Appetisers/sides/ Pan-Asian

Tempura: The Guide


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.


Tempura batter

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack
Servings 2 people



  • 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


In all honesty, when I tempura I rarely measure this out exactly, so if you feel confident just eyeball your plain flour, add cornflour which should be roughly about a 1/3rd of your plain flour measurement, salt, and your baking powder. Then add your oil and gradually add your carbonated water until a thin batter, whisk briefly until incorporated. Do not keep whisking until this is lump free as this will activate gluten.
For dipping sauces, go for some sweet chilli sauce or my go-to which is light soy mixed with mirin, a touch of rice vinegar and a little shiitake dashi
Keyword batter, how to, mushrooms, tempura, tempura batter

You Might Also Like

No Comments

Leave a Reply

Recipe Rating