5 Principal Types of Tempura

Tempura is a typical Japanese cuisine consisting of vegetables or seafood that is deep fried. It is eaten with a special sauce or with salt. Here you are going to learn typical kinds of tempura.


Small fish, shrimp, and eel are very popular. People prefer to use whitefish to red fish for tempura. These kinds of tempura are used as side dish as well.


Even though seafood is much popular as animal protein for tempura, meat is also used. For example, “Toriten” is a tempura chicken eaten with ponzu*1 and it is very famous as a cuisine from Oita. Sometimes people also cook sliced pork as tempura.


Many kinds of vegetables are used for tempura. People use vegetables like carrot, lotus root, eggplant, sweet potato, mushroom, onion, asparagus, bell pepper, and shishito pepper because they have tough textures and low water content. On the other hand, vegetables that contain a lot of water like spinach, mustard spinach, cabbage, lettuce, mung bean sprout and radish are not used very much.


Kakiage is a type of tempura consisting of many kinds of vegetables and fish have been cooked all together. You can eat it as main dish, or as a topping of Japanese noodles or rice.


There are many other popular items to fry as tempura such as half boiled eggs, corn, crab stick, and chikuwa*2. Tempura has various types depending on the area. For example, you can eat tempura of pickled ginger in Kansai area and tempura of burdock root in Kyushu area.


 Tempura is a Japanese cuisine that has various fillings and ways to enjoy. You can eat it not only alone, but also as a topping of noodles or rice and with salt or a specific sauce.

*1 ponzu is a Japanese citrus and soy sauce based watery sauce

*2 chikuwa is a Japanese food product made from processed fish.  

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