Crunchy Vegan Tempura recipe for guilt-free indulgence

Welcome to my vegan tempura recipe! If you have been searching for a delicious and healthy version of this Japanese dish that is usually made with seafood like shrimp, then you are in the right place. My vegan tempura is 100% cruelty-free and packed with flavor and texture that will make your tastebuds dance.

I know that some people might think that vegan tempura could never compare to the real thing when it comes to taste and crispiness, but trust me on this one. The secret to perfect vegan tempura lies in the batter. I have spent countless hours perfecting my recipe for batter that is easy, crispy, and stays put throughout the frying process.

Whether you are a vegan looking for something new and exciting, or just want to try a healthier version of this classic Japanese dish, my vegan tempura recipe has got you covered. So let’s get started and whip up a batch of deliciousness that will impress even your most skeptical foodie friends.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Vegan Tempura
Vegan Tempura

Vegan Tempura Recipe – Easy, crispy and healthy! What’s not to love about this flavorful tempura? As a vegan chef, I have always been passionate about creating delectable vegan dishes for everyone to enjoy. This vegan tempura recipe is no exception.

There are so many reasons why you’ll fall in love with this recipe. Firstly, it’s a vegan twist on the classic Japanese dish made entirely without seafood like shrimp that is usually used in the traditional recipe. Instead, we have used a combination of fresh and colorful vegetables that will not only tantalize your taste buds but also add an extra dose of nutrients to your diet.

Secondly, the batter is super easy to make with just a few pantry staples like all-purpose flour, baking powder, cornstarch and soda water or even beer if you prefer. It’s light and airy which creates an irresistible crispy texture when fried. Plus, it can be made gluten-free by using rice flour or any gluten-free flour of your choice.

Thirdly, this recipe does not require any fancy equipment or advanced cooking skills. All you need is a medium bowl, a hand whisk, and some ice-cold sparkling water or beer! Simply mix all the ingredients together in a bowl and gradually whisk in the liquid until your tempura batter is smooth and lump-free.

Lastly, for all those who want to indulge in deep-fried foods without feeling guilty will adore this recipe as it uses Air Fryer instead of oil-frying which makes it much healthier without compromising on flavor or texture.

So whether you’re trying to impress guests at a party, looking for a quick dinner option or wanting to switch up your typical vegetable intake – This Vegan Tempura recipe will surely become one of your favorite go-to recipes! Try pairing it with simple dipping sauce made with soy sauce, sesame oil, and green onions or simply use with some Panko crusted rolls as Jamie Oliver suggests.

Let me tell you – this Vegan Tempura has won fans time after time again including famous celebrities such as Jessica Chastain who loves vegetable tempura rolls or followers who search for egg-free recipes on Yummly… So why wait? Let’s get cooking!

Ingredient List

 Golden, crispy, and oh so satisfying!
Golden, crispy, and oh so satisfying!

Before starting with the recipe, let’s take a look at the list of ingredients needed to make this delicious vegan tempura. To get the best results, be sure to use quality, fresh ingredients.

These are the ingredients you will need:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup rice flour (for a gluten-free version)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ⅛ tsp cayenne (optional)
  • ½ cup cornstarch
  • 1 ¾ cups soda water or sparkling water (or beer if you prefer)
  • 2 tbsp bean water (aquafaba) or vodka (optional, for extra crispiness and lightness)
  • sesame oil or other vegetable oil, for frying

For a flavorful dipping sauce, you can mix together 4 tbsp soy sauce, 4 tbsp rice vinegar, 1 tbsp sesame oil, and 1/2 tsp grated ginger.

Now that you have all the ingredients handy, let’s jump into the recipe!

The Recipe How-To

 A delicious and cruelty-free twist on a classic Japanese dish.
A delicious and cruelty-free twist on a classic Japanese dish.

Now that we have gathered all the necessary ingredients, it is time to start cooking! In this section, I will take you through every step required in making this delicious Vegan Tempura Recipe.

Step 1: Prepare the Batter

In a medium bowl, we will start by combining 1 cup of all-purpose flour and ½ cup of rice flour. These two types of flour provide a delicate and light batter for your tempura. To this mixture, add 2 tbsp of cornstarch, 1 tsp of baking powder, 1 tsp of salt, and a pinch of cayenne pepper.

Gradually whisk in cold soda water, and or sparkling water, or even beer until ingredients have combined but do not overmix the batter (it’s okay if there are still some lumps). If you want a gluten-free version (or if you’re out of all-purpose flour), you can use gluten-free flour instead. Another great replacement is using the bean water from canned chickpeas known as aquafaba instead of eggs.

An essential tip in making a perfect tempura batter is keeping it ice-cold. Either add some ice into the batter or place the bowl in the fridge to keep it cold.

Step 2: Prepare Your Vegetables And Mushrooms

Choose your favorite vegetables for the tempura. Cut the vegetables into similar sizes, so they cook evenly. Thick slices work best as long as they are not too big or overcut. Popular choices include sweet potato fries, onion rings, brussel sprouts, green beans, carrot sticks, bell pepper strips, broccoli florets or cauliflower bites. Don’t forget to wash and dry them before slicing!

