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3 ways to make eggplant tempura served with tentsuyu tempura dipping sauce

3 Ways to Make Eggplant Tempura (ナスの天ぷら)

  • Author: Yuto Omura
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 3-4 servings


3 ways to make delicious eggplant tempura. (ナスの天ぷら) Serves 3-4 people.


  • 100ml cold water
  • 50ml sparkling water
  • 15potato starch or corn starch
  • 75g weak flour (cake flour or all purpose) + extra for dusting
  • 1/2 tbsp mayonnaise (or half a small whisked egg)
  • 2 ice cubes (optional)
  • Oil for frying (vegetable, canola, peanut or white sesame)
  • 3 Japanese eggplants (alternatives: Chinese eggplant or Italian eggplant)


  1. Measure out 100ml of water into a jug and place it in the fridge for 20-30 minutes. Place sparkling water in the fridge too. (Preferably an unopened bottle.)
  2. Sift 15g potato starch and 75g cake flour into a bowl. Mix them together and place the bowl in the fridge for 20-30 minutes.
  3. While your tempura batter ingredients are chilling, cut your eggplant according to your preferred method in the post above.
  4. If using suehiro cut or thick rounds, soak the eggplant in cold water with a sprinkle of salt for 5-10 minutes. If using thin cuts, sprinkle the surface with salt.
  5. Once your batter ingredients have been chilling in the fridge for 30 minutes, start preheating your oil to 175°C (35o°F).
  6. In a bowl (or jug), add a few tbsp of the chilled water and 1/2 tbsp of mayonnaise. Mix until well combined, this loosens up the mayo. (Alternatively, whisk a small egg in a separate bowl and add half to the water instead.)
  7. Pour the rest of the chilled water and 50ml of chilled sparkling water into the bowl.
  8. Add the flour/starch one third at a time, gently drawing crosses through the mixture with the chopsticks to incorporate it. (Do not whisk or over mix.)
  9. Test your oil by adding a drop of batter, if it sizzles and floats you're ready to fry.
  10. Add a couple of ice cubes to the batter and mix to make it extra cold. (optional)
  11. Dry the eggplant pieces with kitchen paper and coat them thin layer of flour.
  12. Dip them in the batter and then carefully place them into the oil. Make sure not to overfill the pot. (Keep the batter in the fridge between batches.)
  13. For suehiro cut or thick rounds, deep fry for about 1 minutes on each side. For thin slices, fry for 30 seconds on each side or until crispy.
  14. Once cooked, place on a wire rack to allow the excess oil to drip off.
  15. Serve and enjoy!


Enjoy eggplant tempura with tentsuyu sauce or salt.

Eggplant tempura can be eaten as a side or served on top of udon noodles, soba noodles or on top of rice (tendon/tempura donburi).

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Chilling Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: Vegetable
  • Method: Deep fry
  • Cuisine: Japanese

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