Crispy Tempura


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


Appears in

Around the World in 80 Dishes: Classic Recipes from the World's Favourite Chefs

Around the World in 80 Dishes

By David Loftus

Published 2012

  • About

This is one of the easiest things you can make. Tempura batter is the opposite of a normal batter in that you mix it at the last minute and you deliberately make it lumpy! Although this sounds a little strange, if you don’t make it like that, it won’t work properly. Don’t be tempted to use a whisk, as that’ll do too good a job. In Japan, tempura chefs use chopsticks to mix their batter, to make sure it doesn’t end up too smooth.


  • 1 egg yolk
  • 240ml/8fl oz iced water
  • 150g/5oz plain flourItalian ‘00’ works well


Put the egg yolk into a mixing bowl and add the iced water. Swirl your chopsticks in the bowl just enough to ripple the yolk into the water, no more.

Sieve in the flour and stir with the chopsticks for about 20 seconds, making sure you have a half-mixed batter with actual lumps of flour in the liquid and around the edge.

Your batter is now ready to use!

All manner of things can be fried in a tempura batter, from slices of mushroom, onion, leek and sweet potato, to courgette flowers, shiso leaves, prawn tails, stalks of baby ginger, small fish fillets and anything else that takes your fancy. Simply dredge in flour first, dip briefly in the tempura batter, shake off the excess and deep-fry in hot oil for a minute or two.