Nobu’s {Not So} Secret Tempura Batter for Prized Seafood and Vegetable Tempura served with Classic Dipping Sauce

Adapted from Nobuyuki Matsuhisa's "Nobu Now" (Clarkson Potter, 2005). The secret is to pay attention to the temperature of your ingredients and making sure they stay consistent - your Tempura batter should be chilled and frying oil should be hot. A good candy thermometer is a smart investment to help you perfect this recipe.


  • Tempura Batter: 1 large egg, chilled
  • Tempura Batter: ¾ cup ice water
  • Tempura Batter: 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose or low-gluten flour, chilled
  • Tempura: 1 1-qt bottle vegetable oil, for frying
  • Tempura: All-purpose flour, for dredging
  • Tempura: 3 pounds assorted fresh seafood: Prawns, peeled, deveined, and butterflied, 1” x 2” cod filets, Alaskan king crab legs, shells removed
  • Tempura: 1 Japanese eggplant; cut ¼-inch crosswise on the bias
  • Tempura: 1 Zucchini; cut ¼-inch crosswise on the bias hearts of palm
  • Tempura: 1 small head of broccoli; washed and cut into smaller florets
  • Tempura: ½ small Kabocha squash; cut in half then deseeded, then sliced into ¼-inch crescents
  • Tempura: 1 Sweet potato; cut ¼-inch crosswise on the bias
  • Traditional Dipping Sauce
  • Traditional Dipping Sauce: 1 cup Nobu's Dashi
  • Traditional Dipping Sauce: ¼ cup soy sauce
  • Traditional Dipping Sauce: ¼ cup mirin
  • Traditional Dipping Sauce: 4” – 5” Grated daikon, for serving
  • Traditional Dipping Sauce: Minced ginger, for serving
  • Garnish: ½ red onion, halved, thinly sliced and kept in cold water
  • Garnish: ½ cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • Garnish: 3 jalapeños; deseeded, thinly sliced crosswise into rounds


  • In a Dutch oven, heat 3 ½” of vegetable oil to 355°.
  • Tempura Batter: Place all-purpose flour in a pie plate and set aside. Combine egg and iced water in a medium bowl; gradually add in flour, whisking gently until just combined. Batter will be lumpy. Make sure the temperature of ingredients is consistent.
  • Tempura Batter: Refrigerate ingredients overnight; remove from the fridge 30 minutes before preparing the batter.
  • Traditional Dipping Sauce: Combine Dashi, soy sauce, and Mirin in a small saucepan; heat until just before boiling. Remove from heat; let cool slightly.
  • Traditional Dipping Sauce: Pour into a small serving bowl; add heaping tablespoon of daikon and a small dollop of ginger.
  • Frying Tempura: Using thick-absorbent paper towels, line the baking sheet and set aside.
  • Frying Tempura: In small batches, lightly dredge pieces of seafood and vegetables in flour, dip in batter, and using a Spider Strainer, immerse seafood or vegetable in hot oil. Being careful not to overcrowd the pot, cook until lightly golden and cooked through.
  • Frying Tempura: Turn vegetable and seafood every 60-seconds, once golden brown. Transfer to a paper towel-lined baking sheet to drain. Allow oil to reheat between batches. Repeat with remaining ingredients.
  • Transfer vegetable and seafood tempura unto a serving platter, serve with traditional dipping sauce. Garnish the side of your serving platter with red onion, cilantro, and jalapeno.
  • Serve immediately with accompaniments like sweet Japanese rice and cool pickled Japanese cucumber.

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