Shrimp Tempura

Serve this Shrimp Tempura as an appetizer with a dipping sauce or as an entree with soba noodles or rice and a shredded carrot salad.

Serve this Shrimp Tempura as an appetizer with a dipping sauce or as an entree with soba noodles or rice and a shredded carrot salad.

If you’ve spent any time on the blog, you know how much I love cooking shrimp. From fried shrimp like my Coconut Shrimp recipe to shrimp in the air fryer, they help get dinner on the table quickly or put an impromptu appetizer party together in a flash.

I’m really excited to add this recipe for Shrimp Tempura to my shrimp recipe collection. The batter is light and airy and with just a little preparation and some know-how on frying shrimp, you can have a classic appetizer or light meal on the table in under 30 minutes.

As I mentioned, there is a little preparation required. Let’s start with the equipment. Don’t worry, I’m sure that you have most of this in your kitchen already.

Deep, Heavy Pot Choose a pot that is 4 – 6 quarts. An enameled cast iron Dutch oven is a great option. Cast iron holds heat, which is important when deep frying – it helps to reduce excess oil absorption – and the light color of the enamel allows you to see how the food is cooking. The pot should hold 3-inches of oil with another 3-inches of space above the oil to avoid dangerous boil-overs.

Thermometer  Determining when to put the food into the hot oil is critical. A thermometer that clips on to the side of the pot and accurately registers the temperature is invaluable.

Spider strainer (or slotted spoon or metal tongs) A spider strainer or a slotted spoon is helpful when removing the shrimp from the hot oil. I prefer the spider to a slotted spoon because the design allows more oil to drain back into the pot when removing the shrimp. When I use metal tongs, I like to choose the longer ones.

Cooling rack and baking sheet (not necessary but nice) A cooling rack placed on a baking sheet keep fried foods from sitting in excess oil. You can use a towel paper-lined baking sheet, but for this recipe, I really prefer to use the cooling rack. I feel like the shrimp get a little soggy on the paper towels.

Deep Fryer (not required but nice) I recently purchased this Hamilton Beach Deep Fryer and love it. It is designed for easy cleanup and the heating element is submerged in the oil, which means that the oil comes back up to temp quickly after the food is added. This helps to reduce excess absorption of oil.


It’s important to use an oil that has a smoke point of 400˚F or above and has a neutral flavor. I like to use peanut oil, but you could also use grapeseed oil or canola oil as a more economical choice.

Now that you have collected all of the necessary equipment, here are some of the things that I want to pass along to you to make sure that your shrimp turn out as juicy, crispy and delicious as mine.

  • Pat the shrimp dry. This will help the batter adhere better.
  • Make small cuts along the inside curve of the shrimp and press them flat on your working surface. This will help them to cook very evenly and of course, look like the ones that you order at your favorite Japanese restaurant.
  • Use very cold club soda or seltzer water. The colder the crispier your tempura will be.
  • Your batter should be fairly thin. Think pancake batter. If it is too thick, thin it out a little with the cold club soda or seltzer water.
  • Make the batter just before frying. Making it ahead of time will result in a heavy batter.
  • Let excess batter drip off before you fry. Too much batter will result in soggy tempura – YUK!
  • Fry in batches. Don’t overcrowd the fryer. As above, it will make for soggy tempura which is definitely not the result we are after.
  • Always allow the oil to come back up to temp before adding the next batch.
  • Serve hot. These are delicious as an appetizer with or without a dipping sauce or add soba noodles or rice and a sesame carrot salad for a refreshing dinner.


Christine :)



Shrimp Tempura

  • Author: Allie McDonald
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4


Serve this Shrimp Tempura as an appetizer with a dipping sauce or as an entree with soba noodles or rice and a shredded carrot salad.


  • 1 lb. shrimp peeled and deveined, tails on
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp. baking powder
  • 1 cup cold club soda or seltzer water
  • oil for frying


  1. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven or fryer to 350˚F.
  2. Pat the shrimp dry and make several shallow cuts on the inside curve of each shrimp. Flatten by gently pressing the shrimp on a cutting board. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. In a medium bowl whisk the flour, cornstarch, and baking powder together.
  4. Add the cold club soda or seltzer water and whisk to combine.
  5. Working in batches, holding the tail dip shrimp and the batter and fry, turning once, until golden, about 2 minutes.
  6. Transfer to a sheet pan with a cooling rack or lined with paper towels – the paper towels are not my preference, but if that is what you have, use it. Repeat until all of the shrimp have been fried.
  7. Serve hot with boiled soba noodles or rice and a shredded carrot salad or dipping sauce.

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