Ebi Tempura- The Ultimate Delicious Japanese Shrimp Tempura Cuisine

Ebi tempura: Just the name makes the mouth water. Nothing matches the taste of fresh juicy shrimp coated with a flaky batter. It is always a perfect start and goes well with all Japanese dishes. If you are craving for some, let us just dive into this easy recipe and enjoy this delicious dish.

Ebi Tempura- The Ultimate Delicious Japanese Shrimp Tempura Cuisine

I am pretty sure that Ebi tempura is what draws most people towards Japanese food. What starts as an experimental exotic food soon turns into an addictive food. No trip to a Japanese food joint is complete without ordering Ebi tempura.

The USP of this shrimp tempura lies in the crisp and flaky exterior and tasteful juicy interior. You can gobble it down with tempura sauce or can pair it with your rice dishes, sushi, or grilled vegetables. Often the restaurants offer a wide variety of vegetable tempura like sweet potato, broccoli, onion, etc.

How to Choose the Perfect Shrimp?

Type: Any variety of shrimp as long as it is uncooked is perfect for this dish. I always buy supermarket shrimp. They are already cleaned and need minimal preparation.

Size: Medium-long shrimps are best. If you take smaller ones, there will not be enough flesh and if you take larger ones, their meat loses the desired texture. I always go for 21/25 size, and I feel, they are the best size.

Important buying note: Shrimps are sold in pounds and the number of shrimps per pound indicates their size. So, 21/25 means that there are 21 to 25 shrimps per pound.

Preparing Shrimp for Ebi Tempura

Ebi Tempura- The Ultimate Delicious Japanese Shrimp Tempura Cuisine

Unless you are buying the supermarket pack of shrimps, you need to properly the shrimps. It is important to remove the shell and head while keeping the tail intact. Carefully remove the veins from the back of the shrimp and make shallow cuts on the belly of the shrimp. Pat it dry using a kitchen towel.

  1. Place the shrimp on the table so that it forms the letter J.
  2. Make 5-6 shallow cuts on the underside of the shrimp using a small knife.
  3. Flip the shrimp and lay it flat.
  4. Press your thumb along the length of the shrimp to break its muscles and make it completely straight.

Making the Perfect Airy Tempura Batter

The trick to making the perfect airy tempura batter is to prevent gluten formation in the batter. So, we choose all the ingredients that have minimum or no gluten. Any misstep and if gluten forms, it leads to a chewy batter. This ruins the taste of tempura. So, we aim for a flaky and crispy batter.

  1. Using gluten-free/protein flour: AP flour and cornstarch have minimum gluten. Also, we don’t over-mix as it initiates gluten formation.
  2. Using ice bath and chilled water: Higher temperature leads to gluten formation. So, we use both chilled water and ice baths for batter.



  1. Mix chilled water and egg properly to make wet ingredients.
  2. Mix AP flour/cake flour and cornstarch to make dry ingredients.
  3. Mix wet and dry ingredients.
  4. Mix with a chopstick but don’t overdo it. You can have some lumps.
  5. You should have a light and running batter.

Keep the batter in an ice bath to prevent gluten formation.

Best Frying Techniques for Ebi Tempura

This is the easiest frying technique:

  1. Dust all shrimp lightly with flour.
  2. Prepare the cooking oil in a deep cooking pot. Oil should be 375 degrees F hot.
  3. Hold a shrimp by its tail and dip it in flour.
  4. Take it out and fry till golden brown.
  5. Repeat this for all shrimps but don’t overcrowd the pot.
  6. Take out the fried shrimp on the wire rack or absorbent paper.

Serve this delicious appetizer with mayo or homemade tempura sauce. It always tastes delicious when eaten piping hot.

Bon Appetite!

Ebi Tempura Complete Recipe Guide

Cook: TSW

Serves: 4

Cooking time: 15 minutes

Prep. Time: 20 minutes


  • 20-25 peeled & deveined shrimps with tails on
  • Flour for batter

Making tempura batter

  • 1 cup AP flour or cake flour
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 1 egg
  • 25 cup chilled water

Steps to Recipe

Preparing the shrimp

  1. Peel, devein, and clean the shrimps under cold water. Never use warm or hot water.
  2. Dry them with paper towels.
  3. Make 5-6 shallow cuts on the shrimps’ underside to ensure better wrapping with batter.
  4. Break the back muscles of the shrimps to straighten them out. You need to push the underside of the shrimp using your thumb outwards. Do it till you hear the popping sound of the muscle breaking.

Making tempura batter

  1. In 1 small mixing bowl, break the egg and mix it properly with chilled water.
  2. In another bowl, take flour and cornstarch and mix them well.
  3. Now mix both dry and wet ingredients and ensure proper batter formation. Use a beater to ensure there are no clumps but refrain from over-mixing it.
  4. While the oil gets heated, keep the batter in an ice bath.

Frying Ebi tempura

  1. Take enough oil for shallow frying in a pot or Dutch oven. I use a cast iron pot and it does the job perfectly. You need to heat the oil to 375 degrees F. Try to maintain this temperature or it may lead to over-fried or under-fried shrimps.
  2. Take a shrimp and cover it properly with flour. Shake off the extra flour.
  3. Now dip it in batter and get it an even coat.
  4. Place it in oil and fry till it’s golden brown.
  5. Repeat this with all the other shrimps.
  6. Avoid overcrowding the pot as it leads to uneven cooking.
  7. Strain out the properly cooked shrimp on a kitchen towel.
  8. Also, strain out the bits of batter that are left behind as they make the oil dirty.

Note Well

  1. Ensure shrimps are completely dry before cooking. Even a little water will lead to the crackling of oil.
  2. Keeping batter in an ice bath stops it from losing its consistency.
  3. Keep straining out the batter bits to get clean oil before a new batch.