Prawn tempura recipe | Japanese prawn tempura recipe with homemade tempura flour

Japanese prawn tempura recipe step by step with pictures. It’s a crispy Japanese prawn fritters recipe, where the prawn is first dipped into the tempura batter and then deep fried in the hot oil. Basically, Japanese tempura is prepared with vegetables and seafood (basically prawns). But for making this Japanese shrimp recipe, tempura flour is a must ingredient.

To make this crispy Japanese shrimp or prawn tempura recipe, a few things must be kept in mind, first, use tempura flour, second, use ice cubes and chilled water to prepare the tempura batter, third after making the batter start making the prawns without wasting time, the fourth is pan should not be crowded with prawns, fry the prawns one at a time and lastly, deep frying the prawns in the hot oil by maintaining the same temperature of the oil. Without any one of these, you won’t get that awesome crunch and taste.

In Japanese crispy prawns or shrimp tempura, a wonderful crunchy golden cover hides the tender and succulent meat of well-cooked shrimp, and its single bite will take you to heaven.

While enjoying the tempura prawns, did you ever notice that the prawns are lying straight on the plate? Generally, the prawns shrink when put in the hot oil as per its nature, but not in this recipe. There is a secret, that Japanese people follow, they break all the veins of the shrimp to keep it straight by using their fingertips and then use it for this easy shrimp tempura recipe.

prawn tempura or shrimp tempura is served

We love to relish this crispy prawns recipe, but when I was planning to try this shrimp tempura out in my kitchen, I first found tempura flour is not easily available in India. Either I’ve to order it online or I’ve to prepare tempura flour at home for making this recipe.  And I chose the second option which seemed more convenient to me. So I prepared my homemade tempura flour with the perfect ratio of each ingredient and today I’ll share that recipe too through this post.

When I first try this recipe with my homemade tempura flour came out wonderfully and I always prepare it at home while making the tempura batter. So it’s my easy recipe for prawn tempura and to know all the secrets please stay connected.

If you love this easy and crispy shrimp tempura recipe, then you must try this recipe at home and please let me know how these Japanese prawns appetizers worked at your home by leaving a comment in the comment section below.

You can try my other prawn starters, i.e, crispy batter fried prawns recipe, butter garlic prawns recipe, prawn cutlet recipe.

 Japanese prawn tempura recipe

Ingredients of prawn tempura

  • 12 medium-size white prawns( 350 gms prawns)
  • homemade tempura flour
  • 1 egg
  • 8 ice cubes
  • 3 tbsp chilled water
  • Oil, for deep frying

For making homemade tempura flour

  • 6 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 3 tbsp corn flour
  • 1 1/2 tbsp rice flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Homemade dipping sauce for tempura prawns

  • 1 tsp finely chopped garlic
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1 1/2 tsp soya sauce
  • 1/2 tsp oil
  • 3-4 tbsp water

Prep time: 20-25 mins

cook time: 15 mins

Served in: 35- 40 mins

Course: main course

Cuisine: Japanese

Served for: 3-4 people

Author: Moumita Paul

How to make Japanese prawn tempura recipe at home by step by step pictures


How to make dipping sauce for tempura prawns

  • First, take a pan to add 1/2 tsp oil to it.
  • Then add 1 tsp finely chopped garlic to the oil and saute it for few seconds.
  • Next, add 1 tsp chili flakes to it.
  • When the smell of roasted garlic smells come out, add dark soy sauce.
  • Just after few seconds when the say sauce totally incorporated with garlic and chili flakes, add water to it.
  • Let it boil and make it a little thick.
  • Turn off the heat.

How to make homemade tempura flour for this recipe

  • Take a mixing bowl, first add sifted 6 tbsp all-purpose flour to it.

adding flour to the bowl for making homemade tempura flour for making Japanese tempura prawns

  • Then add 3 tbsp cornflour to the bowl.then add cornflour to the mixing bowl to make homemade tempura flour
  • Add 1 1/2 tbsp rice flour to the bowl.

Now adding rice flour to the bowl for making tempura flour

  • Next, add 1/2 tsp baking powder to it and mix it all together well.

add baking powder to make tempura flour at home

  • Lastly, add 1/2 tsp salt to it for taste. Mix it nicely and homemade tempura flour is ready to use.

salt is the last addition to our homemade tempura flour

How the prawns are prepared for making prawn tempura?

  • First, remove the prawn’s head and take out the shell by cutting it with a scissor, only keeping its tail portion intact.

cut the prawns shells by the scissor to take out the shell only tail portions are kept intact

  • Then clean and devein the prawn as usual, make a slit with a knife along its spine where the vein is going through, and take the vein out. (after taking out the vein, was kept it on the left side of the prawn in the pic)

slit the prawn's back with the knife and took the vein out and kept aside to make it clean

  • Next, turn the prawns and keep the prawn’s belly side upward. Make 5-6 light slits make sure prawns should not be sliced through those cuts. As shown in the pic.

made 5-6 slits on the inner portion of the prawns with a knife before braking the veins to keep it straight

  • Then press it down with the flat portion of the knife to break all of its veins which will help to keep the prawns straight while frying. (as shown in the pic)

press the slit area down by using a knife to make it flat

  • Then you can use your first three fingertips of your both hands to make sure all the veins got broken or not. As shown in the pic.

using fingertips to make sure whether veins are correctly broken or not

  • Now scrap its tail by a knife to remove all the dirt and then clean each prawn thoroughly by keeping it in a bowl of water.
  • Then place the wet prawns on the kitchen towel or paper towel and place one more towel from the top, then gently press it from the top to dry it up.
  • Now prawns are ready to go to the batter.

