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Shrimp Tempura

Crispy, crunchy shrimp with a delicate, flaky batter? Yes please! This easy pan-fried Shrimp Tempura is about to become your new favorite seafood recipe.

A White Serving Platter with a Blue Rim Holding Pan Fried Shrimp

Crispy Homemade Shrimp Tempura

Pretty much anything that’s got “tempura” in the name is fine by me, especially shrimp! If you take a quick look around the blog, you can see how much I love shrimp. Cooked properly, they’re tender and flavorful, like lobster, but bite-sized! Shrimp are the chicken nugget of seafood! 😊

And, shrimp tempura is the best thing since EVER. The ultra-delicate, light and crisp batter is the perfect match for the shrimp’s mild flavor. I love serving these lightly fried shrimp as a succulent appetizer, or making a double batch for a light dinner entree.

These go perfectly with any kind of dip, from cocktail sauce to sweet chili sauce. They also make an awesome addition to a seafood platter, or you can pile them onto a po’ boy, just make sure to take off the tails.

A Piece of Shrimp Tempura Being Dipped Into a Dish of Soy Sauce

What is Tempura?

Tempura is a Japanese method of deep-frying foods in a light, crispy batter. There aren’t any breadcrumbs – just a silky coating of batter that gets nice and flaky when fried. 

Seafood is really popular to fry tempura-style, but everything from mushrooms to chocolate chip cookies can be tempura!

A Close-Up Shot of Freshly Fried Shrimp Inside a Serving Platter

What You’ll Need

Making the light, delicate tempura batter is easy. Cornstarch helps keep the batter stick to the shrimp, while bubbly club soda adds lightness.

  • Shrimp: This recipe makes one pound of shrimp. Make sure they’re peeled and deveined. You can use any size shrimp.
  • Cornstarch: I like to use non-GMO or organic cornstarch whenever possible.
  • Salt: You’ll need ½ a teaspoon of salt to season the batter.
  • Egg: One whole egg adds flavor and improves the texture of the tempura.
  • Flour: This recipe uses one cup of all-purpose flour.
  • Club Soda: Have ready one cup of cup club soda, cold from the refrigerator.
  • Oil: For frying.
Oil, an Egg, Cornstarch, Salt and the Rest of the Shrimp Tempura Ingredients on a Countertop

How To Make Shrimp Tempura

All right! Let’s get cooking. It’s best to line up all of your items (shrimp, batter, tongs, platter, etc.) before cooking, so that you don’t have to stop in the middle to find something!

  • Prep Shrimp: Lay the shrimp out in a single layer and dust both sides with cornstarch.
  • Mix Batter: In a mixing bowl, whisk together the salt, egg, flour and club soda. Do not overmix – it’s okay if there are a few small lumps in the batter.
  • Heat Oil: Place a heavy-bottomed pot over high heat and add about 2 inches of oil. Allow the oil to heat up to 340-360°F. (You can use a candy thermometer or other similar thermometer to make sure the temperature is correct.)
  • Batter & Fry Shrimp: Dip the coated shrimp into the prepared batter using a pair of tongs. Add it to the hot oil and fry for 2-5 minutes. Repeat with the remaining shrimp, if working in batches.
  • Drain & Serve: Transfer the cooked shrimp to a paper towel-lined plate to soak up any excess oil, then enjoy!
A Platter of Shrimp Tempura Lined with a Piece of Parchment Paper

Tips for Success

Want to know more about making shrimp tempura? Read below for my handy tips on doing it right. Bon appetit!

  • Chill Out: If you’re frying more than one batch of tempura, put the batter in the fridge while you’re waiting to fry the next batch. Cold batter works best for tempura!
  • Heat Up: The batter needs to be cold, but the oil should be hot! Be sure to give it time to reach the correct temperature before you add the next batch of tempura.
  • Remove Excess Batter: From the hot oil, that is. You may notice flakes and crumbs of batter floating in the oil. To prevent it from burning, use a clean, dry strainer or slotted spoon to gently scoop it out. That way, the oil will taste clean and not burned as you continue cooking. Plus, the little crispies are tasty!
A Parchment-Lined Serving Platter Containing Pan-Fried Shrimp Tempura

What to Serve with Shrimp Tempura

What should you make to go with your yummy, crispy shrimp? You really can’t go wrong with anything, but here are a few great serving suggestions for inspiration!

