Tempura vegetables are a delicious, simply addictive Japanese starter or snack. In this recipe chopped vegetables are dipped in a super light, airy tempura batter and deep fried. Tastes wonderful with aqny spicy Asian styled sauce or even with tea.
While the traditional tempura batter contains eggs, here I am sharing an egg free vegan version with you all. Perfect snack for this weather, enjoy!
Have you tasted tempura vegetables? It is a delicious Japanese dish and served as starter in Asian buffets and small bistros. I have not seen them widely in big restaurant menus yet but there is a small cozy bistro near us which serves most crispy delicious and addictive vegetable tempura.
Super crispy, airy and light snack it is where veggies are very slightly coated in a special batter and deep fried. It is really difficult to resist this deliciousness, I tell you.
Now if you have not heard of it or tasted only in restaurants, it is a super simple and fun recipe to try at home. Have bits and bobs of leftover veggies? They are best used in tempura 🙂 Let’s go!
About This Recipe
What Is Tempura Vegetables?
The meaning of the word tempura is coated in batter and deep fried. The batter prepared for this dish is broadly called tempura and the dish takes the name after the ingredients that are deep fried like vegetable tempura, shrimp tempura etc.
The basic Japanese tempura batter is a mix of just three ingredients- flour, egg yolks and ice water. Ice The eggs make the batter light while the ice water is absolute must for crispy and fluffy tempura vegetables.
This is a vegan recipe where I have not used eggs and but added another secret ingredient to get that airy light batter, read on to know what it is 🙂
You can get really creative on what you want to dip in this tempura batter and fry. This time around I have used the vegetables I had but see my notes for loads of ideas.
Why This Recipe Works?
This is my tried and tested recipe that I have been using for many years. If you want a tempura recipe without eggs, this is the one for you.
This recipe is specifically designed for home cooks like us and it is super easy to make.
From the pictures you can see how these vegetables are golden, crispy and coated with a fluffy batter right, these are simply irresistible.
Apart from being crispy and fluffy, perfect tempura vegetables should be light and not soak loads of oil at all. In this recipe I am sharing all the tips and tricks I have learnt so far to achieve this.
To make the tempura batter I have used all purpose flour or plain flour, plain soda water (ice cold) and a pinch of salt. Soda water is the secret ingredient here 🙂 I sometimes also add few ice cubes to keep the batter cold all the time.
With this recipe you will be able to make vegan tempura vegetables that are
fluffy and crispy
are not oily
delicious and simply addictive.
What Is Vegetable Tempura Made Of?
Flour- All purpose flour or plain flour or maida is what you want for this recipe. I have not tried this recipe wheat flour yet but I guess you can use any flour you want here.
Corn starch- Adding a wee bit of corn starch or flour makes the batter lighter.
Soda water- you can use any brand plain soda, seltzer water or sparkling water in this recipe. It is used instead of eggs and helps to make an airy light tempura batter.
Vegetables– I have used carrots, ivy gourd, bell pepper, zucchini, jalapenos and onions here. You can add even more as you like. While making for kids you can leaves out chilies.
Salt- A pinch of salt to the batter.
How To Make Tempura Vegetable?
Rinse and peel the vegetables if preferred.
Slice them into roundels or sticks and rings as you prefer and set aside.
Making Tempura Batter Recipe
To make tempura batter sift 1 cup all purpose flour, 1 tablespoon corn starch and a pinch of salt in a large mixing bowl. Mix well with a spoon.
Now slowly add 1 cup or 250 ml ice cold soda water or seltzer water and mix very gently with a fork or chopsticks. Do not over mix the batter. Add 1 or 2 ice cubes to the batter to keep it cold.
Deep Frying Tempura Vegetables
Heat oil for deep frying. Check the oil temperature by dropping a small bit of batter. If it raises after a second oil is ready for frying. The oil temperature should be 375F or 190 C.
Make sure your vegetables are dry before frying them. It helps to prepare them before you begin making tempura
Now dip veggies one by one into the batter using a spoon or chopstick and gently tap off the excess batter.
Slide into the hot oil and deep fry.
Fry from both sides until the vegetables turn crispy and golden.
Remove the fried vegetables using a slotted spoon and set them on a paper tower or kitchen towel to absorb excess oil.
Serve crispy tempura vegetables hot with any dipping sauce.
How To Make Dipping Sauce For Vegetable Tempura?
You can typically serve this dish any of your favorite dipping sauce. This time around I prepared this super quick one and here is how to make it.
In a small bowl, combine 3 tablespoons dark soy sauce, 2 tablespoons tomato paste, 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar,1 tablespoon sesame seeds, 1 tablespoon sesame oil and 2 teaspoons hot sauce. Mix well and add 1/4 cup finely chopped scallions. Mix and serve with fried vegetables.
Expert Tips + FAQs
Which oil is best for frying ?
You can use any oil with high smoking point for this recipe. I used peanut oil here but you can easily use canola oil, vegetable oil or rapeseed oil too. Any typical frying oil is good for this recipe too.
Can I add baking powder to tempura batter?
You can add a pinch of it but with soda water being added it is not necessary.
What other vegetables can I use in Tempura batter?
Sweet potato, squash, lotus stem, broccoli, colored bell peppers, cauliflower, green beans, sweet corn are all good choices here. You can also use Japanese eggplant in this recipe.
You can even use sliced mushrooms, tofu or paneer in this recipe. Sweet potatoes are typically used in making tempura all the time.
How to store excess batter?
Cover and refrigerate the excess batter. It keeps well for 3-4 days. While needed just remove from refrigerator and use, do not thaw to room temperature. We need cold batter, remember?
Can I use whole wheat flour in this recipe?
Yes you can use whole wheat flour or even any gluten free flour like chickpea flour or millet flour in this recipe.
Why is my tempura not crispy?
To make super crispy tempura vegetables use ice cold water and do not over mix the batter. Next maintaining right oil temperature is important for making this dish crispy. By following these points your tempura will also not be oily.
More Asian Recipes
I hope you will try this tempura vegetable recipe and enjoy as much as we did. Please give a star rating ★ in the recipe card below if you have tried this recipe. Follow us on Pinterest , Instagram, Facebook for more recipes and ideas.
Crispy Tempura Vegetables (Vegan)
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon corn starch
- 1 cup soda water
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 ice cubes
- 1 carrot sliced into batons
- 1 zucchini small, peeled and sliced into thick rounds
- 1 bell pepper sliced
- 6 ivy gourds sliced
- 2 jalapenos sliced
- Rinse and peel the vegetables if preferred. Slice them into roundels or sticks and rings as you prefer and set aside.
- To make tempura batter sift 1 cup all purpose flour, 1 tablespoon corn starch and a pinch of salt in a large mixing bowl. Mix well with a spoon.
- Now slowly add 1 cup or 250 ml ice cold soda water or seltzer water and mix very gently with a fork or chopsticks. Do not over mix the batter. Add 1 or 2 ice cubes to the batter to keep it cold.
- Heat oil for deep frying. Check the oil temperature by dropping a small bit of batter. If it raises after a second oil is ready for frying. The oil temperature should be 375F or 190 C. Now dip veggies one by one into the batter using a spoon or chopstick and gently tap off the excess batter.
- Slide into the hot oil and deep fry.
- Fry from both sides until the vegetables turn crispy and golden. Remove the fried vegetables using a slotted spoon and set them on a paper tower or kitchen towel to absorb excess oil.
- Serve crispy tempura vegetables hot with any dipping sauce.