22 Best Side Dishes for Tempura

Tempura is best enjoyed as a light meal, but you can easily turn your tempura into a full course meal if you want to. Side dishes for tempura include various options such as fish cakes and mountain yam tempura. Here are 22 side dishes for tempura that will complement their light and crispy taste in both seafood and vegetable combinations.

What Is Tempura?

Tempura is a Japanese dish consisting of small pieces of seafood and vegetables that are battered, deep-fried and served hot in a sauce. Tempura is a popular dish in Japan, both at home and in restaurants. It’s often served as part of set menus at Japanese restaurants; tempura may be considered an example of Japanese haute cuisine, especially when served with special dipping sauces and seasonings such as grated daikon radish or shredded ginger root.

Tempura is usually prepared using various types of seafood and vegetables (for example, shrimp and onion or pumpkin), but it can also include meat or tofu. The batter used for tempura consists of wheat flour mixed with water and eggs, which produces a light and crispy coating around the food being fried. Tempura is a relatively healthy meal because the oil used to cook it has a high smoke point (meaning it won’t break down easily when heated) and it doesn’t absorb fat quickly like other oils do.

Why Consider Serving Side Dishes for Tempura?

Tempura is a Japanese dish, which is usually served as a snack or appetizer. It is fried in oil and can be made from shrimp, fish, vegetables and even chicken. Tempura is often served with dipping sauce like ponzu, soy sauce or goma sauce.

This dish is very popular in Japan and has recently gained popularity in other countries as well. If you are planning to serve tempura to your guests at home, then you will need to know what kind of side dishes to serve with it. There are several reasons why serving side dishes for tempura is important:

1. Serve as a complement for the main course

If you are serving tempura as a main course, then you will need to serve some other dishes along with it so that your guests have something else to eat in addition to the deep fried food items. This will ensure that they do not get bored after eating just one item from your menu and also make sure that they have enough food in their stomachs before leaving your party early or feeling full after only half an hour or so of eating.

2. Make sure all tastes are balanced

Just like any other type of food preparation technique where different ingredients are used together, it becomes important to ensure that all tastes remain balanced. For instance, if you are using items like seafood in your tempura dish, then you will need to add items like dashi broth which are salty. This will make sure that the seafood’s flavor does not become overpowering to your guests.

3. Match the taste of the tempura with the other side dishes

Since tempura is Japanese cuisine, then most people would expect any side dish served with it to also be a part of Japanese cuisine or at least match or complement it in terms of taste.

What to Serve with Tempura? 22 BEST Side Dishes

1. Udon Noodles

Udon noodles are thick wheat flour noodles that are a staple in Japanese cooking. The noodles are served hot in broth, but they can also be served cold and dressed with sesame oil and soy sauce. Udon noodles go well with many different types of tempura batters and fried foods, so they make an excellent choice as a side dish for tempura.

2. Tempura Rice Bowls

Tempura rice bowls are another popular choice for those who want to serve their tempura with something other than just plain rice or noodles. Tempura rice bowls are typically made using white rice and cooked until tender. Then the cooked rice is mixed with ginger juice, soy sauce and sesame oil before being topped with your favorite tempura batter-fried items like shrimp or vegetables. You can also add some tempura sauce to give it extra flavor!

3. Tempura sauce

This is a sauce that consists of soy sauce, sugar and water. It’s commonly served with tempuras in Japan. You can also make your own tempura sauce at home by mixing soy sauce, sugar and vinegar together until it becomes syrupy. You can also add some spices like cayenne pepper or garlic powder if you want to give it more flavor.

4. Miso soup

Miso soup

Miso soup is another popular Japanese dish that goes well with tempuras because both have similar flavors – saltiness and sweetness combined with umami taste that comes from soybeans used when making miso paste. To make miso soup at home, all you need to do is boil soybeans and seaweed together with salt. The boiling process will release the umami taste of the soybeans into the soup.

5. Sushi Rice

Sushi rice is a staple in Japan. It is usually served with raw fish (sashimi), but it can also be eaten with other kinds of food. It is best to use short grain rice, which has been polished and then steamed before cooking to give it a shiny appearance and a chewy texture when cooked. Sushi rice should be kept in the refrigerator so that it doesn’t spoil quickly.

