How to make a tempura batter

Tempura of stuffed courgette flowers

How to make a tempura batter

by Great British Chefs8 December 2014

How to make a tempura batter

Tempura is a wet batter associated with Japanese cuisine and is used to add a crisp, light coating to seafood and vegetables. Tempura batter absorbs less oil than some of its heavier counterparts, making it a healthier option for deep-frying and giving the dish a less greasy finish.




  • 85g of plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 200ml of sparkling water, chilled
Add the flour, salt and sugar to a mixing bowl
Gradually whisk in the chilled sparkling water – do not over-whisk as this will cause gluten to develop in the flour which will form a heavy batter.
Before dipping the batter coat you chosen ingredient in flour to help the batter stick
Next dip in the batter and let any excess drip off
Quickly transfer to the hot oil and fry until golden brown and crispy
Drain on kitchen paper, season and serve immediately


Make sure that the ingredients you are coating are thoroughly dry to ensure that the tempura batter stays crisp.

When making tempura vegetables, partially cook the vegetables before coating in batter as they won’t have time to cook through before the batter becomes crisp and golden.


The tempura batter can be flavoured with spices. For example, Alfred Prasad adds chilli powder, ajwain seeds and cumin seeds to his batter mix for his Crispy plaice and mint pinwheels recipe.

Serving suggestions

Tempura batter can be used to coat all kinds of foods. Frances Atkins creates a Tempura of stuffed courgette flowers in her recipe while Shaun Rankin uses crispy tempura prawns as an accompaniment to a smooth Sweetcorn soup. Chris Horridge serves his tempura-battered oysters with a sweet apricot purée, making a light but luxurious canapé.

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