Air Fryer Sweet Potato Tempura — If you love sweet potato tempura but don’t want to fry it deep, this recipe is for you. The best part of the whole process is that it only takes less than 10 minutes and requires minimal prep work.
I love Japanese food, I can eat it almost every day. When we get a nice Japanese dinner out, we always get tempura for an appetizer. They are light and airy, and they make an amazing treat.
This is a base recipe for any tempura you want to make, today we are using sweet potatoes, but any vegetable will work. It’s also a great way to get the kids to eat vegetables.
What is Tempura?
Tempura is a Japanese dish that Americans are getting increasingly familiar with. It’s usually made of seafood or vegetables, battered in tempura batter, and then fried. This can be served as an appetizer, main course, or even dessert! “tempura” comes from the Portuguese word for “deep fry.” This is why it’s sometimes called “Japanese deep-fried food.” One of the most popular dishes is shrimp tempura, which consists of shrimp dipped in flour mixed with egg white and panko breadcrumbs and deep-fried until crispy.
Today, we used sweet potatoes as the base, which were delicious!
Can You Make Tempura Vegetables In Air Fryer?
Yes, you can make tempura vegetables in an air fryer. While traditional tempura is deep-fried to achieve its light, crispy texture, using an air fryer is a healthier alternative that can still produce delicious results. The key to air fryer tempura vegetables is ensuring the batter is thick enough to adhere to the vegetables without dripping off excessively and choosing the right settings on your air fryer to achieve a crispy finish without overcooking the vegetables inside!
Why You Will Love Making Tempura Vegetables In Air Fryer
Making tempura vegetables in an air fryer offers a delightful twist on the traditional deep-fried favorite, combining the crispy, light texture of tempura with the convenience and health benefits of air frying. Here’s why you’ll love making tempura vegetables in your air fryer:
- Healthier Option: Air frying tempura vegetables significantly reduces the oil needed compared to deep frying, making it a healthier choice. You’ll get the crispy texture and delicious taste of tempura without the extra calories and fat, allowing you to enjoy your favorite dish more often without guilt.
- Crispy Texture: The air fryer excels at circulating hot air around the food, ensuring that your tempura vegetables achieve a beautifully crispy exterior while keeping the inside tender and juicy. It’s the perfect way to enjoy the distinctive crunch of tempura without submerging your vegetables in oil.
- Fast: Air frying is incredibly convenient and often faster than traditional frying methods. There’s no need to deal with the hassle and danger of handling large amounts of hot oil, and cleanup is a breeze. Plus, air fryers preheat quickly, reducing cooking time and getting your tempura vegetables ready to enjoy sooner.
- Easy Clean Up: Without the splattering oil of deep frying, air frying tempura vegetables keeps your kitchen cleaner. You won’t have to worry about oil stains on your countertops or the lingering smell of fried oil in your home, making the cooking experience more pleasant and hassle-free.
- All Types Of Vegetables: An air fryer allows you to experiment with various vegetables, from classic options like sweet potatoes and bell peppers to more adventurous choices like avocado or broccoli. Each vegetable brings its own unique flavor and texture to the tempura, giving you endless possibilities for customization and experimentation.
- Large Batch or Small Batch: Cooking in an air fryer enables easy portion control, allowing you to prepare small batches of tempura vegetables as needed. It’s perfect for serving individuals or small groups without the temptation of overeating, which often comes with larger batches of deep-fried foods.
- Energy Efficient: Air fryers are generally more energy-efficient than heating a large pot of oil on the stove or oven. This helps save on energy costs and contributes to a more environmentally friendly cooking process.
- Great Flavor: Air frying can intensify the natural flavors of the vegetables, giving your tempura an extra flavor boost. The quick cooking process helps retain the natural moisture and sweetness of the vegetables, enhancing the overall taste of your dish.
In summary, making tempura vegetables in an air fryer is a fantastic way to enjoy a beloved classic with fewer calories, less mess, and greater convenience. It’s a simple, quick, and delicious way to incorporate more vegetables into your diet while indulging in tempura’s crispy, savory pleasure.
Ingredients Needed For Air Fryer Sweet Potato Tempura
Delight in the sweet, earthy flavors and crispy texture of Air Fryer Sweet Potato Tempura, a healthier twist on a classic dish. This simple yet delicious recipe transforms sweet potatoes into a crispy, golden treat with just a few ingredients, making it an irresistible snack or side dish that’s both nutritious and satisfying. Let’s explore the ingredients that make this dish a must-try.
