link to this post as the original source. Thank you.