I ran out of the Tempura Mix that I bought from a store. I knew that I could use Gluten-Free Rice Flour in place of regular flour. So, I decided to make Tempura with Rice Flour for the first time, and it turned out so crispy and yummy! Why did I not try this earlier? When I order Tempura at restaurants, it usually has too much batter. I find it tastier and healthier to make Tempura at home.
YIELD: 2 servings
PREP TIME: 15 minutes
FRY TIME: 10 minutes
RECIPE TYPE: Japanese, Lunch, Dinner / Gluten -free
- ½ cup Rice Flour
- ½ cup Water
- ½ Egg, Beaten
- Vegetable Oil for Frying (1” deep)
- 6 Large Shrimp (Raw or Frozen. Peeled & Deveined)
- 4 Asparagus
- 4 Shiitake Mushrooms
- 4 Oba (Green Perilla)
- 1 Japanese Eggplant
- 1 Small Sweet Potato
*You may substitute with any vegetables, seafood, or chicken of your choice.
Tempura Dipping Sauce
- ½ cup Hot Water or Dashi
- 1 Tbsp Gluten-free Soy Sauce or Tamari
- 1 Tsp Sugar
- Grated Daikon Radish & Ginger if available.
Sauce for Tendon (Tempura Rice Bowl)
- ¼ cup Water or Dashi
- 2 Tbsp Gluten-free Soy Sauce or Tamari
- 2 Tbsp Mirin (Gluten-free)
- 2 Tbsp Sugar
- 1 Tbsp Sake if available
Wash vegetables and pat dry with paper towel. (The more moisture, the more oil splatter.)Leave the skin on and slice sweet potato into ¼ inch thick. Cut eggplant in half vertically and then cut each piece in half horizontally. Leave the narrower end of the eggplant intact, make 4 – 5 cuts vertically so that it cooks faster. Wash shrimp. They will curl up when heated. For straight shrimp tempura, make 4 –5 cuts at the belly. Make sure to cut through at least halfway up. Hold the shrimp and bend backwards to break the tissue and make it straight.
Mix Rice Flour, water, and beaten egg in a bowl in this order. Make sure that the batter is well mixed and smooth. You can use any size pot for deep frying, but I filled an 8” pot with 1” of vegetable oil. Heat the oil to 340℉ and maintain the temperature. You want golden Tempura, not browned. Dip sweet potato slices one by one in the batter. It should drip when you pick it up but should not be too watery. Adjust the thickness by adding more rice flour or water. Remember, the batter will become watery as you dip food in it. I prefer thinly coated crispy batter.
Drop a small amount of the batter in the oil and see if it floats back up right away. If it does, it is ready to fry. place the battered sweet potato slices slowly in the oil. Cook 2 –3 minutes and turn. Cook another 2 – 3 minutes until golden. Remove from oil and let it cool off on a rack or paper towel. use a strainer to collect crumbles in the oil and save if you wish. See my notes. Adjust temperature if necessary.repeat step 7 – 10. Fry Eggplants (5 minutes), asparagus (2 minutes), Oba (2 minutes), Shiitake (3 minutes), and shrimps (2 minutes) in this order. Save the watery food for last. mix all the ingredients to make Tempura Dipping Sauce. Grate Daikon radish and ginger if desired.
If you want to make Tendon (Tempura Rice Bowl), cook Japanese rice or use microwaveable rice. Mix all the ingredients for the Tendon sauce in a small saucepan and heat until it thickens like Teriyaki sauce. Adjust soy sauce and sugar balance to your liking. Place Tempura over rice neatly and pour the sauce conservatively. You can always add more later.
You may fry anything you like. Potatoes, onions, scallops, fish, seaweed, chicken breast, soft boiled egg, etc. But be careful with deep frying.
Think of the order you fry because some food makes the oil dirty. Use strainer to clean and collect crumbles between frying. You can save the crumbles called Tenkasu in the freezer and add them to hot noodle soup with green onions, or Miso soup.
You can also freeze unwashed Shiitake mushrooms. I used frozen ones for this recipe and had to pat dry very well.
Can’t decide which sauce you want? Dipping sauce is salty and perfect for appetizer. Tendon sauce is sweet like Teriyaki and is delicious with rice. If you are not allergic to gluten, you may simply purchase any Tempura dipping sauce or Men Tsuyu (noodle soup base) instead of making it.
If you would rather make sweet potato snack, add a little bit of sugar and salt to the batter and deep fry. It should be sweet enough, but you may serve with honey if you like.