Shrimp Tempura

6 servings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes

Shrimp Tempura is the perfect Japanese appetizer made with a light batter and fried super crisp in just 15 minutes.

Easy quick Asian appetizers are a fun addition to your favorite takeout copycat meals including Crab Rangoon and Panda Express Cream Cheese Rangoon. Don’t forget to dip them in Sweet and Sour Sauce!

Shrimp Tempura in bowl with rice and sauce, chopstick holding piece

Shrimp Tempura is one of the Japanese recipes that can seem really intimidating because it needs to be so light and crispy to be enjoyed. The idea of frying food in generally can be scary, but this recipe uses a cold batter that isn’t heavy and is really easy to make. 

YES, this tempura recipe is so easy it won’t scare you away. You’ll use regular flour in addition to corn starch to make the tempura batter. Some people add ice water to the mixture, but here we use club soda to create a lighter texture.

Looking for a good dipping sauce for your tempura? Find an authentic tempura sauce recipe in the FAQ below, or enjoy this recipe with Spicy Mayo, Honey Mustard, or any of your favorite Asian sauces. Enjoy Shrimp Tempura as an appetizer, or serve it over Steamed Rice for a delicious dinner.

Shrimp Tempura Collage of batter steps

How to Make Shrimp Tempura

The process for making this recipe is easy, but involves a very specific technique to achieve that perfect crispy texture. It is extremely important to note that the shrimp gets a dry-batter coating before getting a cold wet-batter coating. 

  • Heat Oil: Get the oil heated up first so it’s ready when the shrimp is battered. You’re going to deep fry the shrimp so use at least 3 inches of oil in your pot.
  • Dry Batter: Combine all the dry batter ingredients in a medium bowl and mix until the batter is fully blended. Do not mix the batter a lot, just until the dry ingredients are combined.
  • Wet Batter: After the dry batter is complete, mix the club soda into the dry batter to make it a wet batter. Then dredge the dry-battered shrimp through the wet batter. Also, make sure the club soda is VERY cold (or even put the mixture over a bowl of ice). This is key.
  • Fry: Then fry the shrimp until crispy. Do NOT remove the shrimp to a plate with paper towels. The paper towels will create steam which will lose the crispy texture you’ve worked so hard for.

More Asian Shrimp Recipes

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you make Homemade Tempura Dipping Sauce?

Combine 1 cup dashi soup stock, ¼ cup mirin, and ¼ cup soy sauce in a saucepan. Bring the ingredients to a boil then allow to cool.

Should I use raw or cooked shrimp for making Shrimp Tempura?

Start with raw, peeled and deveined shrimp. Because shrimp cooks so quickly, they will be pink throughout by the time your tempura batter is golden and crispy. If you begin with cooked shrimp, the result will be rubbery inside.

How long do you fry Tempura Shrimp?

Make sure the oil temperature is right even if you have to use a thermometer. You’re looking for 375 degrees for just 2-3 minutes

How do I make Shrimp Tempura Batter?

Use an easy mixture of regular flour, corn starch and baking powder mixed with club soda, salt and pepper. Not a single ingredient that is difficult to find.

What’s the difference between baking soda and baking powder?

Well, in culinary use, baking soda is another name for sodium bicarbonate which is one of the ingredients used in baking powder. To get more scientific, baking powder contains an additional acidic ingredient to make more bubbles and is used in recipes that don’t contain an acidic ingredient which helps produce more leavening bubbles. Both are used as leavening agents due to the little bubbles of carbon dioxide produced from the baking soda.

Additionally, it’s different from yeast which is a living organism that yields a distinct flavor and smell versus the chemical-based baking soda.

