Is Tempura Shrimp Spicy?

If you’re a Japanese cuisine lover, you must’ve heard of tempura – this is an excellent delicacy that’s often made with shrimp. Knowing how many different flavors one could expect from sushi, it’s reasonable to ask – is tempura shrimp spicy? Whether you like spicy dishes or not, finding the answer to this question will help you, and I’ve explained everything you need to know in this text, so be sure to keep reading.

Tempura shrimp can be spicy but isn’t necessarily. The flavor of any kind of tempura depends on the sauce you serve on it or next to it, so if you choose a spicy sauce to go with your shrimp tempura, you will get a spicy dish. Tempura shrimp itself isn’t spicy.

Shrimp tempura and a little bowl with sauce on the plate

The more you know about tempura shrimp, the better you will be able to prepare it, so let’s see how you can make this dish and if it can be prepared to be spicy. 

Is Tempura Shrimp Spicy? Let’s Find Out All About This Fantastic Dish

Everyone who knows anything about sushi can tell you that tempura is one of the best sushi options out there, especially if it’s made from shrimp. But can you make this dish spicy? The answer that’s been bugging all spicy food enthusiasts is – yes, tempura shrimp can be spicy. However, it doesn’t necessarily have to be, so even if you’re not fond of spicy flavor, you can easily enjoy shrimp tempura.

What’s the catch? The trick lies in the type of sauce you serve with your tempura. It can be anything you like, from umami to extra spicy, and there are countless recipes out there. So, choosing the best shrimp for tempura isn’t enough – you have to make sure the sauce is excellent as well because that’s what makes the tempura taste unique.

What Is Shrimp Tempura Exactly?

Tempura shrimp is a type of Japanese food prepared by coating shrimp in a layer of specially prepared batter and frying it. It’s essentially deep-fried shrimp but prepared in a Japanese way. Although it was originally a Portuguese invention, it’s been a part of Japanese cuisine since the 16th century). The term tempura refers to the batter that can be used for coating various ingredients, not just shrimp – you can use vegetables, meat, and seafood to make this dish.

What Kind of Spicy Sauce Can You Use for Shrimp Tempura?

Cooking is an art, which means there isn’t a limit to what you can make – and tempura sauce is no exception to this rule. You can use whatever you like to make this sauce and control the level of spiciness based on your preferences.

Starting from the simplest sauce, such as store-bought spicy mayo, to whisking your own spicy mayo with sriracha and regular mayo, making tempura sauce can be a really fun challenge.

If you don’t consider yourself a beginner in making sushi sauces, you might like this idea – slice bell peppers and jalapenos and put them into a pan on medium heat. Add some sugar and vinegar, and cook until it gets a sauce-like consistency.

How to Prepare Shrimp Tempura?

The process is simple, as it’s basically frying the shrimp. You need to peel and clean the shrimp and prepare the batter. Usually, the batter ingredients are all-purpose flour, egg yolks, and iced water (carbonated water is also an option) – they are all mixed together in one bowl. Some recipes call for breadcrumbs that you would place in a separate bowl from the rest of the batter ingredients, but this isn’t necessary – you will get excellent results even without them.

The next step is heating the oil in a pot or a dutch oven. When it reaches the proper temperature (around 375°F), you can start coating the shrimp in tempura batter. Then, carefully drop them into the oil one by one. Fry until golden brown and crisp – it shouldn’t take more than a minute or two. Lastly, place the shrimp on a paper towel to drain the excess oil.

Shrimp tempura in a small bowl and two other bowls next to it

Is Spicy Shrimp Tempura Healthy? Here’s All the Nutritional Information

Sadly, the beloved tempura – made with shrimp or otherwise – isn’t a healthy meal. If you’re craving Japanese food, there are many other healthier sushi options, such as salmon sashimi, for example. Tempura is high in fat since it’s prepared by deep-frying the ingredients. Still, it’s okay to get shrimp tempura once in a while – everything is okay in moderation, and no one could blame you for not resisting such delicious food.

I’ve gathered the nutritional information on this dish in the table below, so be sure to take a look. Keep in mind that the nutrients listed for shrimp tempura with spicy sauce are an approximation – the correct nutritional value will depend on the type of spicy sauce you use.

DishShrimp tempura – 1 shrimpShrimp tempura with spicy sauce – 1 serving
Calories58 kcal590 kcal
Carbohydrates3.5 g39 g
Protein3.7 g25 g
Fat3.1 g38 g

What to Serve as a Side Dish With Shrimp Tempura?

When eating sushi, it’s hard to limit yourself to just one dish – why not add a little something on the side when serving tempura shrimp? Since the shrimps aren’t exactly large, you would need to eat a lot of them to get full, and as I’ve mentioned – it isn’t really healthy to stuff yourself with that much fried food. So, let’s see what we can add to this meal – here are my suggestions:

  • Ramen noodles,
  • Soba noodles,
  • Steamed vegetables,
  • Curried rice,
  • Fried vegetables,
  • Fresh salad with vinegar.

No Matter What Kind of Sauce You Choose to Go With, You’ll See That Shrimp Tempura Is a Truly Remarkable Japanese Delicacy

While the sauce is what decides the flavor of tempura, let us not forget that tempura is delicious on its own as well – it’s fried food, so it’s always tasty, right? Whisking your own sauces or trying new ones from the store is a great way to experiment with food and find what suits you best. I have no doubt that you’ll find your favorite spicy sauce in no time!