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Wednesday, April 7, 2010


Tempura is a dish made by deep-frying vegetables, seafood or other foods in a light batter. Tempura is a popular element of Japanese cuisine, it is distinguished from many other battered and deep fried foods by being much lighter and tending to carry less grease. Most of us will think that tempura is originated from Japanese. But, according to research, tempura was not developed in Japan. The idea of battering and frying foods was brought to Japan by the Portuguese, who explored Japan in the 16th century. Deep fried foods were adapted to Japanese tastes, and the result was tempura, which uses a more refined batter.

Deep-frying food has become popular by various races and countries. Thus, many different batter has been used in their own respective recipes. I prefer the batter to be light, crispy and also taste good. By making tempura with vegetables is also one of the way to coax those non veggie lovers to eat vegetables too. Plenty of vegetables can be used in making tempura, such as long bean, brinjal/eggplant, onion, sweet potato, cauliflower, broccoli and much more. Besides, seafood like fish, prawns, or crab has been the prefect choice of making tempura.

It had been long time I want to make tempura at home as we haven't eat for long time. Furthermore, I can choose my preferred ingredients for the tempura. Thus, I made this simple tempura by deep-frying them with pre-packed tempura mix (it would be a great idea to mix our own tempura batter in the future). As I read through the net, there are so many recipes for tempura batter. The most basic tempura batter is the combination of eggs, flour, and baking powder in cold water. Some adding spices, paste, herbs or wine for the batter.

I did it without the eggs, just mixed the tempura flour with cold water for batter (followed the pack instruction), dipped and deep-fried. It tastes good though even it didn't looks like those serve in the Japanese restaurant. It is crispy and appetizing, but we only can consume moderately and occasionally....


Since, I need to clear some of the stocks in my fridge. I used up whatever that is suitable for making tempura. Long beans, sweet potato, prawns and fish (remove bones). It was one of those days that cook whatever you crave for and make use of whatever you have! Hulala..... Let's eat!

Reference from:


2 slices of Spanish Mackerel (Ikan Tenggiri) - source here
10 nos of Big Prawns
2 nos of Long beans
1 medium-sized Japanese Sweet Potato
1 packet of Tempura flour-mix 150g
250ml Cold water
Sunflower oil

1. Rinse all the ingredients and set aside.
2. Remove fish bones and skins. Cut into quartered.
3. Remove prawn shells, slit with a sharp knife on the inner side of the prawn, remove the vein. This is to prevent the prawn from curled up during deep-frying. (Step-by-step reference on how to remove vein from here)
4. Cut long beans about 2 inches long.
5. Peel off sweet potato skin. Cut into 0.5 - 1 cm thick.
6. Mix tempura flour according to the cooking instruction. I mixed 250ml cold water with 150g tempura flour-mix. Whisk batter until smooth.
7. Heat up sufficient oil in a pot for deep-frying (about 170ºC - 180ºC). Dip vegetables & seafood one by one in the batter.
8. Transfer to the pot, deep fry until golden brown, drain and remove from the pot.
9. Arrange on a plate with kitchen towel to absorb excessive oil. Repeat with the rest of the ingredients batch by batch.
10. Serve while warm with rice.

• Make sure the oil is hot before deep-frying.
• Seafood doesn't requires long time deep-frying. Remove seafood once it turns golden brown.
• You may use other ingredients such as eggplant, onion, cauliflower, broccoli, unagi, crab or squid.

11 Comentários:

noobcook said...

Yummy! I too, love the light crispy batter of tempura. I didn't know it originated from the Portugese.

Craft Passion said...

You made me looking out for a Japanese restaurant at this hour...It was from the Portuegese???? This is new to me :p
Thanks for the recipe :)

Bits of Taste said...

noobcook: Thanks! neither me know that it was originated from the Portuguese until I read it from the reference sites!

craftpassion: Ha ha.... let's go now!

Ju (The Little Teochew) said...

Nice!! I love Tempura. It's not easy to make a good tempura cos I've never been successful. Hahaha! But deepfried always tastes good. :) Great idea using up whatever you want to finish up in the fridge. Never thought of that. Thanks!!

Sonia (Nasi Lemak Lover) said...

This remind me I have so long did not cook this for my daughter who love Tempura..yours look delicious!

Food For Tots said...

Thanks for sharing the origin of Tempura. I learnt something new today. Even though I don't favour deep-frying, tempura is an exception to me. Kekekeke! ;)

Little Corner of Mine said...

I love a crispy tempura too, who wouldn't? Yours look crispy!

tigerfish said...

Portugese..really? I hardly do deep-frying at home, so I usually just head out for tempura if I have cravings. But not all tempura are created equal...too bad :(

Little Inbox said...

I made tempura once, but it was long ago. It took me long time to clean up my kitchen. And I didn't get it cook really well. :(

Mary said...

This looks wonderful. God forgive me, but I love anything that goes into a deep fryer. Tempura batter is unique in its lightness and I love using a prepared mix to make it. I hope you are having a wonderful day. Blessings...Mary

Bits of Taste said...

Thank you so much for all the kind comments!

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