Description: Food Network Kitchen's Shrimp and Vegetable Tempura. Keywords: Dashi, Mirin, Soy Sauce, Daikon Radish, Shrimp, Green Beans, Shiitake Mushrooms, Shishito Peppers, Onion, Cake Flour, Egg, Cornstarch.
Recipe courtesy of Kathleen Brennan for Food Network Kitchen

Shrimp and Vegetable Tempura

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr 10 min (includes chilling time)
  • Active: 40 min
  • Yield: 4 servings (as a main dish)
Tempura is one of the most iconic Japanese dishes. At its best, it's comprised of the freshest seafood and vegetables that are coated in a batter and deep fried to yield incredibly light and crispy morsels. The keys to achieving these results, aside from starting with quality ingredients that are well-chilled before frying, are the oil temperature and the batter. For perfect frying, it's important to use the correct oil temperature and keep it consistent throughout. And for the batter, mixing it just before frying, keeping it cold using a chilled bowl and ingredients, using cake flour and not over-mixing it are all ways to assure good results. Also, like anything else, practice makes perfect. Feel free to substitute ingredients. Other popular options include squid, cod, scallops, asparagus, eggplant, carrots and shiso leaves. Coarse salt and lemon wedges are also nice options instead of the traditional dipping sauce. Steamed white rice is a standard accompaniment, as well as noodles such as udon or soba.


Dipping Sauce (Tentsuyu):

Shrimp and Vegetables (see Cook's Note):




  1. Refrigerate a large bowl until chilled, about 15 minutes.
  2. For the dipping sauce (tentsuyu): Bring the Dashi, mirin and soy sauce to a boil in a small saucepan. Set aside until ready to serve, then divide among 4 small bowls. Place the grated daikon in a small dish.
  3. For the shrimp and vegetables: Assemble the chilled shrimp, green beans, mushrooms, shishitos, sweet potatoes and onions on 2 large plates.
  4. Heat about 2 inches of oil in a large wok or deep, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat until it reaches 360 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with a double layer of paper towels or a wire rack and place near the wok.
  5. For the batter: When the oil is almost ready, sift the cake flour and potato starch into the chilled bowl. Whisk the water and egg in a small bowl (or in the water measuring cup) until completely combined. Using chopsticks or a large fork, stir the egg mixture into the flour mixture until barely combined and lumps of flour still remain. (Better to undermix than overmix, so err on the side of caution.) The batter should be the thickness of cream; add 1 to 2 tablespoons more water if needed. Mix in the ice cubes.
  6. Working with several pieces of the shrimp and vegetables at a time, dip them into the batter, then gently lay them in the oil away from you. (It’s important not to overcrowd and to maintain the temperature of the oil; adjust the heat, as needed.) Fry, flipping them once or twice, until pale golden brown and crisp, 1 to 2 minutes (some ingredients may take longer than others); transfer to the lined baking sheet. Serve the tempura immediately (ideally, one person will continue frying while the lucky others get to eat the tempura at its best!) with the bowls of dipping sauce and grated daikon on the side for people to stir into the sauce, if they like. Continue with the remaining ingredients, skimming the surface of the oil as needed.


Yield: about 2 1/2 cups
  1. Combine the kombu and 3 cups cold water in a medium saucepan and let sit for about 30 minutes. (You can skip this step if you’re short on time, but it does lend a little extra flavor.)
  2. Heat the mixture over medium heat until the water comes to a near boil but doesn’t actually boil, about 5 minutes. Discard the kombu.
  3. Add the katsuobushi evenly over the water and bring to a boil over high heat, then immediately remove from the heat. Let steep for about 10 minutes without stirring.
  4. Pour the dashi through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl or quart measuring cup. Do not press down on the katsuobushi, which can make the dashi cloudy or bitter.
  5. Dashi is best used the day it is made, but it can be cooled and refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Cook’s Note

Make sure the shrimp and vegetables are thoroughly chilled before coating and frying them. If you prefer your fried shrimp to be straight rather than curled, you have 2 options: skewer them, or make 3 to 4 shallow slits crosswise along the curled side, then place the shrimp on a cutting board curled-side down and lightly press down on each one, working your way along the entire length.