Tempura Ingredients Suggestions by Larry Andersen



Tempura was introduced to Japan by the Portuguese in the 16th century, but has internationally become one of Japan's most famous dishes. Pieces of seafood, mushrooms and vegetables are coated in a batter and then deep fried. Usually served with a dipping sauce, tentsuyu. Grated and combined mixed vegetables, coated in batter and then fried is called kakiage style. Tempura served over rice is tendon (tempura donburi), over noodles tempura udon or tempura soba.

Preparation: About 1 hour Life Experience Recipe
Allow 4 to 6 pieces per person
Suggested Ingredients:
  • mushrooms
  • thin sliced egg plant
  • thin sliced zucchini
  • sliced onions
  • asparagus (bite sized clump or spears)
  • sugar snap peas
  • butternut squash
  • potato
  • okra
  • pears
  • thin sliced yams
  • green Bell peppers
  • broccoli
  • green beans
  • scallions
  • thin sliced carrots
  • thin sliced yellow squash
  • green pea pods
  • pumpkin
  • bananas
  • peach
  • shrimp
  • scallops
  • crab
  • cod
  • squid
Traditional Batter (koromo) Tentsuyu dipping sauce
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 2 tablespoons dry white wine
  • 1 cup flour or cornstarch (more or less to personal preference)
  • Ginger root
  • 1 tablespoon dashi powder, 1 cup water, boiled
  • 2 tablespoons mirin (or 1 tablespoon sugar)
  • 2 tablespoons sake or dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  1. Tempura can be coated with a thin or a thick batter. You can adjust the flour to liquid ratio to make the batter to your preference. Flour makes an opaque batter; cornstarch makes a translucent batter, allowing the color of the coated food to show through. It is important to keep the batter cold. Water is generally used as the liquid portion of the batter but I have used Vernor’s ginger ale with good results. I like the extra tang of the ginger and the carbonation makes for a lighter, airier coating. After making batter, keep in the refrigerator until ready for use.
  2. Preparing the seafood and vegetables: Experience is the best teacher here. Harder, longer cooking vegetables need to be cut smaller. You are adjusting the size of the food item to cook in the same amount of time it takes the tempura batter to brown nicely. Keep vegetables and seafood separate until after cooking. Pat prepared vegetables and seafood with paper towels until almost dry. Place 1 cup of cornstarch in a large bag. Put a handful of food items at a time in the bag; close and shake to coat and give the food item a dry surface for the batter to cling to. Remove pieces from bag and put on a dry rack. Do the vegetables first and then the seafood items.
  3. After preparing the batter and the food items, heat oil in a wok or a deep fryer. Use a thermometer to adjust the oil temperature. You will be cooking the vegetables at 340°F and seafood items at 360°F. After the oil is hot, use chop sticks or tongs to pick up cornstarch coated pieces and dip them in the batter mix. Tap off the excess batter and place in the hot oil. Cook, turning as needed, until the pieces are a nice golden brown, about 4 to 6 minutes. Remove from hot oil and place on a rack to drain.

  4. Mix all the ingredients for the dipping sauce. Serve at room temperature.
  5. Tempura is a great main dish with a little bowl of rice on the side. It is also a great accompaniment to other main dishes.

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Latest revision done August 2014
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