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Prawn tempura


  • 8 large raw green prawns, peeled and de-veined

  • For the tempura batter

  • Vegetable oil for frying (approx 1 litre)

  • 1 large free-range egg yolk

  • 150ml  (1/4 pt) iced water

  • 150g (5 oz) flour, sieved, plus extra for dredging

  • For the sweet chilli sauce (makes 600ml)

  • 6 small red chillies, deseeded

  • 4 red peppers, seeded and roughly chopped

  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed

  • 1 tblsp ginger, grated

  • 2 shallots, roughly chopped

  • 30ml (1 fl oz) fish sauce (nam pla)

  • 400g (14 oz) tinned chopped tomatoes and juice

  • 225g (8 oz) soft dark brown sugar

  • 100ml (3½ fl oz) sherry vinegar


  • For the tempura prawns:

  • 1.

    Heat the oil to 190ºC/375ºF. Dredge the prawns in some flour to coat. Make the batter as you are waiting for the oil to heat.

  • 2.

    In a mixing bowl, lightly beat the egg yolk, then add the iced water and give this a very slight mix then add the flour. Mix with a fork a few times until the ingredients are loosely combined. The batter should be very lumpy. If you over-mix the batter will be sticky and the coating will turn out oily and heavy.

  • 3.

    Drop the floured prawns into the batter and then immediately into the oil. Allow to cook for 1 minute or until the batter is beginning to turn golden brown. Remove and drain on kitchen paper.

  • 4.

    Repeat with the remaining prawns serve immediately with the sweet chilli sauce (below).

  • For the sweet chilli sauce:

  • 1.

    Place the chillies, peppers, garlic, ginger, shallot, fish sauce and tomatoes in a food processor and blend until smooth. Put the puree with the sugar and vinegar in a saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring from time to time.

  • 2.

    Reduce heat and simmer for 40-60 minutes until thick. Stir regularly, especially in the latter stages of cooking.

  • 3.

    Strain through a fine sieve. Bottle in warm sterilised jars. Allow to cool, then refrigerate. Will keep for 2 weeks.

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