Crispy Tempura Batter

Go to a Japanese restaurant, and you are bound to enjoy shrimp and vegetables fried in tempura batter. Tempura is one of the best-known foods in Japanese cuisine.

Vegetables fried in tempura batter on a plate.

Tempura is most often served in Japanese restaurants. Fresh vegetables like sweet potatoes, zucchini, squash, onions, and more are deep-fried in a crispy batter. If you go to a Japanese restaurant and some Chinese restaurants you are bound to find tempura inspired items on the menu.

Homemade Tempura Batter

Did you know it’s super easy to make tempura? Tempura is a light and crispy batter that is made with flour and often ice water to help it get a very light texture.

You can use specialty flours sold in supermarkets designed to super crispy tempura, but regular flour will work if you do not stir the batter too much. Stirring that batter too much will result in a batter that isn’t as light because the gluten becomes activated with lots of stirring of the batter.

What do you need to deep fry?

Ideally, you should have a small deep fryer. I love my t-Fal deep fryer. It does a great job of keeping the hot oil at the same temperature. It also has a handy strainer to you can strain out the cooked bits, so you can use your oil again.

If you don’t have a deep fryer, you can use a deep pot and a thermometer to ensure to keep the oil at the right temperature.

I also recommend using a wire rack to drain what you have just cooked instead of using a paper towel. When you put hot food on paper towels it tends to steam, and you lose the crispy crust you just spent time working on.

What should you dip into tempura batter?

Root vegetables like sweet potatoes, yams, daikon radish, and onions are great candidates for cooking in tempura. Broccoli florets, broccolini, and carrots are also perfect to deep fat fry with tempura batter.

You can also dip fish and chicken in the batter.

What should you serve tempura vegetables with?

You may want to dip your tempura vegetables into soy sauce, wasabi, or even ponzu sauce. Some people like to create a dipping sauce with equal parts of soy sauce and dry sherry.

Vegetables fried in tempura batter and dipping sauce on a plate.

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Vegetables fried in tempura batter on a plate.

Tempura Batter

This easy to make tempura batter recipe will soon have you frying up fresh vegetables, shrimp, and so much more.
4.93 from 40 votes
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Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: Tempura batter
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 12
Calories: 142kcal


  • 1 2/3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups cornstarch
  • 2 cups club soda
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped herbs (such as parsley, chives, thyme, rosemary)
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds


  • Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Know you can fry up vegetables, seafood, or anything else you desire.
  • Heat vegetable oil to 350 degrees.
  • Dip vegetables into the batter, and deep fry the vegetables until they are a pale golden brown.
  • Drain cooked vegetables on a wire rack.



Calories: 142kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 19mg | Potassium: 40mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 0g | Vitamin A: 105IU | Vitamin C: 1.7mg | Calcium: 39mg | Iron: 1.4mg

About Stephanie Manley

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of's Dining Out in the Home, and's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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Reader Interactions


  1. Jerilyn Smereczniak

    I made this recipe today and like all the others, I noticed it was too thick, so I added more club soda. Problem solved. I will make it again, but next time I’ll add salt to the batter. I drained the fried zucchini strips on a rack instead of paper towels and it was nice and crispy. Thanks for the recipe!

  2. Jason

    4 stars
    It was a little too thick so, I did add more liquid and then it was fine. Also added some seasoned salt. Thanks for the recipe 🙂

  3. G Secuban

    5 stars
    This recipe was so good!! I had some vegetables I needed to cook so I thought tempura would be great. fried baby bok choy leavea, red onion petals and asparagus…So delicious and perfectly crispy. As others shared if it is too thick add more club soda. I also added dried herbs like chives and parsley. I got it to a thicker pancake like batter. You definitely want it to thr consistency where you can easily dip veggies. Saved remaining batter in fridge. Will try shrimp for dinner. Thanks for the suggestion for the deep fried oreos for a sweeter version. I will definitely try that next time 🙂

  4. Nancy

    I omitted the herbs and sesame seeds and deep fried oreos, chocolate chip cookies and even a chocolate donut! The doughnut did not work so well but everything else was wonderful!

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