Remember the step-by-step directions and detailed ingredient list are below, in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post, as well as the nutritional information.
- All-Purpose Flour: Serves as the base of the tempura batter, providing structure and ensuring a light, crispy coating that adheres well to the sweet potato slices.
- Cornstarch: Mixed with the flour, cornstarch helps to lighten the batter’s texture, contributing to the tempura’s signature crispiness and preventing it from becoming too doughy.
- Egg: An egg binds the batter together, adding richness and ensuring that the coating adheres to the sweet potato slices during the air frying.
- Club soda: It must be club soda.
- Sweet Potatoes: Choose medium-sized sweet potatoes for their natural sweetness and soft texture, contrasting beautifully with the crispy tempura batter once cooked. Their rich beta-carotene content also adds a nutritional boost.
- Panko breadcrumbs: You can use crushed pork rinds for a low-carb or keto version.
- Cooking Spray: A light spray of cooking oil on the air fryer basket and the battered sweet potatoes ensures they don’t stick and helps achieve an even golden-brown crispness without deep frying.
How To Make Air Fryer Sweet Potato Tempura
Making Sweet Potato Tempura in an air fryer is a delightful way to enjoy a healthier version of this classic dish. Here’s a straightforward recipe to guide you through the process, ensuring crispy, light, and delicious results.
Prepare the Sweet Potatoes: Start peeling the sweet potatoes and slicing them into ¼-inch thick rounds. This thickness ensures they cook through evenly without becoming too soft or mushy.
Make the Tempura Batter: In a large bowl, sift together the all-purpose flour, cornstarch, and baking powder. This helps to combine the ingredients evenly and prevents lumps in the batter. In another bowl, mix the ice water and the lightly beaten egg. Gradually add the wet and dry ingredients, stirring gently until combined. It’s important not to overmix; the batter should be lumpy. A pinch of salt can be added to enhance the flavor.
Coat the Sweet Potatoes: Dip each sweet potato slice into the batter, ensuring each piece is well-coated. Allow the excess batter to drip off to avoid a too-thick layer that might not crisp up as desired.
Preheat the Air Fryer: Preheat your air fryer to 390°F (200°C). This step is crucial for achieving a crispy exterior on the tempura.
Prepare for Air Frying: Lightly spray the air fryer basket with cooking spray to prevent sticking. Arrange the battered sweet potato slices in a single layer in the basket, making sure they do not overlap. You may need to cook them in batches depending on the size of your air fryer.
Set Cook Time: Air fry the sweet potato slices for about 10-12 minutes or until golden and crispy. Halfway through the cooking time, gently flip the slices to ensure they cook evenly on both sides.
Serve Immediately: Sweet Potato Tempura is best enjoyed fresh from the air fryer while still crispy and warm. Serve as is or with a dipping sauce of your choice, such as a light soy sauce or a tempura dipping sauce.
Exploring recipe variations for Air Fryer Vegetable Tempura can add an exciting twist to this classic dish, making it versatile and suitable for various tastes. Here are some creative variations presented in bullet points:
- Spicy Tempura Batter: Add a teaspoon of chili powder or cayenne pepper to the batter for a spicy kick.
- Gluten-Free Option: Use a gluten-free all-purpose flour blend instead of regular flour to accommodate gluten sensitivities.
- Herb-Infused Batter: Mix in a tablespoon of finely chopped fresh herbs, such as basil, parsley, or cilantro, for an aromatic flavor.
- Beer Batter Vegetables: Substitute ice water with cold beer in the batter for a lighter, airier texture and a subtle malt flavor.
- Sesame Seed Crunch: Stir in a tablespoon of white or black sesame seeds into the batter for a nutty taste and extra crunch.
- Panko-Crusted Vegetables: After dipping the vegetables in the batter, coat them with panko breadcrumbs for an even crispier exterior.
- Citrusy Batter: Add the zest of one lemon or lime to the batter for a fresh, citrusy undertone.
- Sweet and Sour Dipping Sauce: Serve with a homemade sweet and sour sauce, combining soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, and a dash of sesame oil.
- Tempura Dipping Sauce: Mix soy sauce, mirin (or a sweetener), and a bit of grated ginger for a traditional Japanese dipping sauce.
- Curry Flavored Batter: Incorporate a tablespoon of curry powder into the batter for a warm, spiced flavor.
