How to Make Japanese-Style Deep-Fried Vegetables (Tempura)

I had some leftover eggplant and okra that needed to be used up but not quite enough for a stir-fry, so I decided to experiment with deep-frying them Japanese-style using a tempura batter. I did a quick Google search during my Live Asian Kitchen broadcast, and went with one that looked legit, ie. the recipe found at I was pretty impressed with how light and crispy they turned out, so I’m sharing it here with my tweaks 🙂


Tempura-Style Deep-Fried Vegetables


Sliced vegetables – eg. eggplant, sweet potato, okra, capsicum, etc.

1 cup plain flour

2 TBSP potato starch or similar (tapioca or cornstarch)

200ml cold water

1 egg

½ tsp pepper

1 tsp chicken powder (or ½ tsp salt if vegetarian)

Oil for deep-frying


  1. Blitz plain flour, potato starch, pepper and chicken powder in a food processor to combine, or alternatively, sift them together.
  2. In a large bowl, beat egg, then mix with cold water.
  3. Add ⅓ of the flour mixture into the egg/water bowl and lightly stir in one direction using a pair of chopsticks or fork.
  4. Repeat with the next ⅓ and finally with the remaining flour. Do not over-stir; some lumps in the batter is fine.
  5. Heat oil to 160-170’C.
  6. Dip vegetables in batter, then in oil. Fry until done; about 2 minutes.
  7. Remove and drain on paper towels before serving.

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