Perfect tempura

Perfect tempura

Learn how to make prawn and veg tempura with our step-by-step recipe. Golden and crisp, this delicious tempura is ready to dip in the homemade tentsuyu sauce.

Perfect tempura

Have a bash at making authentic nigiri sushi.

  • Serves icon Serves 4
  • Time icon Hands-on time 20 min

Learn how to make prawn and veg tempura with our step-by-step recipe. Golden and crisp, this delicious tempura is ready to dip in the homemade tentsuyu sauce.

Have a bash at making authentic nigiri sushi.

Nutrition: per serving

Calories
538kcals
Fat
17.1g (2.1g saturated)
Protein
31.1g
Carbohydrates
60.2g (7g sugars)
Fibre
2.4g
Salt
1.7g

Ingredients

For the batter

  • 120g plain flour, chilled, plus extra to dust
  • 120g cornflour, chilled
  • 275ml soda water, chilled
  • 25ml vodka, chilled
  •  2 free-range egg yolks, beaten, chilled

For frying

  •  Vegetable oil to deep-fry
  • ¼ butternut squash, peeled and sliced into thin, bite-size half-moons
  • 400g cavolo nero or kale, torn into bite-size pieces
  • 500g raw tiger prawns, peeled (ideally with the tails left on)

For the tentsuyu dipping sauce

  • 100ml dashi (available from Waitrose or souschef.co.uk)
  • 1½ tbsp light soy sauce (we like Kikkoman)
  • 1 tbsp mirin
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp finely grated fresh ginger or daikon (optional)

Specialist kit

  • Digital thermometer
Sticky screen? No thanks! Tap to prevent your screen from going off while cooking.

Method

  1. To make the sauce, add all the ingredients (except the ginger or daikon) to a small pan over a medium heat to dissolve the sugar, then set aside. Once cool, add the ginger or daikon (if using).
  2. Fill a medium wok or saucepan two thirds full of vegetable oil and heat to 170°C. Set out your prepared veg and prawns in front of you, along with a bowl of plain flour to dust them in. If possible, put the bowl you’ll mixthe batter in over a larger bowl filled with ice to keep it cool.
  3. When the oil is nearing temperature, add all the batter ingredients to the bowl and briefly mix them together using chopsticks – you want clumps of flour and a rough consistency rather than a uniform smooth texture. Take a look at the batter – you may want to add a little more soda water if you like a lighter tempura. You’re aiming for the consistency of double cream.
  4. One by one, dip your chosen ingredients into the flour, then the batter and put them straight into the hot oil. Work quickly to get the wok or pan filled, but don’t overcrowd it. Constantly agitate the tempura in the oil with chopsticks, flipping them over and moving them around so they pick up any drops of batter that may have separated off. Drizzle extra batter onto the ingredients while they’re in the oil for extra crunchiness (see know how).
  5. After a few minutes the batter should turn crisp (off-white rather than golden brown). The squash may take a minute or so longer than the prawns and kale. Lift the tempura out with a wire basket or slotted spoon, put on a serving dish and serve as quickly as possible with the dipping sauce before starting the next batch, ensuring the oil has come back up to temperature.

Nutrition

Calories
538kcals
Fat
17.1g (2.1g saturated)
Protein
31.1g
Carbohydrates
60.2g (7g sugars)
Fibre
2.4g
Salt
1.7g

delicious. tips

  1. Easy swaps: Batter and cook whatever you like – try any veg, leaves, fish or shellfish you fancy, though chicken pieces will take longer to cook through.

  2. Crispy bits: Once an ingredient is sizzling away in the oil and has started to form a crust, hold it in place with chopsticks and use a spoon to drizzle and flick extra bits of batter onto it. This thickens parts of the crust and forms all those deliciously gnarly bits of batter around the ingredient itself. Any pieces that float away can be teased back onto ingredients that haven’t finished cooking yet – but it’s important to scoop out any that are left after a batch or they’ll burn (sprinkle them on top of your tempura as you serve it). This takes a little practice to get right – it’s hard to do while also keeping an eye on the frying time – but those bits of tenkasu are the difference between good and great tempura.

Buy ingredients online

Recipe By

Tom Shingler

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