Kabocha Tempura

Kabocha Tempura

The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 4 mins
Total: 19 mins
Servings: 2 to 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
275 Calories
9g Fat
44g Carbs
7g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2 to 4
Amount per serving
Calories 275
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 9g 11%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 47mg 16%
Sodium 176mg 8%
Total Carbohydrate 44g 16%
Dietary Fiber 5g 18%
Total Sugars 8g
Protein 7g
Vitamin C 19mg 95%
Calcium 73mg 6%
Iron 3mg 18%
Potassium 894mg 19%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Kabocha Tempura is an appetizer of very thinly sliced kabocha squash that is dipped in a light batter and deep fried to crisp perfection. It is typically served with salt or a dipping sauce. 

Kabocha Tempura is often included in the medley of assorted vegetable and shrimp tempura that is commonly found on the menus of Japanese restaurants. In the fall when kabocha squash is in season, though, kabocha tempura on its own makes for a great appetizer.


Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Kabocha Tempura ingredients

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  2. Wash kabocha. The easiest way to cut a whole kabocha squash is to slice off the bottom and top first, to create a flat surface on the bottom for stability, and easy entry points to cut into the kabocha. Remove seeds and fibrous strands from the inner cavity and discard.

    Remove seeds and fibrous strands from the inner cavity of the kabocha

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  3. Leaving skin intact, carefully slice 8 to 10 thin pieces of kabocha. Each piece should be about 1/4-inch thick. The thinner the pumpkin, the faster it will cook. Set aside.

    kabocha slices on a plate

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  4. In a small bowl, combine egg, flour, potato starch, and ice cold water. The key to crispy tempura is to ensure that the water is very cold.

    combine egg, flour, potato starch, and ice cold water in a bowl

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  5. Heat oil in a small frying pan to 375 F.

    oil in a pan

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  6. Dip a slice of kabocha squash into tempura batter and place it in the hot oil. Allow each slice to cook about 2 minutes until tender. It's best not to crowd the pot of oil by limiting the number of kabocha slices to 3 to 4 pieces at a time.

    battered kabocha frying in a pan with oil

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  7. Serve immediately with salt or tempura dipping sauce.

    Kabocha Tempura served with sauce

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi


  • When making the tempura, try mixing in the water just before the kabocha slices are dipped in the batter, and the oil is already prepped for frying.

Additional Information

The tempura batter for this recipe is a mixture of potato starch and all purpose flour. The addition of potato starch lightens the batter over other tempura batter recipes that are 100% flour. The key to crisp tempura, however, is the use of ice cold water over room temperature water. I will often add ice cubes to the water and strain them before measuring the water into the tempura batter.

Make sure that the oil for frying is on medium-high heat at a steady 375 F temperature for optimal frying conditions.