Lobster Tempura

Last Updated on August 23, 2023

Tempura is a Japanese cooking technique that requires you to coat foods, such as meat, vegetables, or seafood, in a delicate batter and deep fry it. It uses just flour, egg, and ice water to create a crispy exterior. The key to getting the right texture is to use chilled water because it keeps the batter at the right consistency and prevents the absorption of excess oil.

This lobster tempura recipe adds a few more ingredients to the traditional version to ensure the batter holds together while staying both light and crunchy. It works especially well for coating delicious chunks of cold-cracked lobster. Feel free to use it on your favorite veggies as well to create a dish everyone will enjoy biting into!

lobster and asparagus tempura next to a ramekin of ponzu sauce

Lobster Tempura

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  • 1 ½ cup flour
  • 1 tablespoon tapioca starch
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 5 tablespoons rice flour
  • 2 10-ounce bottles soda water chilled
  • 8 ounces Cold Cracked Lobster thawed and drained
  • Vegetables (Recommended: Asparagus, onion petals, zucchini sticks, or thinly sliced sweet potato)
  • Canola oil for frying


  • Mix flour, tapioca starch, baking powder, cornstarch, and 1 tablespoon rice flour in a bowl.
  • Add chilled soda water a bit at a time until you have the consistency of a thin pancake or crepe batter.
  • In a deep saucepot, heat 2 inches of canola oil to 350°F.
  • Dip pieces of lobster (and vegetables if using) into the remaining rice flour and shake off any excess. Then dip them into the tempura batter.
  • Place the battered pieces carefully into the hot oil. Be careful not to overcrowd the pan (6-8 pieces at a time). Fry until golden brown, flipping the tempura once or twice with a spoon.
  • Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Season with salt.
  • Serve with ponzu sauce or dressing of your choice.
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Andrew Taylor is the chef-owner of Big Tree Hospitality, a Portland, Maine-based restaurant group that includes Eventide Oyster Co., Hugo's, The Honey Paw, and more.

He is a James Beard Award-winning chef and father of four.

Mike Wiley is a James Beard Award-winning chef and the owner of Big Tree Hospitality.

Big Tree Hospitality is a Portland, Maine-based restaurant group that includes Eventide Oyster Co., Hugo's, The Honey Paw, and more.