raw prawns are ready to go the batter

How to make Japanese prawn tempura recipe with homemade tempura batter

  • Take another mixing bowl, first add 5 ice cubes to it, then add 1 egg to the bowl.

egg in ice cubes to start making the batter

  • Now start beating the egg in the ice cubes with chopsticks or two skewers or forks or whiskers.

beat the egg in ice cubes with chopsticks for making  the recipe of tempura prawn

  • When the egg is well beaten, slowly add the homemade tempura flour to it. And gently mix it.

adding tempura flour to the beaten egg

  • Now add 3 tbsp chilled water to it and mix it slowly, don’t beat it. Then add 3 more ice cubes in the batter to keep it super chill.

first add chilled water to bowl and gently mix the flour with it and when the batter is ready add three more ice cubes to it for making perfect japanese prawn tempura recipe

  • The consistency of the batter must not be too thick or too thin, but it should be light batter as shown in the pic.

checking the tempura batter consistency

  • In the meantime, place a deep bottom pan on high heat and add oil for deep frying.

deep bottom pan with oil for deep frying

  • First, check the oil is correctly hot by leaving a drop of the batter in the hot oil. If the drop immediately comes up in the oil surface and creates small bubbles around it, that indicates the oil is ready to fry prawns.
  • Now take each prawn by holding its tail and put it in the tempura flour first to roll the raw shrimp in it.
  • Then put it into the batter to ensure that it fully gets coated(except the tail portion) with the tempura batter.

prawn in tempura batter ready to put in the hot oil

  • Then put the prawn into the hot oil and shake each prawn in the oil for 5 to 6 seconds by holding its tail. Then leave its tail in the oil too.

well coated prawn in tempura batter is now going to the oil and shaking it by holding its tail into the hot oil to get perfect crunch from this crispy shrimp tempura

  • let it fry for a few seconds then turn it to get the other side done.

frying shrimp tempura in hot oil for making perfect japanese prawn tempura recipe

  • When the shrimp turned to be a nice golden colour then take the prawns out of the pan.

holding fried tempura prawns by chopsticks

  • And place the fried prawns on the paper towel to soak the excess oil.

japanese prawn tempura is ready on the paper towel

  • Don’t put more than two prawns in the pan, though frying one by one is the basic rule of this tempura shrimp.
  • Serve this tempura prawns hot with mayo or homemade sauce(described above) or both.


  • To make the perfect Prawn Tempura, it is crucial to pay attention to a few key details. First and foremost, ensure that the tempura batter is chilled enough, otherwise, you won’t get that best crunch. This is essential for achieving that irresistible crunch that we all love.
  • Another important technique to master is the careful slitting and pressing of the prawns. By using a knife and your fingertips, you can keep the prawns straight even after they are submerged in hot oil.
  • It is crucial to maintain a consistent frying temperature throughout the cooking process. This will help in achieving evenly cooked and golden brown prawns. Always try to keep the temperature same while frying the prawns.
  • And here’s a little secret from my experience – using rice flour in the tempura batter can truly elevate the crunchiness of the shrimp. I have found that my homemade tempura flour, which includes rice flour, gives me that restaurant-like crispiness that I crave.


What is the purpose of pressing down on the flesh?

To ensure your prawns stay perfectly straight when preparing tempura, it is crucial to employ two essential techniques: slitting and pressing the flesh. These methods are vital for achieving that desired straight shape, ensuring optimal frying results.

To begin, take the prawns and delicately slit them with a knife, creating shallow incisions. It is important to exercise caution here, as we don’t want to cut all the way through the prawns. This technique allows for better control over the stretching process, helping to maintain their straightness.

After slitting the prawns, the next step involves pressing them gently with your fingertips. By doing so, you are effectively working to lengthen the prawns and detach the muscle. This process is crucial for achieving the desired straight shape, as it will prevent any curling or bending during the battering and frying stages.

It is important to note that both these techniques, slitting and pressing, should be employed in combination to maximize their effectiveness. This meticulous approach guarantees that your prawns remain perfectly straight, resulting in a beautifully crispy and visually appealing tempura.

Remember, the ultimate goal is to create an exquisite dish, and attention to detail is key. So, be sure to incorporate these mandatory techniques when preparing your prawns for tempura, and you’ll be well on your way to culinary success.

How many times should the frying process be repeated?

The frying process should be repeated as necessary until all the prawns are cooked. Fry them in batches to ensure they are evenly cooked and crispy.
How should the prawns be coated and fried?
Dip each prawn in the batter, ensuring it is fully coated, and then deep fry them in oil. It is important not to overcrowd the frying pan, so fry the prawns in batches. Repeat the frying process until all the prawns are cooked.
Can you use sweet potato instead of prawns for Tempura?
Using sweet potato as a substitute for prawns in Tempura is a great idea! Sweet potato can work wonderfully well in Tempura, offering a delightful balance of sweet taste and crispy texture. Many people prefer using sweet potato in Tempura as it adds a unique flavor profile to the dish. When sliced into thin strips or rounds, sweet potato can be coated in the same Tempura batter as prawns and then deep-fried until golden and crispy. The result is a deliciously satisfying alternative to prawn Tempura. So go ahead and give it a try! Your seafood-lover friends will appreciate the variation, and you might just discover a new favorite way to enjoy Tempura.”
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4 thoughts on “Prawn tempura recipe | Japanese prawn tempura recipe with homemade tempura flour”

  1. Wonderfully explained from start to end, so that anybody with a basic cooking idea can cook and relish such eye and mouth tempting recipe. Thank you and best of luck.


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