ebi tempura light crispy japanese shrimp tempura recipe

Ebi Tempura consistently wins over diners. Anyone may find it hard to resist the taste of such lightly battered, golden brown shrimp – crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. Here’s a simple method for making crispy Tempura Shrimp that can be done at home and still have a light batter and crunchy enough to rival any restaurant!

Ebi tempura served with dipping sauce.


Ebi Tempura Shrimp often serves as an introduction to Japanese cuisine for many. This beloved dish is a fixture in Japanese eateries, frequently accompanied by udon noodles, nestled in bento boxes alongside rice flour, or wrapped in sushi rolls. Personally, I prefer it as a standalone starter which can be enjoyed with a dipping sauce. While shrimp is the star of tempura, the vegetable tempura mixture brings its own charm. It is made up of sweet potatoes, eggplants, onions, broccoli, carrots, and pumpkins mostly.



Ebi Tempura goes well with any kind of raw shrimp. You should avoid cooked cocktail shrimp. I usually buy frozen shrimp at Costco because they are deveined, with tails intact and shells removed, and need very little preparation which is perfect for this dish.


Although any size can technically be used, it is best to use larger shrimp of about 21/25 count because they have a good texture as well as being of the right size. Although slightly larger or smaller shrimp are also acceptable, avoid going too tiny shrimp to maintain a good shrimp proportion. Larger sizes may be more challenging due to a tougher texture, making the twenty-first to twenty-five count a balanced choice.

NOTE: When shopping, the size of the shrimp is very important. Shrimp are measured and sold in a pound. This count per pound shows how large they are. For instance, "colossal" maybe get sixteen to twenty per pound (16/20), indicating fewer but bigger shrimp per pound, while smaller ones could be from 71 to 90 which is more in number but smaller in size.


Getting your shrimp ready is crucial for the perfect Ebi Tempura. Start by removing the head and shell while leaving the tail intact, which is essential for both aesthetics and taste. Once fried, the tail becomes a delightful crunch, favored by many including myself and my youngest daughter.

To clean, rinse the shrimp under cold water. Should you need to devein it, make a gentle incision along the shrimp's back and extract the vein. Dry the shrimp with a paper towel next.

Ebi preparaton step 1.

1) To make the shrimp straighten, put the shrimp's bottom side which I have shown you in the above picture.

Making slits on the bottom of the shrimp.

2) The next thing is making around six to four light cuts on the underside of the shrimp (some people prefer three).

Straightened ebi tempura.

3) The shrimp should sit flat on its belly at this point.

Layed out piece of shrimp.

4) Flip it and lay the other side down as well until they’re both even.

Ebi that is now 1.5 times longer.

5) After that, slice them but not all the way through so you can spread them open–or just do what I did which worked out great: Cut along their backs instead!
6) As you do that, each shrimp will seem like it’s being stretched out and made 1 time longer than before; if done correctly there may even be some cracking noises.


If you want your tempura to be light and crispy, you may need to prevent gluten from forming. Because gluten causes bread to become leathery and that’s not desirable here. The next thing is to restrict how much gluten is developed within the batter itself. Now follow these simple footprints:

  • Choose a flour that has a low protein amount. My preference is for all-in-one flour, though cake flour works well too. This is because its lower protein content guarantees a lighter batter.

  • Incorporate cornstarch. Being gluten-free, cornstarch aids in creating a lighter, airier texture.

  • Opt for chilled water. The chillier it will be - the better, as it inhibits gluten development.

  • Mix minimally. Mix the blend just enough to combine the wet and dry ingredients, using either a whisk or chopsticks. A few lumps are fine and preferable to overmixing, which produces more gluten.

Mixing the egg and ice cold water.

1) Combine an egg with cold chilled water.

Whisking dry ingredients.

2) Stir cornstarch into the flour.

Combining wet and dry ingredients.

3) Gradually pour the egg mixture into the dry ingredients while aiming for minimal stirring; a few lumps are acceptable.

