5 Basic Ways to Eat Tempura in Japan

Tempura is one of the best-recognized Japanese foods.

It is made from one piece of food material covered with flour batter, deep-fried in plenty of oil. And the typical ingredients prepared are seafood, vegetables, and mushrooms.

If you have a chance to enjoy traditional Japanese course dinner “Kaiseki” at Japanese restaurants, the menu usually includes Tempura.

And it is often served with a dipping sauce called “Tentsuyu (天つゆ)“.

How to Eat Tempura

Japanese people not only savor Tempura at restaurants, but we also make the dish at home.

Unlike having Tempura in the restaurant, the eating manner of Tempura at home varies depending on each person and the household.

Nonetheless, there are some basic ways of eating Tempura favored by many, and today for beginners, I will introduce them.

With Salt

Prawn Tempura with Matcha Salt

Many Japanese people like to eat Tempura with salt.

In many cases, we sprinkle plain salt on it, but one recommended way is to use Matcha Salt that contains Matcha green tea powder.

In fact, some traditional Japanese restaurants serve Tempura with green tea salt.

Dip in Ponzu Sauce

Tempura with Ponzu Sauce

Some Japanese like eating Tempura dipping in Ponzu sauce made with citrus fruit juice, soy sauce, and brewed vinegar.

This way of eating is recommended if you want to give Tempura a refreshing taste. Also, it is good to add grated daikon radish to the sauce.

Dress Worcester Sauce

Oyster Tempura served with Worcester Sauce
Dressing Japanese Worcestershire sauce is one of the most common eating ways of Tempura in Japan.

Especially, the brown sauce is the best match for deep-fried oysters and prawns.

Dip in Tentsuyu Sauce

Tempura with Tentsuyu Sauce

Also, dipping in Tentsuyu sauce is one of the most basic ways to eat Tempura.

The dipping sauce Tentsuyu is made with soy sauce, mirin, and dashi stock, as shown in the recipe below from cookpad.com.

Tentsuyu Sauce Recipe (1 serving)
Ingredient Quantity
Soy sauce 1/2 tablespoon
Mirin 1/2 tablespoon
Hondashi powder A small amount
Water 2 tablespoons
  1. Put all the ingredients in a small bowl.
  2. Microwave the liquid for about 30 seconds.
  3. Enjoy Tempura with the Tentsuyu sauce!

Drizzle Shoyu (Soy Sauce)

Tempura with Soy Sauce

It is said that the origin of Tempura can be traced back to over 300 years ago when people ate it with Shoyu or soy sauce.

And even now, many of us Japanese love the traditional way of eating Tempura.


Hi, I'm Tomo, a Japanese blogger living in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. For the purpose of enriching your life, I would like to introduce things about Japan on this blog, especially unique Japanese products, cooking recipes, cultures, and facts and trivia.

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