A Hand Dunking a Pan-Fried Shrimp Into a Bowl of Dipping Sauce

How to Store and Reheat Leftovers

  • To refrigerate, gently place leftovers in a shallow container. The pieces shouldn’t touch. You can use parchment to separate layers of tempura, if necessary. Store for up to two days.
  • To reheat, place on a baking sheet. Bake in a 350°F oven until heated through and crispy. Do not overcook.
A Close-Up Shot of Freshly Fried Shrimp Inside a Serving Platter
Print Recipe
5 from 6 votes

Shrimp Tempura

Crispy, crunchy with a delicate, flaky batter, this Shrimp Tempura is about to become your new favorite seafood recipe.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: how to cook shrimp, pan fried shrimp, shrimp tempura
Servings: 6
Calories: 182kcal

Equipment

  • Stove

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Lay the shrimp out in a single layer and dust both sides with cornstarch.
  • In a mixing bowl, whisk together the salt, egg, flour, and club soda. Do not over mix – a few small lumps in the batter is fine.
  • Place a heavy-bottomed pot over a high heat and add about 2 inches of oil.
  • Allow the oil to heat up to 340°F-360°F.
  • Dip the coated shrimp into the prepared batter using a pair of tongs.
  • Add to the hot oil and allow to fry for 2 – 5 minutes.
  • Transfer to a paper-lined plate to soak up any excess oil and then enjoy.

Notes

  • Makes 6 to 8 servings.
  • Frying Oil not included in nutritional analysis.

Nutrition

Calories: 182kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 218mg | Sodium: 801mg | Potassium: 94mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 40IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 119mg | Iron: 3mg

More Asian-Inspired Recipes to Try

If you like this Japanese-style recipe, you have to check out these other Asian dishes next!

13 Comments

  • Amanda
    April 6, 2021 at 5:20 pm

    5 stars
    I cannot recommend this recipe enough, so easy to make and very delicious!

    Reply
    • Katerina Petrovska
      April 7, 2021 at 10:21 am

      Thank you so much! I’m very glad you enjoyed it! 🙂

      Reply
  • Catalina
    April 7, 2021 at 9:16 am

    5 stars
    I am drooling over this shrimp! I would like to make it at home!

    Reply
    • Katerina Petrovska
      April 7, 2021 at 10:20 am

      I hope you enjoy it! Thank YOU! 🙂

      Reply
  • Beth
    April 7, 2021 at 1:27 pm

    5 stars
    Wow! My daughter and I are going to love this recipe! Looks so delicious and very tasty!

    Reply
    • Katerina Petrovska
      April 8, 2021 at 3:01 pm

      Thank YOU! I hope you and your daughter enjoy them! 🙂

      Reply
  • Amanda Livesay
    April 7, 2021 at 1:30 pm

    5 stars
    Love the light crispy batter on these! So delicious!

    Reply
    • Katerina Petrovska
      April 8, 2021 at 3:00 pm

      I hope you enjoy them! Thank YOU! 🙂

      Reply
  • Toni
    April 8, 2021 at 10:59 am

    5 stars
    Such a really delicious appetizer! Everyone at my house loved it!

    Reply
    • Katerina Petrovska
      April 8, 2021 at 2:58 pm

      I’m very glad everyone enjoyed it! Thank YOU! 🙂

      Reply
  • Donna Drinkwater
    April 26, 2021 at 2:39 pm

    Looking forward to trying 🙂 what did you use for a dipping sauce as pictured? Thanks for yet another awesome recipe 🙂

    Reply
    • Katerina
      April 26, 2021 at 5:46 pm

      Hi!
      It’s called Tempura Dipping Sauce and it’s by Kikkoman. 😊

      Reply
  • Ivy Jo Rezak
    September 2, 2021 at 7:09 pm

    5 stars
    This is the first time I’ve gotten a recipe off of this site. I love Chinese food but have NEVER had success with other recipes. Today I decided to give your Tempura Shrimp a try. I am so glad I did…….wonderful!! I’m a very experienced cook but sometimes Chinese recipes have lots of ingredients and are hard to follow the sequence of getting it all together. Your recipe is right on point and the end result is what is expected. Our dinner tonight was wonderful. Thank you!

    Reply

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