Runny tempura  batter ready for use.

4) The final mixture should be soft and fairly fluid, barely coating the chopsticks.


The tender batter for shrimp tempura is what makes them so good–crispy, light, a little bubbly which contrasts perfectly with the succulent shrimp inside. The crispy tempura method includes:

Dipping ebi in batter by the tail.

1) Using the tail, dip each shrimp into chilled batter; let any excess drip back into a large bowl.

Slowly dropping the batter ebi tempura into hot oil.

2) Gently lower shrimp into oil that has been preheated to 350-375 degrees F; it will rise to the top quickly.

Drizzling batter on top of the shrimp that is frying in hot oil.

3) Lightly drizzle more batters over the shrimp in a cross-hatch pattern using a spoon handle. Doing this makes sure some may fly away while others stay put creating air pockets for crispness; however, all parts must stay connected forming a crunchy lattice instead of a singular solid sheet coated around the entire surface area.

Ebi tempura is almost done and nicely browned.

4) It should be ready once they turn golden brown and cooked through; use a skimmer or tongs(scissors type)tongs to move them around in the oil until crispy bits cling evenly over every part of the batters on the outside. If necessary remove crispies with a skimmer then place fried shrimp onto paper towels.

When the Tempura is hot, serve it immediately with a homemade tempura dipping dressing or a touch of spicy mayonnaise. This always brings people to the kitchen who are excited about tasting these crispy fresh deep-fried delights.


Now that you know everything about Ebi Tempura, let's explore how to recreate this classic dish at home with a simple yet delicious shrimp tempura recipe.


  • twenty to twenty-five shrimp (Remove their skin with bottom)

  • flour for bring to light up and make it crispy


  • One cup flour. ( You can use cake flour or all-purpose flour)

  • One-fourth cup of cornstarch

  • one egg

  • one point two five cups chilled water


Make the Shrimp

  • Remove the skin and rinse the shrimp under chilled water. Slap it lightly and dry it with a paper towel.

  • Make 4-6 shallow slits on the underside of the shrimp.

  • Put the shrimp's right angle and press your forefinger against its back to split the muscles. While pressing, your middle finger and thumb should maintain it in position. You will listen to cracking sounds when muscles split and the shrimp neatens out. Do this for all other shrimps.

Prepare the Tempura Batter

  • Take egg and ice-cold water in a small bowl and whisk them well.

  • Take a different mixing container put flour and cornstarch in it and pour the cold egg and water blend over them.

  • Use chopsticks or a whisk to thoroughly mix so that the dry components incorporate into the wet but do not overmix; it is okay if there are still some lumps left as long as everything is combined.

  • Keep tempura batter refrigerated until needed for frying.

Fry It

  • Warm up 1.5 to 2 inches oil in a pot ( you can even use a Dutch oven) and keep it on moderate heat until it goes up to 375°F. I prefer using cast iron for deep frying because it keeps the oil temperature steady as you fry different batches.

  • Gently coat the shrimp in flour, tapping off any leftover flour.

  • Dip them into the mixture one by one, letting the surplus drip away before easing them into the hot oil. Fry them in small groups, typically three to four at the same time, to prevent the pot from becoming too crowded.

  • While frying, lightly pour two to three spoons of the shrimp tempura batter over the frying shrimp in a crisscross motion. Expect some of the batter to adhere to the shrimp while the rest bubbles up and separates. Gently guide the shrimp through in the oil and envelop it in floating bits of batter.

  • Let it cook until it becomes golden brown in color which should take about two minutes.

  • After it is prepared, place the tempura on kitchen paper to dry off any excess oil.

  • Continue with the remaining shrimp. Between batches, clear away any loose bits of cold batter from the oil with a strainer to ensure the oil is clean for the next group.


  • Make sure they are very dry before you fry them.

  • Until you’re ready to start the frying process, save the mixture in chilled water.

  • Use a sieve to get all the small pieces of batter out of the oil between batches.