1. Food
Send to a Friend via Email
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Thai Tempura


Thai Tempura

Vegetarian Thai Tempura - Addictively Good!

This Thai version of Tempura is called "Hoi Tot" in Thailand, and is made two ways: either fried like a pancake, or deep-fried like Japanese Tempura (as in this recipe). Crispy and super-yummy, this tempura recipe will leave you craving more. Although it's fried, it is full of vegetables and fresh Thai herbs, which also makes it a healthy treat. Cook up this tempura recipe as an appetizer, brunch or side dish, or as the main event - just pair with a Thai salad on the side, and you have a complete meal! Great for a party, and it's super-easy and quick to make!

Prep Time: 8 minutes

Cook Time: 6 minutes

Total Time: 14 minutes


  • 1/2 block of medium, firm, or extra firm tofu
  • 1+1/2 cups bean sprouts
  • 3 spring onions (scallions), sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, de-seeded and chopped into small pieces
  • 1 red or green chili, minced, OR 1/2 tsp. dried crushed chili (omit if you want your tempura mild)
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped into small pieces
  • approx. 1 cup vegetable oil (such as canola) for frying
  • 1 cup regular flour OR 1+1/4 cups rice flour for gluten-free diets
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1 cup cool or cold water
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 Tbsp. Vegetarian Fish Sauce (available at Vietnamese food stores), OR substitute 1.5 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • handful of fresh coriander (cilantro)
  • Thai Sweet Chili Sauce for dipping (available at most grocery stores, and all Asian/Chinese food stores)


For more information about cooking with tofu, see: How to Buy & Cook Tofu.

  1. Drain and cut the tofu into very small cubes. You should have about 1 cup. Another Option: you can also omit the tofu, and simply make this tempura with more of the vegetables listed.
  2. Prepare the vegetables.
  3. Now prepare the tempura batter. Stir the flour, corn starch, baking powder, and sugar together. Then add the water, eggs, and fish sauce. Stir until smooth. (If necessary, use a whisk to smooth out larger lumps - don't worry if there are a few small lumps.)
  4. Add the tofu and vegetables plus chili, gently stirring everything together.
  5. Heat oil in a wok or frying pan over medium-high heat. To make sure oil is hot enough, dip your spoon in the batter and drop a little into the oil. If the batter sizzles and cooks, the oil is ready.
  6. Now ladle some of the tempura batter (with tofu & veggies) into the oil. You can make your tempura "pancakes" as large or small as you like, depending on how much batter you use at one time (smaller, thinner pancakes cook faster and better).
  7. Allow to fry 30 seconds or so. When the pancake begins to look crusty around the outside and is quite firm, it's time to flip it. Using tongs (or tongs and a spatula), carefully turn the tempura pancake over in the oil to cook the other side. Do this gently so the oil doesn't splatter.
  8. The tempura pancake is done when both sides are light golden brown. Remove the pancake from the oil and leave to drain on an absorbant kitchen towel or paper towel.
  9. Repeat until all the batter and other ingredients are used up.
  10. Place the tempura pancakes on a plate (on a bed of lettuce, if you want to make this dish look extra special). Sprinkle fresh coriander over, and serve while hot with Thai Sweet Chili Sauce, or regular chili sauce. Enjoy!!
Related Video
How to Make Vegetable Tempura

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.