Trim off any stems from the mushrooms you will be using (such as shiitake mushrooms) and clean them gently with a damp paper towel.

Step 3: Preheat Oil

Pour enough oil into a large pot to submerge vegetables for cooking about 2 – 3 inches deep. Heat over medium heat until it reaches around 350°F – 375°F (180°C – 190°C). Using an electric air fryer may be an alternative option nowadays as well.

Step 4: Coat Vegetables and Mushrooms with Batter

When ready to serve, dip each slice of vegetable or mushroom in the prepared tempura batter one by one allowing any excess batter to drip off. You can also pat them lightly with kitchen paper to remove any excess moisture.

Step 5: Fry The Vegetables And Mushrooms

Gently lower each piece into the hot oil using tongs so that they stay separate when frying.

Cook for 3 -5 minutes until golden brown on each side and tender inside; monitor continuously for perfect results. It’s always good practice to fry only one or two at first to work out needed time/temp settings before adding more pieces.

Place fried vegetables/mushrooms on paper towels or kitchen

Substitutions and Variations

 You won't believe this tempura is vegan!
You won’t believe this tempura is vegan!

Are you looking to switch things up, or just need some adjustments based on dietary or personal preferences? Look no further than these simple substitutions and variations to make this vegan tempura batter your own.

Gluten-free? Swap out the all-purpose flour for rice flour or gluten-free flour baking powder. You can also use sparkling water or soda water instead of beer for a gluten-free version.

Vegetable tempura is another popular variation of this dish that doesn’t include seafood. Some vegetables that work great with this recipe include eggplant, mushrooms, sweet potatoes and zucchini. Simply slice them thin and coat them with the tempura batter before frying for a crispy, flavorful result.

For a little extra heat, add cayenne pepper to the batter. Or if you prefer a milder spice level, omit it altogether. You can also add other seasoning and spices like paprika or garlic powder to suit your tastes.

Prefer a healthier option? Try air frying instead of deep frying for an oil-free version of this easy crispy recipe.

And finally, don’t forget the dipping sauce! Popular options include soy sauce mixed with sesame oil and rice vinegar or your favorite vegan tempura sauce. The possibilities are endless when it comes to customizing this dish. Get creative and have fun experimenting with different ingredients and variations until you find your perfect version of the best tempura recipe out there!

Serving and Pairing

 Get your chopsticks ready for this mouth-watering goodness!
Get your chopsticks ready for this mouth-watering goodness!

Now that you’ve created this delicious vegan tempura recipe, it’s time to think about how to serve and pair it. The crispy, golden exterior of the tempura batter pairs perfectly with a variety of dipping sauces, making it a versatile dish for any meal or occasion.

One classic dipping sauce for vegetable tempura is soy sauce with a dash of sesame oil and rice vinegar. For a spicier version, add some sliced scallions and chili flakes. You can also try making your own tempura sauce by mixing together soy sauce, dashi stock, mirin, sugar and grated daikon radish.

If you’re serving this as an appetizer at a party or gathering, consider pairing it with some refreshing summer cocktails like mojitos or daiquiris. Or if you’re looking for a heartier meal, try serving it alongside rice bowls topped with sautéed shiitake mushrooms and edamame.

For a unique twist on the traditional sushi roll, try creating your own tempura rolls by wrapping crispy vegetable tempura inside nori sheets along with avocado, cucumber or pickled ginger. This is sure to impress any sushi lover in your life.

Overall, this vegan tempura recipe is an easy and versatile dish that can be served and paired in many different ways. So get creative and experiment with different flavors and ingredients to find your favorite combinations.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 The perfect appetizer or side dish for any meal.
The perfect appetizer or side dish for any meal.

Congratulations! You’ve mastered the art of making vegan tempura, and now you want to know how to store and reheat it. No problem, I’ve got you covered with all the tips and tricks you need.

Firstly, let’s talk about storing your leftover tempura batter. If you don’t use all the batter immediately, transfer it into an airtight container or a Ziploc bag and store it in the fridge for up to two days. Before using it again, give the batter a good stir as it may have settled.

Once you’ve fried up your delicious tempura vegetables or mushrooms, you can keep them in the fridge for up to two days as well. Place them on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb any excess oil and cover with cling wrap or place them in an airtight container.

To reheat your tempura, preheat your oven to 350°F and place your leftovers on a wire rack set over a baking sheet. This will help them get crispy again without getting soggy. Heat in the oven for 5-10 minutes until hot and crispy.

Alternatively, you can also use an air fryer for reheating leftover tempura. Preheat your air fryer to 375°F, arrange your tempura on the cooking tray or basket in a single layer, and spray lightly with oil. Heat for 2-3 minutes until hot and crispy.

Remember not to reheat your tempura more than once as this will make it lose its texture and flavor.

In conclusion, vegan tempura is easy to make ahead of time and store properly. With these tips, you’ll be able to keep it fresh, crispy and delicious even when reheated. Make sure you try different dipping sauces too!

Tips for Perfect Results

 Light and airy batter that won't weigh you down.
Light and airy batter that won’t weigh you down.

