Is Tempura Cooked Sushi?

Sushi is one of the most popular Japanese dishes – not only in Japan but all around the world. It comes in different flavors and forms, and one of the most popular options is tempura rolls. As its incredible taste fascinates everyone, people started to wonder – is tempura cooked sushi?

Tempura is not a type of cooked sushi. The main difference is that tempura is a batter-based dish, while cooked sushi is not. Tempura is made by dipping ingredients such as vegetables and seafood into butter and frying them before they are served. While cooked sushi relishes on natural flavors of the seafood and vegetables, forming incredible texture and providing a delicious taste.

Sushi served in different forms

Considering the fact that Tempura is so popular around the world, there are many different versions of it, but most of them include cooked shrimp tempura, which is one of the main ingredients. This is why this type of dish is often mixed up with sushi, and some people think it is cooked. However, even though the main recipe does include raw fish, they are not the same thing.

What Are the Main Differences Between Tempura and Sushi?

Sushi and tempura are both Japanese dishes that are popular around the world, but they are quite different from each other. As already mentioned, sushi is made with vinegared rice and raw fish, while tempura is battered and fried seafood or vegetables. However, there are some other key differences between these two dishes, including texture, flavor, and appearance.

  • Texture – One of the main differences between sushi and tempura is texture. Sushi is typically soft and slightly chewy, while tempura is crisp and crunchy. This difference in texture is due to the way the two dishes are prepared. Sushi is made by hand-rolling vinegared rice and raw fish into small balls or cylinders, while tempura is made by coating seafood or vegetables in a light batter and deep-frying them.
  • Flavor – Another key difference between sushi and tempura is flavor. The flavor of sushi comes primarily from the fish, while the flavor of tempura comes from the batter. The vinegar in the sushi rice can also add a slightly acidic flavor. Tempura batter is usually made with wheat flour, water, egg, and salt, which gives it a subtle savory flavor.
  • Appearance – Sushi and tempura also differ in appearance. Sushi is often brightly colored due to the different types of fish that are used. Tempura, on the other hand, has a light golden color from the batter.

There you have it, understanding these differences can help you choose the right dish for your taste preferences.

Sushi rolls, wasabi, and pickled ginger on a black plate, chopsticks and soy sauce next to it
Learning the differences will ensure that you get the dish that you want

The Sushi Tempura Roll Is Cooked

In case you never had sushi before and heard all the stories about raw fish that’s one of its main ingredients, you might be nervous about trying it. The best alternative and one of the most recommended ways to introduce this dish to your stomach is to try cooked sushi. There are many versions of sushi that come in cooked form, so there is nothing to worry about. They all include different ingredients, so it’s up to you to try them and find the perfect combination.

One of the most popular options is the shrimp tempura roll. This is always a safe choice – it is exotic, healthy, and delicious. Newbies usually love sushi after trying this one. It can feel intimidating to try raw fish, and a common misconception is that every sushi comes with raw ingredients. This is not true, and some of the most popular cooked options include:

How to Tell if Sushi Is Cooked or Raw?

If you are in a position to try sushi immediately, it won’t be hard for you to recognize which roll includes raw ingredients and which options are cooked. Raw sushi usually smells different and has a different texture. In most recipes, traditional cooked sushi ingredients include:

  • Shrimp,
  • Calamari,
  • Mackerel,
  • Smoked eel,
  • Clams.

These ingredients are always cooked because they can’t be served and consumed raw. All shellfish are supposed to be cooked, steamed, or fired before they are served, so this is something essential to memorize if you’re choosing sushi from the menu and feel uncertain about what you are ordering. If your preferred option includes some of these ingredients, it is supposed to come to you cooked.

Fish in sushi can be cooked in a variety of ways. The way of serving depends on specific flavor because some fish have stronger flavors when they are cooked while others taste better raw.

Another thing to be aware of is that rice, which comes with sushi as one of the main ingredients besides fish, always comes cooked. In case you’re ordering shrimp, crab, octopus, egg, eel, prawns, scallops, and cockles, they all come cooked.

Served tempura sushi

Shrimp Tempura Offers Rich Flavor Thanks to Incredible Ingredients

Shrimp tempura is made of fried tiger shrimps or prawns and combined with other ingredients. Some of them are cooked, while others are served raw. In most cases, shrimp tempura is fried and wrapped in cooked rice, which is two of the main ingredients.

As you can see, two of the main ingredients are thermally treated, so it’s safe to say that there is no risk when eating this type of dish that you will get completely raw ingredients. Other ingredients include sesame seeds attached to the roll outside the rise. 

Tempura Sushi Has Many Different Recipes

In most recipes, tempura rolls are a little more complex, so they provide outstanding flavor. Shrimp tempura is usually combined with avocado, or crisp lettuce rolled together with sushi rice and nori. Most of the sushi rolls are also additionally flavored with soya or wasabi sauce – whichever you prefer and believe goes well with your favorite sushi roll.

Tempura shrimp is, in some recipes, double fried, which creates a crunchy crust that stays crunchy much longer. Another thing that’s added to some recipes is the spicy mayonnaise mixture. This mixture is made with hot Japanese mustard and adds a nice flavor to sushi rolls. Beautiful creamy and fresh accents are added to rolls with tasty avocado and lettuce. With this combination of ingredients, you simply can’t go wrong.

Take a look at this table and learn more about each tempura shrimp ingredient.

Sushi riceSushi rice is known as Japanese short grain rice, which is usually cooked less than regular rice and mixed with seasoned sushi vinegar.
NoriA nori sheet is a dried sheet of nori seaweed that is used for rolling up the rice around other ingredients, forming a recognizable sushi form and texture. It is supposed to have a smooth surface and a nearly black color.
ShrimpFor this recipe, it is recommended to use 13/15 count shrimp which is also known as colossal. Using two pieces of tempura in this size will ensure that the shrimp reaches both ends of the roll with the tail sticking out.
FlourUsing low-gluten flour is highly recommended for those who want to achieve light, crisp tempura. The all-purpose flavor is also allowed, but it is important that you don’t over-mix it.
LettuceLettuce is one of the most common additions to shrimp tempura rolls, and it adds a very nice texture as well as a splash of color. Cucumber can be used to achieve a similar effect.
AvocadoAvocado is used for adding creamy richness, and it has a nice contrast of texture compared to crispy tempura.
MayonnaiseIt is not unusual for people to combine sushi with mayonnaise. Japanese-style mayo is a little sweeter than western mayo, so it might taste even better combined with this sushi flavor.

Enjoy Your Favorite Cooked Sushi

Now that you know how tempura sushi is prepared and that it’s made from fried and cooked ingredients, you can finally comfortably enjoy its incredible flavors. Use these tips and try making your own at-home version. You can spice it with different sauces such as mayo or soya sauce and enjoy this incredible dish to the fullest.