Among the Japanese fried dishes, the tempura batter especially sucks oil a lot. That is why the temperature of the oil has a great effect on the texture of tempura.
Even when the same term of tempura was used, the optimum oil temperature differs depending on the ingredient.
So, let’s see what kind of ingredients are suitable for each oil temperature.
And I will talk about “how to determine the temperature of oil without measuring” in the end, so please check it out!
By the way, I highly recommend to use plenty of oil. If you fry in a small amount of oil, the temperature will not rise sufficiently and the tempura would become not crispy but greasy.
Low Temperature（360°F〜338°F / 160～170℃）
Leaves such as shiso (Japanese basil / perilla leaves) are thin, so they will be cooked quickly even at low temperatures.
Also, high temperature oil may burn the beautiful green of those ingredients including shiso and green pepper, so please cook them at lower temperature to keep the color bright and nice.
Additionally, vegetables that contain a lot of starch, such as potatoes and lotus roots, take time to cook, so they should be deep-fried at low temperatures.
Medium Temperature（338°F〜356°F / 170～180℃）
Generally, kakiage* and vegetables other than root vegetables should be deep-fried at medium temperature.
*Kakiage is a kind of tempura where several kinds of seafood and vegetables are deep-fried in batter.
High Temperature（356°F〜374°F / 180～190℃）
Sometimes various seafoods are put in kakiage. And, chicken and pork tempura is also papular among Japanese. At those time, you should cook them at higher temperature since seafoods and meat harden when fried for a long time.
How to determine the temperature of oil without measuring
In order to determine the temperature of the oil without measuring, please put a drop of batter in heated oil. Then, observe how the batter behaves.
・Low temperature The batter sinks to the bottom of the pot and slowly rises.
・Medium temperature The batter sinks to the middle of the pot and rises.
・High temperature The batter sinks halfway through the pot and immediately floats.
How was the tips about the temperature for delicious tempura?
You don’t need to measure, but just try to check the batter motion to determine the optimum temperature when cooking tempura at home!
Click here to see more about tips for making tempura.
7 Secrets To Perfect Tempura