What Is Tempura Flour and Why Should You Use It?

How does Japanese make tempura at home?

When you try to make tempura at home, the first thing you worry about is maybe tempura batter.

In fact, there is a special powder for making tempura called tempura flour (tempura-ko).

Although there are some ways to make tempura without this powder, I am closing in on the secret behind tempura flour here!

First of all, let me explain what exactly is tempura before talking about tempura flour.

What Exactly Is Tempura?

To make tempura, you need to attach a mixture of flour, water, eggs, etc. to the material as a batter. After that, it’s deep-fried in hot oil until crispy.

The surface of the tempura is heated with hot oil, but the material is heated while wrapped in batter. In other words, the material does not come into direct contact with hot oil, and it is in a “steamed” in the batter.

On the other hand, because the surface of the batter is in direct contact with the oil, excess water is removed by being heated at a high temperature, and it becomes crispy and fragrant.

Tempura is the dish that you can lock in the umami and the scent of the material by wearing batters, and condense the deliciousness.

What Are the Necessary Condition for Delicious Tempura

1. The batter is crispy and has a light texture.
2. The material is juicy without missing umami.
3. The material and batter are savory with the umami of oil.

In order to meet these necessary conditions, you will need the appropriate temperature setting and frying technique. Most importantly, it depends a lot on the batter.

By using the special powder “tempura flour”, even people with low skills can easily fry crispy tempura.

Finally, I will focus on the contents of the tempura flour in the next section.

What Is Tempura Flour Made of?

The ingredients for tempura flour are as follows.

・Egg powder (whole egg powder, egg yolk powder, and egg white powder)
・Baking powder
・Coloring matter

Why do these ingredients make delicious tempura?

Let’s look at characteristics of each material!


It’s mainly cake flour. It forms gluten when mixed with water. Tempura will not be crispy if there is too much gluten, therefore, cake flour which is low in protein is mainly used for tempura batter.

Egg powder

Egg powder can add egg flavor to the batter. Moreover, it has the effect of improving the mouthfeel.


Adding starch reduces the amount of protein in the whole tempura flour. That makes it harder to make gluten, and makes the tempura more crispy.

Baking powder

By dissolving baking powder in water and generating carbon dioxide, the tempura batter is beautifully attached.

Coloring matter

By adding a beautiful yellow color to the batter, you can make the tempura look even more delicious.


Emulsifier makes it easier to drain excess water in the batter. Therefore, it can finish the batter with a long-lasting crispness over time.

How Do You Use Tempura Flour?

You can make great tempura batter just by dissolving it in water according to the amount written on the package. No need to worry about how to mix or prepare cold water!

What Can I Use Instead of Tempura Flour?

If you can’t find any tempura flour at stores near you, there are some alternatives.

[Eggless] How To Make Tempura Flour from Scratch

8 Ways to Make Tempura Batter (Recipe)

Tips for Making Perfect Tempura

7 Secrets To Perfect Tempura

What Temperature Do You Cook Tempura?

In Conclusion

How was the secret of tempura flour?

Please try to use tempura flour if you can find the one at Asian or Japanese grocery stores.

I introduced it as a special powder for tempura. However, you can actually use it when making okonomiyaki and sweets too.
So, please feel free to buy a bag. If left over, it can be used for other dishes!

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