Shrimp Tempura Collage of frying steps

Key Ingredients for making Shrimp Tempura

  • Shrimp: Shrimp can be found in any grocery store. You can get the frozen kind in the bag, or the fresh one’s on ice at the fish market. Shrimp comes in various sizes. It’s recommended to get the largest shrimp you can just for fun. Sustainably farmed fish is fine, but wild caught tastes better. Bonus points if you can get them from your local farmer’s market fish seller. 
  • Baking Powder: This is what helps give your fried batter the light and crispy breaded consistency on the shrimp. Although baking powder is easy to source from your local grocery store, it is important to note that baking powder is NOT baking soda; even though your baking powder does contain baking soda.
  • Corn Starch: Used as a thickener, corn starch can easily be found in the baking section of any grocery store, along with baking powder. They’re usually all stacked next to each other.
  • White Pepper: This special ingredient is more mild in flavor than its black pepper relative. It also boasts a more earthy flavor as compared to the more spicy flavor of black pepper. If you have whole white pepper corns, use a spice grinder to get closer to the powdered grind needed in this recipe, or just buy pre-ground white pepper.
  • Club Soda: Club soda is water carbonated artificially and contains added minerals for taste. You can find the budget friendly version in any grocery store. You’ll want it to be extra cold when making the wet batter. It helps give a boost to the workings of the baking powder in the batter. You can substitute with plain seltzer water (artificially carbonated and contains no added minerals) or the naturally bubbly sparkling mineral water.
Shrimp Tempura chopstick dipping into sauce

Variations on Shrimp Tempura

How to Make Vegetable Tempura

Since vegetables won’t cook as quickly as shrimp, the time you spend frying vegetables once covered in batter is only to cook the batter, not the vegetables. Depending on the vegetable, you will need to cook it before frying.

  • Broccoli Florets: Steam for 2 minutes.
  • Carrot Slices: Steam for 3-4 minutes.
  • Sweet Potato slices: boil until fork tender but not falling apart.
  • Onions: Can be used raw, or for 20 seconds.
  • Acorn Squash: Steam until fork tender.
  • Mushrooms: Can be fried raw.
  • Zucchini: Steam for 2 minutes.

Once you’ve cooked and cooled your vegetables, dredge them in the dry tempura mixture. Add in the club soda, dip the vegetables in the batter and let excess batter drip away before frying until golden brown.

How to Serve Shrimp Tempura

  • Serve as a snack with a side of Jasmine rice topped with fresh cut green onion.
  • You can add them to tacos for a yummy and crispy fusion fusion taco flavored with teriyaki sauce.
  • Make fun feast of Asian snacks and serve them alongside homemade Dragon Rolls, Potstickers, or Spring Rolls!

More Easy Asian Dinners

How to Store Shrimp Tempura

  • Serve: Do not leave Tempura Shrimp at room temperature longer than 2 hours.
  • Store: Sealed in an airtight container, Shrimp Tempura will last in the refrigerator up to 3 days.
  • Freeze: Freeze in a single layer on a baking sheet, then transfer to a plastic freezer bag up to 2 months. Reheat in a 375 degree oven for 15-20 minutes.
Shrimp Tempura in bowl with rice and sauce, chopstick holding piece

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Shrimp Tempura

Shrimp Tempura is the perfect Japanese appetizer made with a light batter and fried super crisp in just 15 minutes.
Yield 6 servings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Japanese
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cups club soda , cold
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • vegetable oil , for frying
  • 1 pound shrimp , deveined and shells removed (21-25 count)


  • Set a pot of oil (3 inches deep) on medium high until it reaches 375 degrees.
  • Whisk the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, kosher salt, and white pepper in a bowl together.
  • Dredge the shrimp lightly in the mixture and set aside.
  • Add in the club soda and whisk, then dip the shrimp in the batter before carefully frying in the oil for 2-3 minutes or until golden brown.



Calories: 315kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 190mg | Sodium: 785mg | Potassium: 396mg | Fiber: 1g | Vitamin C: 3.1mg | Calcium: 244mg | Iron: 3.4mg
Shrimp Tempura and chopsticks dipped in red sauce Pin 1

Photos used in a previous version of this post.

Shrimp Tempura Collage
Shrimp Tempura in bowl
Shrimp Tempura with Chopsticks
Shrimp Tempura

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.


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  1. I do have a question I see on your post your delicious shrimp but also I see a red sauce I have been exhausting myself trying to find the recipe for the authentic American Chinese red sauce do you have a recipe?

    1. If you’re referring to the red sauce in the Shrimp Tempura photos, here is how we make Homemade Tempura Dipping Sauce.
      Combine 1 cup dashi soup stock, ¼ cup mirin, and ¼ cup soy sauce in a saucepan. Bring the ingredients to a boil then allow to cool.

