Vegetable Tempura

Tempura recipe

The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii

  • Total: 25 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 10 mins
  • Servings: 4 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
241 Calories
14g Fat
25g Carbs
4g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 241
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 14g 18%
Saturated Fat 2g 8%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 890mg 39%
Total Carbohydrate 25g 9%
Dietary Fiber 5g 18%
Protein 4g
Calcium 146mg 11%
*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.)

Vegetable tempura is a popular vegetarian choice when eating at a Japanese restaurant, and most places will feature it on the menu. They're delicious as an appetizer, an accompaniment to a meal, or topping for udon noodle soup.

If you enjoy deep-fried and battered vegetables, consider making them at home. Potato starch keeps the batter light, while baking soda makes it puff up. Using very cold water also helps keep the coating light and crisp.

An assortment of vegetables are good for frying, including broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, and more. Tougher veggies like sweet potatoes, carrots, and winter squash should be par-cooked first and cooled before frying. Follow this simple recipe and your vegetable tempura will turn out light and crispy, just like the kind you get at Japanese restaurants. 

Ingredients

  • 2 to 3 cups assorted vegetables (sweet potatoes, broccoli, mushroom caps, string beans, eggplant, bell pepper)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons potato starch
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup water (ice-cold)
  • 2 cups oil (canola, peanut, or sunflower oil; for frying)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Prepare your vegetables so they are ready to fry. You'll need 2 to 3 cups of vegetables, trimmed, stemmed, and cut into uniform 2-inch pieces for even frying. Separate broccoli and cauliflower into medium-sized florets. Longer vegetables, like green beans, snow peas, and asparagus, can be left whole. Lightly steam and peel sweet potatoes beforehand if using, and slice into 1/2-inch rounds.

  3. Once your vegetables are prepared, whisk together the flour, potato starch, and baking soda in a small mixing bowl.

  4. Beat the egg and cold water together in a large mixing bowl, then gradually add in the flour mixture 1/3 cup at a time until just combined. It's okay to leave a few lumps in the batter; just be sure not to over-mix or the tempura coating will be dense instead of light and crunchy. Heat the oil in a large, heavy pot to 350 F.

  5. Once the oil is hot, dip vegetables into the batter, allowing most of the batter to drip off back into the bowl, then drop them carefully into the oil in small batches. This will ensure uniform cooking times.

  6. Fry for 2 1/2 minutes on each side, flipping once, or until crisp and golden brown. Remove the vegetables from the oil and drain on paper towels.

  7. Repeat with remaining vegetables and batter. Serve warm.

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