Shrimp Tempura 海老の天ぷら | Family Cuisine

Frying tempura shrimp is a great way to use up leftover rice. It's also a great appetizer, or can be served as part of a larger meal.

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How to fry tempura shrimp

Crispy and delicious homemade Shrimp Tempura! The secret to making a light, crisp coating that doesn’t absorb oil when fried is in the batter and deep-frying technique.

Shrimp tempura on a plate along with the dipping sauce.

Reading: how to fry tempura shrimp

Tempura is one of the most popular and well-known Japanese dishes that is widely enjoyed around the world. At your local Japanese restaurants, you probably see Shrimp Tempura (海老の天ぷら) and Vegetable Tempura, but the Japanese make tempura with various fresh ingredients.

Besides being a standalone dish, Shrimp Tempura is also served over rice bowl (Tendon) or noodle soup (Tempura Soba or Tempura Udon).

What is the Shrimp Tempura?

In Japan, we call Shrimp Tempura Ebi no Tempura (海老の天ぷら) or Ebi Ten (えび天). Ebi means shrimp and ten comes from tempura.

Seafood is often used as ingredients for tempura besides vegetables. And among seafood, shrimp is definitely the most popular one.

Extra Crumbs around Shrimp Tempura

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When you order Shrimp Tempura at Japanese restaurants, it’s usually coated with crispy tempura crumbs.

The cooking method is called Hanaage (花揚げ); hana means flower and age means deep-frying. Why flower? When tempura batter is added to the hot oil, it blooms like a flower. Check this video below.

Did you see the chef dip his hand in the oil? Crazy, isn’t it?

However, if you go to tempura specialized restaurants in Japan, the tempura chefs will not serve Tempura with excess batter because they want you to enjoy the flavor of the ingredient, not the excess batter.

You will see Hanaage-style Shrimp Tempura with extra crispy batter on noodle soup dishes or tempura rice bowl dishes.

Shrimp and vegetable tempura on a plate along with the dipping sauce.

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You Can Serve Shrimp Tempura with Vegetable Tempura.

5 Tips To Make Shrimp Tempura

The majority of Japanese home cooks don’t make the Hanaage-style Tempura as it’s time-consuming and difficult to make. It’s a lot easier to simply coat the shrimp with batter and deep fry.

Here are some helpful tips on making tempura:

  1. Keep all the ingredients (flour, water, egg) cold.
  2. Never overmix the batter, and it’s okay if there are some flour lumps in the batter.
  3. Start deep-frying as soon as you make the tempura batter.
  4. Keep the oil temperature steady at all times.
  5. Just half of the oil surface should be covered with ingredients.

Shrimp tempura on a plate along with the dipping sauce.

Japanese Ingredient Substitution: If you want to look for substitutes for Japanese condiments and ingredients, click here.

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Other Tempura Recipes

  • Gluten-Free Tempura
  • Vegetable Tempura

Editor’s Note: Photos and recipe updated in November 2013.

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