This Chicken Tempura is lightly battered and fried for a deliciously crisp outside and tender inside. Serve it with your favorite dipping sauce for a tasty meal that’s full of flavor.
If you like tempura, then try this Shrimp tempura with some Tempura dipping sauce.
Table Of Contents
Chicken Tempura Recipe Details
I love the texture and ease of this Chicken Tempura recipe. So crisp and delicious, but also simple enough to pair well with so many other dishes.
- TASTE: This Chicken Tempura is savory with a hint of garlic. So flavorful!
- TEXTURE: Crispy on the outside with juicy chicken on the inside, this fried tempura recipe is delicious.
- TIME: Once the chicken marinates, it only takes a few minutes to batter and fry them.
- EASE: This Chicken Tempura uses just a handful of simple ingredients and is so easy to make.
What You’ll Need
- For the chicken- Boneless skinless chicken breast, Garlic clove, Black pepper, Salt, and Low sodium soy sauce
- For the tempura batter- Egg, Cake flour, Cornstarch, and Cold water
- For frying- Vegetable oil
How to Make Chicken Tempura
- Prep the chicken. Start off by pounding the chicken breast until it is of even thickness. Then slice it into 1/4-inch strips.
- Marinate the chicken strips. Place the sliced chicken into a bowl with the pressed garlic clove, black pepper, salt, and low sodium soy sauce. Then mix everything together and let it marinate for about 1 hour at room temperature.
- Cool the bowl for the batter. Now fill 1/2 of a large bowl with ice, then place a slightly smaller bowl on top. This will keep the top bowl nice and cold as you work on the tempura batter.
Pro Tip: Cold ingredients are very important for tempura batter to have the consistency and texture you expect, so this ice trick is really helpful.
- Make the tempura batter. Add the egg to the bowl and whisk it well. Then add the cake flour, cornstarch, and 2 tablespoons of cold water to it. Now whisk the batter lightly, but not too much. Add more water as needed (it’s ok if it’s a little lumpy).
- Heat the fry oil. Add the oil to a heavy-bottomed pot and bring the heat to medium high, between 375-390 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Fry the chicken tempura. Use tongs to dip the marinated chicken strips into the tempura batter, then gently place them in the hot oil. Cook for about 2 minutes on each side. Make sure to only add 3-4 pieces of chicken to the pot at a time to avoid overcrowding.
- Remove excess oil. Remove the fried chicken tempura and place them on a plate lined with paper towels. Repeat this for the rest of the chicken and then serve with some tempura dipping sauce.
- Use water to get the batter thin enough- Add more cold water to the tempura batter as needed to get the right consistency. Add a little at a time so it doesn’t get too thin.
- Don’t overmix the batter- Be careful to mix this batter just enough to combine, but not too much. This will keep the batter light and fluffy for that perfect tempura crispness.
- Keep the frying oil at the right temperature- So the chicken tempura cooks fully without burning, use an instant-read thermometer to make sure the oil stays between 375-390 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Don’t overcrowd the pot. Adding too many pieces of chicken to the pot at one time can drop the oil temperature and cause improper frying and undercooked chicken. So try to only add 3-4 pieces at a time.
Add-ins and Substitutions
- Use different proteins- Besides chicken, you could also use turkey or pork. Shrimp and salmon are also tasty options.
- Add seasonings to the batter- For additional flavor, you could try garlic powder, cayenne pepper, or paprika in your tempura batter.
- Substitute vegetables- For a vegetarian option, batter vegetables such as carrots, sweet potato, asparagus, and broccoli.
- Add sauce to the marinade- Mirin and dashi are also common flavors in Chicken Tempura dishes, or add a bit of spice with sriracha or red pepper flakes.
Basic tempura batter is made with just flour, egg, and ice water. You can use different types of flour or add seasoning, but those are the main ingredients.
If your tempura isn’t crispy, it may be because the oil is not hot enough, causing the batter to absorb too much of it. Use a thermometer to keep the temperature between 375-390 degrees Fahrenheit and don’t overcrowd the pot, so the chicken tempura can crisp up nicely.
This Chicken Tempura recipe is so versatile and you can serve it many different ways. Here are a few delicious ideas:
- Rice: Try this chicken tempura over a bed of white rice, Wild Brown Rice, or Hibachi Fried Rice.
- Noodles: This recipe tastes great with noodles, such as udon, soba, and more. Try it with this Chow Mein (VIDEO) as well.
- Salad: This Udon Soup would be delicious with Chicken Tempura, or add it to this Asian Chicken Salad.
- Sushi: Easy Sushi Bake and Shrimp Tempura Rolls are great sides to serve with this dish.
- Sauce: Serve this Chicken Tempura with Tempura Dipping Sauce, ponzu sauce, or Yum Yum Sauce.
Make This Chicken Tempura in Advance
Make ahead: You can make this dish ahead of time and store it in the fridge once cooled. It tastes best the day of though, so to save time you can marinate the chicken while preparing other parts of the meal.
Storing: Allow the Chicken Tempura to fully cool on a wire cooling rack before storing in an airtight container in the fridge. It will last for up to 4 days.
Freeze: Store the cooled Chicken Tempura in a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 3 months. To reheat, bake it in the oven or in an air fryer so it can regain its crisp texture.
More Delicious Asian-inspired Dishes!
- Grilled Teriyaki Chicken
- Hibachi Fried Rice Recipe
- Shrimp Tempura Udon Soup
- California Roll Sushi Bowls
- Easy Dango Recipe
Full Recipe Instructions
- 3/4 lb boneless skinless chicken breast
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/8 teaspoons black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup cake flour
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons cold water add more as needed
- 4 cups vegetable oil for deep frying
- Start off by slicing 3/4 pound chicken breast into strips (about 1/4 inch thick).
- Then place the sliced chicken into a bowl along with 1 pressed garlic clove, 1/8 teaspoons black pepper, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce. Then mix everything together and let it marinate for about 1 hour at room temperature.
- Now fill 1/2 of a large bowl with ice, then place a slightly smaller bowl on top. This will keep the top bowl nice and cold as you work on the tempura batter. Cold ingredients is very important for tempura batter.
- Add 1 egg into the bowl and mix it well using a whisk. Then add 1/4 cup cake flour, 1/2 cup cornstarch, and 2 tablespoons cold water into the eggs. Now whisk the batter lightly (don’t mix too much). Add more water as needed to get the perfect tempura batter consistency. It’s ok if it’s a little lumpy.
- Now add 4 cups of vegetable, corn, or canola oil into a heavy-bottomed pot and bring the heat to medium-high. Use an instant-read thermometer to make sure the oil stays between 375-390 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Use tongs to dip the marinated chicken strips in the tempura batter. Then gently add it to the hot oil. Cook on each side for about 2 minutes per side. So a total of 4 minutes. Make sure to only add 3-4 pieces of chicken to the pot at a time. Adding too many pieces of chicken can drop the oil temperature and cause improper frying.
- Now carefully remove the fried tempura chicken and place then on a plate lined with paper towels. Repeat this for the rest of the chicken and serve with some tempura dipping sauce.
- Why is my tempura not crispy?
- How to make this in advance
- Add-ins and substitutes
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Does it have to be cake flour?
Hi Donna 🙂 I would recommend it since cake flour has a little bit of cornstarch in it. It gives it a light crispness. I hope that helps. Let me know how it goes! 🙂