  2. My family loves deep fried shrimp but through years of trial and error I never could nail a recipe, until now. This is by far the BEST tempura recipe I have made!! It Is full proof, and as you said, make Darn sure the wet ingredient is cold, I also used a bowl of ice under the bowl of the wet ingredients. This is better then any restaurant shrimp and now all my friends are using this recipe! Thank you!

  3. Hi,

    can I substitute Rice flour for the flour in your recipe? I want to make tempura with your recipe but am curious if rice flour is a similar result? Thanks 🙂

  4. so, you dredge the shrimp in the dry mixture and set aside. then you pour in the club soda into the remaining dry mixture then dip the shrimp again? I’m a bit confused.

    1. Hello Millie, some people add ice water to the mixture but I use club soda to create a lighter texture. The soda provides a degree of extra leavening from its bubbles, making the batter rise better and providing a lighter texture. Hope this clears that up for you. Thank you!

  5. Looks amazing! Gonna try this today, vegs ….hoping to make a teriyake dipping sauce w it.. im looking for a brown gravy thats used for chicken n broccoli, theres many ice tried but, come short of flavor….love gravies!

  6. I would give a 10 stars if I could! There were leftovers as we all got full! I also did tempura green beans, just going to the garden and picking them. Lol. I didn’t have the club soda, so I used a Flat Tire ale These are the most amazing shrimp, better than a restaurant, I have ever had. Even after 2 hrs, they’re still crispy and delicious! Thank you 1000 times thank you for posting this recipe!

    1. Beer’s what I’m planning to use!
      I think a really ‘fizzy’, canned beer will work best.
      I can’t wait to try it!!!
      I’ll report my findings. 😉

  7. If you have picky eaters who won’t want the dipping sauce, is this batter seasoned enough, or should I add a bit of salt?

    Thanks for the recipe! Can’t wait to try it!

  8. This recipe is outstanding! Made with gluten free flour and cold seltzer water, also; sifted dry ingredients before adding the seltzer water. Made one and a half times the batter which was perfect for 2 lbs of shrimp and one and a half sliced yellow squash. Family could not stop complimenting the dinner, said it was “restaurant quality” and I completely agree. Thank You Sabrina for posting! I highly recommend your recipe and will be making again. Side note: made Creamy Honey Dipping Sauce since I did not have ingredients for typical tempura dipping sauce. It was a wonderful choice, will use as my new “go to” dressing.

  9. Sabrina,
    So easy to make, so crispy and golden and very delicious. My husband and l were impressed. I will be making this again and including it in my keepers recipe book.
    Now I am dedicating the rest of my night to investigating your website
    Many thanks from Kelly inCanada.

  10. Batter turned out perfect, used some left-over honey dip from your Chinese Honey Chicken recipe which was fantastic with the shrimp.

    Also fried some Tilapia in the same batter and that turned out awesome as well, with Garlic Aioli for dipping.

    So overall, easily the best tempura batter I’ve tried and very versatile for different types of meat.

  11. This is the BEST Tempura Shrimp ever! I’ve been trying for more years than I care to share to find a recipe like the one my Aunt Jane used to make. Thank you – this is it!! It is crisp and light, and the tips you provided were very helpful. I prepared a Japanese Tare sauce for dipping and it was amazing.

  12. Excellent, nice and crispy, great flavor, i made a dipping sauce and used pineapple, terrific,.

  13. I had been craving shrimp tempura for days now and found this recipe. This recipe is great! The shrimp tempura came out deliciously crispy! It was easy so make, although I didn’t have club soda so I used ice cold water and still came out great! Thank you! Hit the spot!

    1. Yes though you may need to make a few adjustments. I would suggest cutting your chicken into thin strips. You may need to increase the cook time to 4-5 minutes as well. Hope this helps!

  14. What a great batter, so light and crispy. This is a little thicker than I think of for tempura batter, but it was great nonetheless . I tried it on chicken strips and I’d definitely use it for fish tacos where this would be perfect. I also did 1/2 inch coins of a small tempura without cooking first and it was just right.

  15. These shrimp tempura turned out awesome! Great recipe… I didn’t have club soda, so I used really cold beer. Delicious, crispy, and light! I had extra batter, so I made sweet potatoes, carrots, and green beans as well. Perfect! (They also reheat well in the airfryer.)

  16. I made this and it was good. I also did 1″ Swai squares and pre-steamed veggies, also good! All cooked about the same amount of time.