Tempura is a very popular Japanese dish that is characterized by deep-fried, and battered fish, vegetables, and seafood. Presently, you can find tempura everywhere from supermarket bento lunches, casual chain restaurants, noodle shops, chic tempura restaurants, kaiseki dining, and traditional haute cuisine.

Let’s know more about Tempura in detail.

Types of Tempura

You may be wondering what is Tempura? Tempura is a classic dish that has been eaten in Japan for several centuries. It is available in two main variations that include Kansai style, and Kanto style. Both these variations are made with different types of ingredients and served with varying condiments.

The Kanto style of Tempura is made with vegetables as well as seafood. It is deep-fried in sesame oil till the color of it changes to golden yellow. It is served with a “shoyu-based” dipping sauce.

Kansai style of Tempura is made with battered vegetables. It is deep-fried in oil and sprinkled with salt. The type of oil used in preparing this style of tempura depends on the restaurant.

You can get it in either in cottonseed oil, sesame oil, or the original oil recipe of the restaurant. Matsuhisa is a prominent Japanese food restaurant in Aspen, Vali, and Denver.

Ingredients used to prepare Tempura

The batter used for tempura is made with ice-cold water, egg yolks, flour, soda water, baking soda, potato starch or cornstarch, to give a crispy texture to the dish. Seafood such as prawns, fish, and squid, and vegetables such as kabocha pumpkin, eggplant, asparagus, the tender sansai spring greens, mushrooms, are added into it.

You can even add herbs, and nuts into it such as chestnut, myoga ginger, gingko nut, and a few premium quality ingredients like uni.

What type of oil is used in the preparation of tempura?

The oil you use for the preparation of tempura depends on the smoke point of the oil. Different oils have different smoke points. So, depending on the temperature at which you are going to fry the tempura, you need to make the oil selection.

Kansai style tempura uses neutral oils like cottonseed oil and vegetable oil that gives a blond color to the tempura at the time of frying it. The Kanto style tempura area is made with a mix of sesame oil that imparts golden color to it. Rice bran oil is another commonly used variety of oil used for preparing Kanto style tempura.


Tempura also signifies the flavor and culture of Japan. Just like Sushi, and Sashimi, it is very much loved by Japanese and people all over the world. You must try it to experience the richness of this ultimate Japanese dish.