Lightly battered and fried to golden perfection, this shrimp tempura is the perfect dish for any seafood lover! One bite of its crispy goodness and you’ll be hooked.
Japanese Shrimp Tempura
Japanese tempura shrimp is a yummy dish with shrimp coated in a crispy batter. First, you peel and clean the shrimp, keeping the tails. (This makes each piece easier to hold and dip!) Then make a batter by mixing flour, cornstarch, cold water, club soda, and egg – it might be lumpy, but that’s okay. Dip the shrimp in this batter and fry in hot vegetable oil until they’re golden and crispy. You get this amazing combo of crunchy outside and juicy shrimp inside. Trust me, you’re going to love it. The light, crispy batter is so irresistible!
Since shrimp tempura has a neutral flavor, you can serve it with any of your favorite sauces! I like to serve it with sriracha mayo or sweet chili sauce to add a kick. No matter what you serve your shrimp with, one thing’s for sure. It’s going to fly off the table! Even if you’re not typically a fan of shrimp, it will make you a believer.
Ingredients You’ll Need
The great thing about this shrimp tempura recipe is that it uses such simple ingredients. You probably have most of the ingredients in your pantry right now! (Check out the recipe card below for exact measurements.)
- Large Shrimp: The star of the show, you’ll want these to be peeled and deveined, but leave the tails on.
- All-Purpose Flour: Mixed with cornstarch, this forms the base of the batter, creating a light and crispy texture when fried.
- Cornstarch: Along with flour, corn starch helps make the batter crunchy and contributes to the dish’s signature crispiness.
- Cold Water: Helps create a cold batter that ensures the tempura comes out crispy as it hits the hot oil.
- Club Soda: Its carbonation adds airiness to the batter, resulting in a light and delicate shell.
- Egg: Helps all of the ingredients stick together.
- Vegetable Oil: Used for frying, it cooks the shrimp quickly and evenly, giving them a golden-brown and crispy exterior.
- Siracha Mayonnaise or Sweet Chili Sauce: These zesty sauces add an extra layer of flavor and a spicy kick, complementing the crispy shrimp with a tangy and spicy contrast. Feel free to also use any other dipping sauce you prefer!
How to Make Tempura Shrimp
Even though tempura shrimp requires deep frying, it’s actually really simple. And it takes less than 20 minutes! Follow the steps below to get the most crispy, delicious shrimp in a pinch.
- Heat Oil: Heat vegetable oil in a skillet over high heat. A deep fryer can also be used.
- Prep Shrimp: Remove the shell and devein the shrimp while leaving the tails on. Pat the shrimp dry with paper towels.
- Mix Dry Ingredients: Sift together the flour and cornstarch in a medium bowl and set aside.
- Mix Wet Ingredients: In another bowl, whisk together the cold water, cold club soda, and 1 egg.
- Combine: Add the liquid mixture to the flour mixture. Stir with a fork and just until combined. It’s ok if the tempura batter is lumpy.
- Coat: Quickly working while the batter is still chilled, dip the shrimp into the batter then place in the pot of oil. Cook each shrimp tempura until golden brown in color.
- Transfer to Paper Towel-Lined Plate: Remove from hot skillet with a slotted spoon and transfer to a plate lined with paper towels.
- Repeat: Repeat the steps with the remaining shrimp until everything is cooked.
- Serve: Serve the shrimp tempura with sriracha mayonnaise or chili sauce.
Tips and Tricks
Making shrimp tempura takes a bit of practice, so don’t worry if your first batch isn’t perfect. With these tips and a little patience, you’ll be creating crispy shrimp tempura in no time! Everyone will want a piece.
- Chill the Batter Ingredients: Make sure the water, club soda, and egg are all cold before mixing the batter. Cold batter helps create a crispy coating when fried.
- Hot Oil is Key: Heat the oil to the right temperature, around 350-375 degrees Fahrenheit (175-190°C). This ensures the shrimp cook quickly, preventing them from becoming oily or soggy.
- To Keep Your Shrimp From Curling While Frying: Make small slits into the inner part of each shrimp. About 5 slits for each shrimp.
- Experiment with Dipping Sauces: Try different dipping sauces like hoisin, ponzu, or yum yum sauce to find your favorite pairing with the crispy shrimp.
While shrimp tempura is best enjoyed immediately for its crispy texture, you can store leftover tempura successfully if you follow these tips:
- In the Refrigerator: Store your leftover shrimp tempura in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Use a single layer or separate layers with parchment paper to prevent pieces from sticking together.
- Reheat in the Oven: When you’re ready to enjoy your leftovers, preheat your oven to around 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the tempura on a baking sheet in a single layer and heat for a few minutes until it’s warm and crisp. I would avoid reheating in the microwave, as it will make your shrimp soggy.
- 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1/2 cups cold water
- ¼ cup club soda, cold
- 1 egg
- vegetable oil for frying
Heat vegetable oil in a skillet over high heat. A deep fryer can also be used.
Remove the shell and devein the shrimp while leaving the tails on. Pat the shrimp dry with paper towels.
Sift together the flour and cornstarch in a medium bowl and set aside.
In another bowl, whisk together the cold water, cold club soda, and 1 egg.
Add the liquid mixture to the flour mixture. Stir with a fork and just until combined. It’s ok if the batter is lumpy.
Quickly working while the batter is still chilled, dip the shrimp into the batter then place in the pot of oil. Cook each shrimp tempura until golden in color.
Remove from hot skillet and transfer to a plate lined with paper towels.
Repeat the steps until all the shrimp is cooked.
Serve the shrimp tempura with siracha mayonaise or chili sauce.