What Is Tempura Flakes?

Are you curious to know what is tempura flakes? You have come to the right place as I am going to tell you everything about tempura flakes in a very simple explanation. Without further discussion let’s begin to know what is tempura flakes?

Japanese cuisine is known for its intricate flavors and diverse textures, and one element that adds a delightful crunch to many dishes is tempura flakes. These golden, crispy nuggets are more than just a topping; they’re an essential component that elevates the culinary experience. In this blog, we’ll explore what tempura flakes are, how they’re made, and their versatile use in Japanese cuisine.

What Is Tempura Flakes?

Tempura flakes, also known as tenkasu or agedama, are small, crispy, deep-fried bits of batter used as a garnish or topping in various Japanese dishes. They are made by frying a mixture of flour, water, and often other seasonings until it becomes light and airy. The result is a crunchy and slightly sweet addition that adds texture and flavor to a range of dishes.

Key Aspects Of Tempura Flakes:

  1. Crunchy Texture: Tempura flakes are prized for their satisfying crunch, which contrasts well with the softer elements in many Japanese dishes.
  2. Sweet and Savory Flavor: They have a mild sweetness and can be seasoned with various ingredients, like soy sauce or mirin, to add a savory dimension.
  3. Versatile Use: Tempura flakes are used as a topping for sushi rolls, rice bowls, salads, and noodles. They can also be sprinkled on soups, adding both flavor and texture.
  4. Texture Enhancement: Their texture makes them an excellent choice for adding a crispy, airy component to dishes that might otherwise lack crunch.

How Are Tempura Flakes Made?

The process of making tempura flakes involves creating a simple batter and deep-frying it to perfection. Here’s a basic outline of the steps:

  1. Batter Preparation: Tempura flakes are made by mixing flour (usually all-purpose), water, and seasonings to create a smooth, thin batter. Some recipes may include a small amount of sugar, soy sauce, or mirin to enhance the flavor.
  2. Frying: The batter is poured or drizzled into hot oil, forming small droplets. These droplets quickly fry into small, irregularly shaped pieces with a light, airy texture.
  3. Draining and Cooling: The freshly fried tempura flakes are removed from the hot oil and placed on paper towels to drain excess oil and cool down. This process ensures they remain crispy and light.
  4. Storage: Once cooled and drained, tempura flakes can be stored in an airtight container for later use.

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Versatile Uses Of Tempura Flakes

  1. Sushi Rolls: Tempura flakes are a common topping for sushi rolls, adding a contrasting texture to the rice and fillings. They are often used in rolls like the Dragon Roll and Crunchy Roll.
  2. Rice Bowls: They are an excellent addition to rice bowls, providing a satisfying crunch and flavor. For example, they can be sprinkled on top of donburi dishes like katsudon.
  3. Salads: Tempura flakes add an unexpected twist to salads, offering both texture and flavor. They can be used in place of croutons for a unique, Japanese-inspired salad.
  4. Noodles: Many noodle dishes, such as udon or soba, benefit from the addition of tempura flakes. The flakes can be sprinkled on top of the broth to create a delightful contrast.
  5. Soups: Tempura flakes can be used as a garnish for various soups, from miso soup to ramen. They add a crunch that elevates the overall dining experience.


Tempura flakes are more than just a crispy garnish; they are an essential element in Japanese cuisine that enhances the texture and flavor of a wide range of dishes. Their versatile use in sushi, rice bowls, salads, noodles, and soups adds a delightful crunch that elevates the culinary experience. Whether you’re enjoying a sushi roll or a comforting bowl of ramen, tempura flakes bring an extra layer of satisfaction to Japanese cuisine.


What Does Tempura Taste Like?

In general, tempura has a light, crispy texture and a delicate, slightly savory flavor. The taste of tempura is largely due to the batter, which is made of flour, egg, and cold water. The batter is light and slightly sweet, and it helps to give tempura its signature crispy texture.

What Is Usually In Tempura?

Tempura is one of the most popular Japanese food, most probably because despite being fried food, it does not taste heavy or oily at all. In general, tempura is made of seafood and vegetables, coated in a flour-based batter and then deep-fried.

What Is A Substitute For Tempura Scraps?

So one of the core ingredients is tenkasu which are these tempura scraps. You can buy it at a Japanese specialty store, but it might not be available to many of y’all. Some substitutions are rice krispies, or even panko or breadcrumbs.

Is Tempura Good Or Bad For You?

Tempura is a healthier alternative to most fry batters.

Although it is still a fried food, tempura uses less oil for frying. This creates less grease than other methods, making for a lighter, airier dish. It also has a relatively high protein content.

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What Is Tempura Flakes