Tempura is one of the most popular deep-fried dishes in Japan. This dish is usually consisted of seafood, meat and vegetables, coated in tempura batter and deep-fried. It has a crispy texture and you can enjoy eating a lot of vegetables in a unique way. I will introduce meat, mushroom and vegetable tempura using by tempura batter mix to cook it at home easily.

Ingredients (2 plates):

  • 1 boneless chicken thigh (about 135g, 4.8oz)
  • 1/4 regular eggplant (1 Japanese eggplant, if you use)
  • 2 asparagus
  • 4 dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 US cup of tempura batter mix
  • 2/3 US cup of ice-cold water (for tempura batter mix)
  • a half depth of your deep-frying pan of vegetable oil or sesame oil or olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons of *Hontsuyu
  • 133ml (4.5floz) of water (for Tentsuyu, tempura dipping sauce)

*Tempura batter mix is made of wheat flour, corn starch and leavening. -> See picture A.
*Shiitake is a type of mushroom and well known in East Asia.
This mushroom is versatile. Japanese people use this mushroom a lot for soup, stir-fried vegetables, sauté, pasta and so on. -> See picture B.

*Hontsuyu is a soup base for noodles. It is basically fish extract, bonito extract, kelp extract, sugar, salt and mixed with soy sauce. -> See picture C.

Picture A: *Tempura batter mix
Picture B: Dried *Shiitake mushrooms
Picture C: *Hontsuyu

Here is how to make it at home. Cooking time is about 35 - 40 minutes.

  1. Cut eggplant into big bite size chunks and put them into a bowl with cold water. Leave it for 20 minutes. -> See picture D.
Picture D
  1. Soak dried *Shiitake mushrooms in a small bowl with warm water for 5-10 minutes.
  1. Cut asparagus into a half size long. Cut chicken thigh into about 2cm (0.8inches) wide, about 7cm (2.7inches) long chunks.
  1. Heat oil in a deep-frying pan with medium heat up to 180 degree Celsius (356 degree Fahrenheit).
  1. Meanwhile, Put tempura batter mix and ice-cold water in a medium to large bottom flat container and mix up thoroughly. -> See picture E.
Picture E
  1. Prepare other bottom flat containers with kitchen paper towels on top to remove excess oil from tempura after deep-frying.
  1. Pat and dry the chickens, the shiitake mushrooms, the asparagus and the eggplants with kitchen paper towels thoroughly.
  1. After the oil reaches hot temperature, dip the chicken thighs 1 piece at a time into tempura batter and quickly put into the deep-frying pan. Deep-fry 5-8 minutes or until the chicken thighs are fully cooked and golden brown. Flip over the chicken thighs once. Remove from heat and put them into the containers from step 6. -> See picture F and G.
Picture F
Picture G
  1. Skim off cooked batter pieces (Tenkasu in Japanese) from the oil (you can save the pieces and use them to make okonomiyaki later). Repeat step 8. for the asparagus, shiitake mushrooms and eggplants, but deep-fry only 2-4 minutes instead. -> See picture H, I, and J. {*Please note that I cooked a lot of Tempura (more than 2 servings) this time as shown in pictures.}
Picture H
Picture I
Picture J
  1. Pour *Hontsuyu and 133ml (4.5floz) of water into small bowls and mix up as a tempura dipping sauce (Tentsuyu in Japanese).
  1. Put tempura and dipping sauce on plates.