gluten-free tempura

The secret to traditional tempura batter is adding a bit of baking powder so that the panko batter rises a bit during cooking. In my version I replace the panko with gluten-free brown rice flour, which is full of minerals and fiber, and use my special technique to get the vegetables perfectly cooked on the inside, and the batter crunchy and fluffy on the outside.

I’ve been making a lot of tempura lately, and hope you do enjoy this quick recipe!


gluten-free tempura

Serves 3-4
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 15 minutes
Total time 25 minutes
Dietary Corn Free, Dairy Free, Diabetic, Gluten Free, Lactose Free, Nut Free, Soy Free, Vegetarian
Meal type Appetizer, Lunch, Main Dish, Side Dish, Snack, Starter
Misc Child Friendly, Freezable, Pre-preparable, Serve Hot
Region Japanese


  • 2 cups your vegetable of choice (as in, 1 head of broccoli, 2-3 carrots, 2 sweet potatos, etc.)
  • 2/3 cups brown rice flour
  • 1/3 cup potato starch (if you don't like or don't have starch, you can use all rice flour)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder (make sure it's gluten-free!)
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 eggs (for vegan, use 3/4 cup dairy-free milk)


Step 1 Cut your vegetable or thing-to-be-tempura-ed into desired sized pieces.
Step 2 Cook the vegetable in a steam basket (I like the bamboo ones you find in Asian markets, but any steam contraption will do). Cook until al dente, not more.
Step 3 Meanwhile, mix together all dry ingredients in a medium bowl. In another medium bowl, whisk eggs.
Step 4 Set up your assembly line with the egg bowl on the left, the flour bowl in the middle, and an empty plate or bowl on the right.
Step 5 Make your tempura! Thus, dip the cooked vegetable in the eggs, shake off excess, dip in flour, coat completely, then set aside in a clean bowl. Finish with remainder of vegetables.
Step 6 Fry them! To fry, heat up your desired oil (I use olive oil, but you can use canola or a neutral oil) in a saucepan over medium heat, not more. Once warm, add tempura with no overlap. This could take several batches. If you add too much at a time it will steam and not get crunchy. Cook on all sides until golden, remove from oil, and let excess oil soak off onto a paper towel or towel.
Step 7 Serve warm with your favorite dipping sauce. I use tamari with a bit of powdered wasabi and cayenne pepper mixed in. 🙂

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