Making vegan tempura can be a bit tricky, but don’t worry! With these tips, you’ll get the perfect and crispy tempura every time.

1. Keep it ice-cold: The key ingredient in any tempura recipe is cold sparkling water or soda water. Make sure to keep it refrigerated until use. Also, refrigerate your mixing bowl and utensils beforehand.

2. The batter: For a lighter and crisper coating, use a mixture of all-purpose flour, cornstarch, rice flour, baking powder, salt, and cayenne pepper. Whisk the ingredients together and add ice-cold soda water to make the batter.

3. Be patient: Do not overmix the batter as it could become too thick and heavy. In fact, lumps are good; they create air pockets which allow for a lighter texture.

4. Dip delicately: When dipping vegetables or other ingredients in the batter, do it lightly so as not to coat them too much or they will get greasy.

5. Frying time: Fry only 2-3 pieces at a time so that the oil temperature remains consistent. If you add too many at once, the oil temperature will drop, resulting in a greasy and soggy coating.

6. Drain: Once fried to perfection, place your veggies or other ingredients on a wire rack or paper towels to drain excess oil before serving.

7. Air fryer: For a healthier version of this recipe try using an air fryer. Preheat your air fryer to 390°F (200°C) for 10 minutes then spray with cooking spray or lightly brush some oil onto the basket’s surface before adding your tempura veggies.

8. Serve hot with dipping sauce: My favourite dipping sauce for veggie tempura is simply soy sauce mixed with sesame oil and topped with spring onions or coriander for decoration purposes.

By following these tips and mastering the art of vegan tempura making, you’ll impress your dinner guests with easy crispy tempura vegetables in no time!


As we come towards the end of this vegan tempura recipe article, let’s take a moment to answer some frequently asked questions about vegan and gluten-free tempura batter. Whether you are new to cooking or just experimenting with a vegan diet, these questions and answers will offer you an insight into this delicious and crispy recipe. Let’s dive in!

What is vegan tempura batter made of?

To start, grab a small bowl and pour in some chilled aquafaba. With a handy whisk, beat the aquafaba until it becomes frothy. Next, mix in some sparkling water that has been sitting in the fridge, followed by cornflour, rice flour, and baking soda. Keep whisking the batter until it reaches a smooth, runny consistency similar to crepes.

What can I use instead of egg for tempura?

In this recipe, we have substituted the traditional eggs used in tempura with a special ingredient that you may have never guessed – aquafaba! This versatile liquid, which can be found in a can of chickpeas, has gained popularity in vegan cooking as a substitute for eggs. We will be using this magical bean water to give our tempura batter a fluffy texture, similar to the effect of egg whites.

What is vegan tempura?

The dish known as vegetable tempura, originating from Japan, typically features seafood such as shrimp that has been coated and deep-fried alongside vegetables. However, in this recipe, a vegan version will be created exclusively with plant-based ingredients.

Can I substitute flour for tempura?

There are various alternatives to tempura flour that can be used to achieve a crispy texture and are also healthier due to lower calorie content and added nutritional value. These substitutes include all-purpose flour, rice flour, potato starch, cornstarch, and gluten-free flour blend.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, if you’re looking for a delicious, easy-to-make vegan tempura recipe that is crispy and healthy, look no further. With the perfect blend of cornstarch, all-purpose flour, and soda water, you can easily recreate the traditional Japanese dish at home without any seafood.

This recipe offers numerous variations for both veggie and mushroom tempura, making it suitable for all types of diets. You can also adjust the heat level with cayenne or soy sauce to your liking. Furthermore, it’s easy to store and reheat, making it a great option for meal prep.

Whether you’re a fan of Jamie Oliver’s recipes or Jessica Chastain’s vegan diet, this vegan tempura recipe is sure to satisfy your taste buds without compromising your dietary preferences. Be adventurous and serve it with your favorite dipping sauce or pair it with some panko-crusted shrimp for an Asian-inspired feast.

So go ahead and give this vegan tempura recipe a try! You might just be surprised by how easy and delicious it is.

Vegan Tempura

Vegan Tempura Recipe

This is an egg-free tempura batter recipe that is fantastic and very easy. Use your favorite veggies. We like mushrooms, onions, green beans, peppers, etc. Serve with your favorite dipping sauces!
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Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Calories 102.1 kcal


  • 1 cup soda water or 1 cup beer
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup rice flour
  • 1/2 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt


  • Sift the flour, baking powder and cornstarch into a medium bowl. Stir in 1 cup of the soda water, the salt, and cayenne. Allow to rest for a few minutes. (Additional soda water may be needed to adjust thickness).
  • Dip your diced veggies into the mixture to coat them. Fry in oil heated at 375* F until golden brown, about 3-5 minutes.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 69gCalories: 102.1kcalCarbohydrates: 22.4gProtein: 2gFat: 0.3gSaturated Fat: 0.1gSodium: 681.2mgFiber: 0.7gSugar: 0.1g
Keyword < 15 Mins, Asian, Deep Fried, Easy, Healthy, Japanese, Low Cholesterol, Low Protein, Vegan, Vegetable
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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