Tempura Shrimp with Dipping Sauce doesn’t sound low carb. Yet, it is not only possible to make “tempura batter” low carb – it is delicious! We all love a good tempura battered fish fry with chips or this delicate batter used for Japanese vegetables or jumbo shrimp. Tempura batter is so light and tasty. But the batter usually contains rice flour, and cornstarch, or even wheat flour. But, low carb is often simply about substituting low-carb ingredients for traditional high-carb ingredients. Our tempura batter does just that. The result is the perfect batter!
To maintain the Japanese flair with our Tempura Shrimp, we have included a simple, yet delicious, dipping sauce. The sauce uses soy and sesame as the main flavor ingredients. It is perfect with the light and airy shrimp. Our batter is flaky and crispy, just like the tempura batter you find in your favorite Japanese restaurant.
For the normal rice flour or cornstarch we substitute “Isopure Whey Protein Powder.” We only use the unflavored powder for this recipe. This is the same ingredient used in “cloud bread” and our “Low Carb Almond Cheese Danish.” It produces a light airy batter with no carbs! We use Xanthan Gum to provide elasticity and stickiness to our batter. In the absence of gluten, this gives us structure. Physillium Husk often provides the same structure.
We do use baking powder and baking soda to allow for our batter to rise or puff up, if you will. But, much of that action, and what keeps this batter so light and airy, is substituting club soda for water. It simply works like magic to puff the batter and protect from too much grease in the coating. Some recipes call for beer or vodka in place of the normal water, but we like the result with club soda. Eggs and salt round out he ingredients for the batter.
The dipping sauce is so good! It is the perfect blend of soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, and sesame oil. We add just a touch of Swerve for sweetening and some red pepper flakes for heat. If you have ever tasted the standard dipping sauce for steamed dumplings (dim sum) then you will recognize the flavor of our dipping sauce. It is wonderful with the Tempura Shrimp!
The real key in cooking our Tempura Shrimp is to maintain your cooking temperature at around 375 degrees. To do so, we suggest using a frying (or candy) thermometer. Also, do not crowd your frying pot. Make sure the shrimp have enough room to move around in the hot oil and try to avoid sudden drops in temperature. Flipping once would be best and these delicacies will be done in 2 minutes or less. If your temperature drops too low, or if you cook them too long, they will absorb too much grease. You will be able to tell when they turn slightly golden brown, but test a couple to make sure. Tempura shrimp is actually a fun dish to prepare since the batter will puff up almost immediately when it hits the hot oil. We use coconut oil for our Tempura Shrimp.
Dry the cooked shrimp on a baking rack with paper towel underneath to catch any excess oil. You want to keep your batter cold and may have to whisk in between groups of three while the shrimp are cooking. You do not want the batter to settle. Sometimes we even use an ice bath in a bowl with water and put our batter bowl inside. This is not really necessary if you move quickly. Just make sure the batter is mixed throughly and you maintain the temperature.
The dipping sauce can be prepared in advance. It is a simple process with no cooking involved. We do like to add a few green onions (sliced on the bias) just before serving. Feel free to vary the amount of red pepper flakes based upon your heat tolerance. You could substitute wasabi paste for the red pepper flakes if you prefer.
Low Carb Tempura Shrimp is a perfect seafood appetizer or main dish. We like to serve ours with cauliflower fried rice, as pictured. Cauliflower rice is a staple in our low-carb lifestyle. We will post Joanie’s quick and easy recipe for the rice soon – come back often! Our tempura recipe will definitely become a favorite for those who have been missing breaded shrimp, fish, or vegetables. Maybe we will try tempura zucchini with a marinara sauce, next? Enjoy this tasty batter!
Sesame and Soy Dipping Sauce
Sesame and Soy Dipping Sauce
- Whisk the dipping sauce ingredients in a small bowl and transfer to small dipping cups for each individual. Prior to serving add a few green onions cut on the bias.
- Heat coconut oil in a medium pan to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Use a cooking thermometer to achieve the correct temperature.
- Add all the tempura batter ingredients to a medium bowl and mix quickly with a fork until lumps are gone.
- Dip the shrimp in the batter to through coat and then drop in the heated oil - fry about three at a time to maintain the temperature. Flip once in the hot oil and fry for 2 minutes until crisp and golden.
- Dry the fried shrimp on a baking rack with paper towels underneath to lessen the grease.
- Serve hot with dipping sauce. You can add a few green onion slices and sliced red pepper for color.