6. Tofu and Spinach in Yoshi’s Special Sauce

This recipe is from Chef Yoshi Hayakawa of Yoshi’s Restaurant in Oakland, California. This version combines tofu with spinach in a light sauce flavored with soy sauce, ginger, garlic and sesame oil.

7. Peking duck

Peking duck

Peking duck is a dish of roast duck (usually served cold) with thin skin, sliced into bite-sized pieces. The meat is usually eaten with pancakes, scallions, cucumber and hoisin sauce.

8. Ginger snap pea pods

The peas are bright green and round or teardrop shaped, with a thick skin that can be eaten. The peas have a sweet flavor and soft texture when cooked, which makes them popular in salads or served as a snack.

9. Thai fish cakes

These fish cakes are packed with texture and flavor and are a great side dish for any meal. The fish mixture has a combination of fresh cabbage, shallots and ginger cooked in coconut milk and seasoned with fish sauce and lime juice. The mixture is then formed into small patties and fried until golden brown. Serve them with sticky rice or as an appetizer.

10. Seaweed Noodle Salad

Seaweed noodle salad is a quick and easy recipe that adds lots of protein and vitamins to your meal. The seaweed noodles add a nice crunchy texture to the salad and taste great with all types of seafood.

11. Green Beans Amandine

Green Beans Amandine

For this side dish, the green beans are cooked in olive oil and then tossed with slivered almonds, butter and lemon juice. It’s a classic French preparation that goes well with any type of seafood dish.

12. Spicy Tuna on Crispy Rice (Spicy Tuna Tataki)

Tuna is very popular in Japanese cuisine because it works well with so many different flavors and textures. In this recipe, the tuna is marinated in soy sauce and sesame oil, then topped with ginger, green onion and sesame seeds before being served over crispy rice crackers.

13. Salmon Sashimi (Nama-Shake)

Salmon is a great choice for tempura, especially when it’s served raw. It’s delicate enough to be served with the batter on the side, without becoming over-seasoned and heavy. To make the dish even more special, try serving it with a sauce made from soy sauce, lemon juice and wasabi.

14. Crab cakes

Crab cakes are a delicious side dish to tempura. They’re also great as an appetizer, and they make a great addition to any meal. Because they’re so easy to make, they’re also a great choice for someone who’s just starting out cooking.

15. Potato pancakes with applesauce

The potato pancake is a traditional German food that was brought to the United States by German immigrants. Potato pancakes are similar to French fries, but they are thicker and have more flavor than French fries. Potato pancakes are often served with applesauce on top.

16. Steamed buns

Steamed buns are a type of Chinese food that is typically made from flour dough filled with meat, vegetables or other ingredients. Steamed buns are usually served with soy sauce for dipping.

17. Fried dumplings

Fried dumplings

Fried dumplings are a popular Japanese food made with a flour dough that is filled with ground meat and vegetables and then steamed or fried. They are often served with soy sauce for dipping.

18. Beef braciole

Braciole is an Italian dish consisting of small pieces of beef rolled around a filling and then braised or grilled. It’s typically made by rolling thin slices of flank steak around a mixture of chopped prosciutto, Parmesan cheese, garlic, parsley, breadcrumbs and eggs before cooking it in oil or butter.

19. Mushroom fricassee

Mushroom fricassee is a traditional side dish for tempura. The mushrooms are fried in the same oil as the tempura, so they absorb some of its flavor. The mushrooms should be cut into thin slices so that they cook quickly and retain flavor.

20. Zucchini fritters with sour cream

Zucchini fritters with sour cream

This is another delicious side dish for tempura. The zucchini are fried until they are browned and crispy on the outside, while still being soft on the inside. They can be served with any kind of dipping sauce or just with a dollop of sour cream.

21. Dashi

Dashi is a type of broth made from kombu (dried kelp) and bonito flakes (dried tuna flakes). It’s used for many Japanese dishes such as miso soup, noodle soups, sauces and stews.

22. Papardelle pomodoro e basilico

Papardelle is a thick pasta noodle that’s wider than most pastas. It’s often served with sauces like tomato-based sauces or creamy sauces. The addition of basil adds more flavor to the dish.


These 22 side dishes for tempura will revamp your recipe arsenal! Some add a little extra veggies and some give you a different dip to try. They’re easy to make, taste great, and make the perfect additions to your tempura meal!

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