Learn how to make a simple tempura batter that will give you a light, crisp and airy coating. This may be one of the best tempura you have.
Tempura is a Japanese dish that can consist of various vegetables and meats that have been battered and deep fried. The batter itself is normally light and airy to provide a very crisp coating. Tempura is usually served as an appetiser along with a dipping sauce or sweet chilli sauce.
How it’s made
Traditionally tempura consists of flour, salt, egg and cold water/carbonated water. However to make this vegan friendly we’ll be adding some cornflour in rather than an egg. This helps to prevent gluten formation and in turn produce a more crispy tempura. It’s as simple as whisking everything together, dunking, and frying.
- You want the batter to be cold to slow down gluten development, hence try and aim for cold water. I recommend using carbonated water as it creates pockets of air for an even lighter result
- Don’t over-mix the batter, it’s fine to have a few lumps. The more it’s mixed, the more gluten it develops and therefore the less crisp it will be
- Make the batter right before you want to make tempura – you can’t make the batter in advance
- You want your oil temperature around 170-180’C. Don’t overcrowd the pan with too much at once as it will drop the oil temp – hence just fry in batches
- Remove any excess batter that falls into the oil between batches with a slotted spoon. If left, they will burn and cause your next batch to turn bitter
- Don’t try to air fry or bake these, it’s a wet batter – it won’t work. It needs to be deep fried
- Some good vegetables to try: mushrooms/aubergine/peppers/broccoli/courgette/asparagus. I’ve used some clustered oyster mushrooms here
Overall it is an easy batter to make, and with these simple tips you’ll have perfect light and crispy tempura in no time.
- 75 g plain flour
- 25 g corn flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp flavourless oil
- 200 ml COLD carbonated water – refrigerated
- Oil for deep frying
- Combine all your dry ingredients together
- Add your flavourless oil and your carbonated water, whisk till it's incorporated and slightly lumpy. This will be a thin batter (consistency of double cream) which is perfect to keep your tempura light and crisp
- Heat your oil over a medium heat, a good way to know when it’s ready is to stick the back of a wooden spoon in and you should see some consistent gentle bubbling
- Dip your veg of choice and fry until golden