Fish Tempura

The Backstory: Fish tempura is one of the most delicious ways to enjoy fish and satisfy your cravings for something crunchy and savory. Oh sure, it’s fried, but frying with a tempura batter is completely different than frying with a traditional batter. Tempura is a traditional Japanese method of frying that does not rely upon breadcrumbs for a base. Therefore, it’s not as heavy or dense as most frying methods as it absorbs far less oil. Not even panko, which are Japanese breadcrumbs that are made without the crusts of bread (and pretty much the lightest of all breadcrumbs on the market) are almost as light as tempura. And that’s saying something. More of the Backstory after the recipe

Fish Tempura

This light and crisp coating fries to a golden brown and surrounds the fish in a golden coating of crunch and goodness. Serve with soy sauce or tartar sauce for a delicious meal.
Course Lunch, Main Dish
Cuisine Japanese
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 6 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 16 minutes
Servings 4 people


  • 1 cup all purpose flour sifted you can season to your taste
  • 1/4 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 2 large eggs, separated not at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup seltzer water or tap water this must be ice cold
  • 1/2-3/4 cup vegetable or canola oil not olive oil
  • 4 6 oz slices of halibut, pat dry


  1. Have all of your batter ingredients ready. Note that this recipe calls for ice cold water and that the eggs should be kept cold in the refrigerator until ready to use. You have to work fast on this part of the recipe.
  2. Mix flour, salt and egg yolks together. Gradually add water. Do not over work the batter when mixing. Batter should be smooth. Let stand for 1 hour.
  3. After 1 hour, put oil into a heavy frying pan. If using a thermometer, heat to 350 degrees. Whisk egg whites to stiff peaks or use electric mixer to beat them to stiff peaks and fold into batter. Dip fish into batter and let excess batter drip off. Fry fish pieces for about 2-3 minutes on each side. Check to make sure fish is completely fried. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
  4. Serve immediately with soy sauce or tartar sauce.

…The Backstory continues: There are many different ways to prepare tempura and this recipe takes a little longer than most, but I prefer it. Even though this recipe has relatively few ingredients, the steps do require some time and patience. That said–It is well worth the wait.  Once the tempura is done, serve with any store bought tempura dipping sauce or tartar sauce for a scrumptious meal.

Please follow and like us:
Follow by Email
Myrna Turek

Myrna Turek

I'm a domestic goddess who got my 'PhD' in Home Ec in the early 1960s. I was married for 52 years and have six grandchildren. If it were up to me, everything would be fried. Including chocolate.
Myrna Turek

Latest posts by Myrna Turek (see all)

Subscribe to
TheJewishKitchen Newsletter

Sign up for our FREE newsletter
Recipes, stories, and Inspiration for the Jewish home