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3 ways to make Japanese sweet potato tempura

Japanese Sweet Potato Tempura (さつま芋の天ぷら)

  • Author: Yuto Omura
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 3-4 portions


How to make Japanese sweet potato tempura. (さつま芋の天ぷら) Serves 3-4


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


  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, wash the surface of your sweet potato, cut off the ends and slice according to your preferred method from the post above. (Thin rounds, thick rounds or sticks/wedges.) Make sure every piece has some skin left on. (If using thick rounds, cut a shallow cross pattern on the front and back of each piece.)
  4. Soak the cut pieces in cold water for 10 minutes.
  5. Once your batter ingredients have been chilling in the fridge for 30 minutes, start preheating your oil to 160°C (32o°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 to the water 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 sweet potato 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 or freezer between batches.)
  13. For thin rounds or sticks fry for 4-5 minutes, turning over half way through. For thick slices, fry for 6-7 minutes or until you can easily pierce the centre with a skewer.
  14. Once cooked, place on a wire rack to allow the excess oil to drip off.
  15. Serve and enjoy!


You can enjoy sweet potato tempura with tentsuyu dipping sauce or salt.

Sweet potato tempura can be eaten as a side or served on top of udon noodlessoba noodles or on top of rice (tendon/tempura donburi).

If you make the stick type, sweet potato tempura sushi rolls are also gaining popularity online and are a great sushi option for vegetarians!

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

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