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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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!
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!
- Surf n Turf: Shrimp and steak just work, don’t they! Try my Grilled Flank Steak with Bleu Cheese Butter for an easy way to make perfectly cooked steak.
- Pasta: How about Creamy Baked Pasta with Zucchini and Mushrooms to go with your delicate shrimp? So delicious!
- Soup: My easy homemade version of Egg Drop Soup makes a yummy side for this delicious shrimp tempura.
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.
- 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.
- Makes 6 to 8 servings.
- Frying Oil not included in nutritional analysis.
More Asian-Inspired Recipes to Try
If you like this Japanese-style recipe, you have to check out these other Asian dishes next!