Tempura is battered and deep-fried seafood and vegetables. It is one of the most famous Japanese foods outside Japan, maybe after Sushi. Regular Tempura uses wheat flour, but here we tried our Tempura with gluten free ingredients in this recipe so that people on a gluten free diet can also enjoy this traditional and delicious dish. It is surprisingly crispy, and easy to make at home.
In the last ten years or so, gluten free diets have become very popular in the US as the population with wheat allergies has grown. Gluten free diet foods were only for people who were allergic or intolerant of wheat products at first, but it has become almost like a healthy food for everyone today. You can easily access a lot of gluten free prepared foods at supermarkets such as bread and sweets as well as ingredients like gluten free flours. Gluten free diets seemed like a fad at first, but it looks like it is staying and becoming another way of eating.
You could buy gluten free flour at stores (which contains mainly rice flour), but we made our own here. It is a combination of rice flour, potato starch (Katakuriko), and tapioca flour. (Of course, this is our recipe and may not be suitable for all people and conditions. Please adjust or substitute as needed depending on your allergy and health concerns.) Those flours actually work quite well to make Tempura batter. When wheat flour is used (cake flour, which is less glutenous) for Tempura, the batter should not be mixed very much at all so that it doesn’t develop gluten. This Tempura batter without gluten fries very crispy without any effort.
All the basics for Gluten Free Tempura are the same as regular Tempura, so please watch our Tempura video and read the article if you’re not familiar with how to make it. You can make a dipping sauce if simple salt doesn’t do it for you. We have our Mentsuyu recipe, and just dilute it with two parts water. Or you can find bottled Mentsuyu at Asian or local markets.
Gluten Free Tempura is great for people on a particular diet but also for the rest of us. You will love the crispy texture. Try this one next time you make Tempura at home!
- vegetables such as green beans, eggplants, and sweet potatoes
- 1/2 cup rice flour
- 1/3 cup potato starch (Katakuriko)
- 1/4 cup tapioca flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup (180ml) ice water
- frying oil
- 1/3 cup Mentsuyu
- 2/3 cup water
- Cut vegetables into 1/4" thick slices. Make diagonal cuts on shrimp to help straighten.
- In a bowl, mix all the flour (rice flour, potato starch, tapioca flour), baking powder, and salt. Add ice water and whisk well.
- Heat oil to very high temperature (180C or 375F). Dip vegetables and shrimp in batter, and deep fry until they float and are cooked through.
- Serve with Tempura Sauce or salt.