This Homemade Shrimp Tempura Batter will make your tempura light, crisp, and tasty. Whether you’re frying seafood or vegetables, this batter will give them a great flavor and texture.
Tempura is a very popular dish from Japan that consists of battered and deep-fried seafood or vegetables. The batter is extra airy thanks to the cold club soda used. Unlike other fried foods, this tempura batter isn’t soggy or greasy. It makes a nice crispy coating over your shrimp or veggies, enhancing the flavors instead of masking them. You can use tempura as an appetizer, a light snack, or even as a main course. It’s very versatile and really tasty!
Ingredients for this recipe
- All-purpose flour- This is the base for your tempura batter.
- Cornstarch- Cornstarch helps the batter hold together and adds crispiness.
- Baking powder- A leavening agent that helps lighten the texture of the tempura batter.
- Kosher salt- For seasoning.
- Club soda- This makes the batter light and airy.
- Corn oil– for frying. Any other high smoke point oil will work well here (avocado, canola, and vegetable)
- Shrimp, deveined and peeled- Shrimp work great with tempura, or you can use other seafood or vegetables.
How to make tempura batter
- Prepare the shrimp. Make sure your shrimp are thawed, peeled, and deveined. Make slits along the front and back to keep the shrimp from curling during frying.
- Dust with cornstarch. Lay the shrimp out and dust both sides of each one with cornstarch.
- Make the batter. Mix together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt. Then add in the ice-cold club soda. Mix just enough to combine, but not too much.
- Batter the shrimp. Immediately begin battering the shrimp. (If you plan to use the batter later, then cover and put it in the fridge so it stays cold.)
- Heat the oil. Heat a heavy-bottomed pan with the oil in it (about 2 inches deep) to 338-356 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Fry the shrimp. Holding the shrimp tails with tongs, dip them in the tempura batter and then in the oil, frying for about 2 minutes. Do not overcook them or they will become tough and chewy.
- Absorb excess oil. Place the shrimp on a paper towel-lined rack and allow any excess oil to be absorbed.
How to make tempura crispy
In order to make your shrimp tempura crispy, you need to make sure that your oil is the right temperature. If the oil is not hot enough, the tempura batter will absorb too much oil and become soggy. If the oil is too hot, then the batter will burn.
You can also sprinkle some tempura batter over whatever ingredients you are cooking. This will give them a nice crispness. And once you are done frying your shrimp tempura, place it on a rack to cool. This will allow it to remain crispy.
What veggies are good for tempura
When it comes to tempura, any vegetables will work. This batter is really versatile and goes with anything. But some commonly used vegetables include sweet potato, broccoli, asparagus, cauliflower, green beans, carrots, and eggplant.
How to use tempura batter mix
If you are using a boxed tempura batter mix, then follow the directions on the box because each package does vary slightly. Make sure your water is cold because this is an important part of the batter-making process. You can try this crispy shrimp tempura recipe to see how to make shrimp tempura with a box batter mix.
Making shrimp tempura
When making shrimp tempura, you always want to make sure your shrimp are thoroughly thawed, peeled, and deveined before you start. Preparing the shrimp so they stay long and straight, and don’t curl up in the oil, is also an important step to making delicious shrimp tempura.
How to make the shrimp straight
The simplest and most effective way of keeping your shrimp nice and straight is by cutting a small slit into the front and back of each one with a knife. This keeps the shrimp from curling in the hot oil as it cooks.
Oil temperature for frying shrimp
Using the right temperature oil is vital to getting crispy, fully-cooked shrimp tempura. You want to use a food thermometer to make sure that the oil temperature is between 338-356 degrees Fahrenheit. If it gets too hot, the oil will burn the batter. If it gets too cool, then the batter will absorb too much oil and become soggy. If the oil is in the right temperature range, then your shrimp tempura will turn out light and crispy every time. Always make sure to use a high smoke point oil like corn, avocado, or vegetable oil.
Full Recipe Instructions
Homemade Shrimp Tempura Batter
Prepare the shrimp
- Start off by preparing the shrimp by making sure they are thawed, peeled, and deveined.
- Then you want to stretch or straighten them out by making small slits ok the back and front of the shrimp. This will separate it just enough so the shrimp doesn’t hold a curl when being fried.
- Now lay the shrimp in single layers and dust both sides with cornstarch.
Make the batter
- In a large bowl, mix the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt. Then pour in the ice-cold club soda and mix just to combine. Careful not to over mix.
- Then begin using the batter immediately. If you do not use the batter right away and plan to use it later, just cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate. That way it is ice cold when ready to use again.
Fry the shrimp in hot oil
- Now grab the shrimp tail using tongs and gently dip the raw shrimp in the batter and fry for about 2 minutes. Then transfer to a paper towel-lined dish to absorb and excess oil. Careful not to overcook the shrimp or they will become tough and chewy.