Japanese Tempura, Fondue Style

Updated February 23, 2016



Published by Chronicle

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

Many of us have eaten these classic Japanese fritters as appetizers, but cooked in the fondue pot, tempura also makes a stellar main course. For each guest, you will want about 6 to 8 ounces of seafood and 8 ounces of assorted vegetables.

Makes4 servings

Cooking Methodfrying



Total Timeunder 30 minutes

OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Family Get-together

Recipe Coursemain course


Taste and Texturecrisp, savory


  • 12 medium raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 12 sea scallops
  • 6 ounces boneless, skinless firm white fish, such as halibut or sea bass, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 squid, cleaned and cut into 1-inch strips (optional)
  • 8 ounces asparagus, cut diagonally into 1½-inch lengths
  • 1 green or yellow zucchini, cut diagonally into ¼-inch lengths
  • 16 snow peas, ends trimmed
  • 8 small white or brown cremini mushrooms, trimmed
  • 1 red bell pepper, halved, seeded, deribbed, and cut into ½-inch strips
  • Canola or peanut oil for the fondue pot
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1½ cups ice water
  • Pickled ginger (about ¼ cup)
  • Ponzu
  • Sesame-Cilantro Sauce
  • and/or Tomato Cocktail Sauce


Arrange the seafood and vegetables on a platter at the table, and set out the sauces and pickled ginger in small bowls.

To make the batter: In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, salt, and baking soda. In a separate medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks together with the ice water. Then whisk the egg mixture into the flour mixture. Set the bowl of batter on the table with the seafood and vegetables, Provide each diner with a pair of heat-proof chopsticks.

Fill a metal fondue pot one-third full with oil and heat the oil to 375°F, or until a cube of bread browns in 30 seconds. Diners dip a piece of seafood or vegetable into the batter, then drop it gently into the hot oil. When the batter is creamy or pale beige—not golden brown—it is ready Have diners dab the fried food onto a paper towel to drain off the excess oil, then dip it into the sauces. Accompany with pickled ginger.



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