- Vegan Tempura: Make the batter vegan by using plant-based milk and omitting the egg, ensuring it’s suitable for vegan diets.
- Cheesy Vegetable Tempura: Add grated Parmesan or nutritional yeast into the batter for a cheesy flavor twist.
- Sweet Tempura: For a sweet variation, add a tablespoon of sugar to the batter and serve the cooked vegetables with a dusting of powdered sugar.
These variations allow you to tailor Air Fryer Vegetable Tempura to fit any preference or dietary need, proving that this dish can be as diverse and adaptable as it is delicious.
Mastering Air Fryer Sweet Potato Tempura involves a blend of technique, ingredient selection, and timing. Here are some pro tips to help you achieve perfect results every time:
- Choose the Right Sweet Potatoes: Opt for sweet potatoes that are firm and free of blemishes. Consistent size and shape allow for even cooking and presentation.
- Slice for Success: Cut the sweet potatoes into uniform thickness to ensure they cook evenly. Thinner slices become crispy more easily, while thicker slices provide a soft interior.
- Cold Batter is Key: Use ice-cold water to make the tempura batter. The temperature contrast helps create a light, crispy coating as it hits the hot air fryer.
- Avoid Overmixing: Mix the batter until just combined; lumps are okay. Overmixing activates the gluten in the flour, leading to a denser, chewier coating.
- Preheat Your Air Fryer: Always preheat the air fryer for a few minutes before adding the sweet potatoes. A hot environment kick-starts the cooking process, ensuring crispiness.
- Don’t Overcrowd: Cook in batches if necessary to prevent the slices from touching. Overcrowding steams the vegetables, making it hard to achieve a crisp finish.
- Shake or Flip Halfway Through Shaking the basket or flipping the tempura halfway through cooking promotes even browning and crispiness on all sides.
- Batter Consistency Matters: If the batter is too thick, it won’t coat evenly; too thin, and it won’t stick properly. Aim for the consistency of thin pancake batter.
- Lightly Oil for Extra Crispness: A light oil spray on the battered sweet potatoes before air frying can enhance crispiness without making them greasy.
- Season Immediately After Cooking: Sprinkle with a little salt or your preferred seasoning blend when they come out of the air fryer to ensure the flavors adhere well.
- Serve Immediately: Tempura is best enjoyed fresh from the air fryer when it’s crispy. If you must wait, keep them in a warm oven on a wire rack to maintain texture.
- Experiment with Dips: Sweet potato tempura pairs wonderfully with various dips, from classic tempura sauce to spicy mayo or a sweet-and-sour dip. Experiment to find your favorite.
Applying these pro tips will help elevate your Air Fryer Sweet Potato Tempura, turning a simple dish into a standout snack or side that’s both deliciously satisfying and surprisingly easy to make.
Can I make sweet potato tempura in the air fryer without it getting soggy? Yes, you can achieve a crispy texture by ensuring the batter is not too thick, the sweet potato slices are not overcrowded in the air fryer basket, and by flipping them halfway through cooking. Preheating the air fryer also helps.
Do I need to peel the sweet potatoes before making tempura? Peeling sweet potatoes is recommended to ensure a smooth batter coating and consistent texture. However, you can thoroughly wash and keep the skins on for a more rustic dish with added fiber.
How thick should I slice the sweet potatoes for tempura? Sweet potatoes should be sliced about ¼-inch thick. This thickness allows for a tender inside and crispy outside. Consistency in slice thickness ensures even cooking.
What’s the best dipping sauce for sweet potato tempura? Sweet potato tempura pairs well with a variety of sauces. Traditional tempura dipping sauce, spicy mayo, or a simple mix of soy sauce and mirin are great options. Experiment to find your favorite.
Can I use frozen sweet potatoes for making tempura? While fresh sweet potatoes are ideal for texture and flavor, you can use frozen sweet potato slices. Thaw them first to ensure the batter adheres properly and to achieve a crispy texture.
Is it necessary to preheat the air fryer? Yes, preheating the air fryer ensures that the sweet potato tempura starts cooking at the right temperature as soon as it’s placed in the basket, contributing to a crispy texture.
Can I make the tempura batter ahead of time? It’s best to make the tempura batter before you use it. The cold temperature of the batter contributes to the tempura’s light and crispy texture.
How do I store and reheat leftover sweet potato tempura? Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Reheat in the air fryer at 350°F for a few minutes to re-crisp. Microwaving is not recommended as it can make the tempura soggy.
Can I make sweet potato tempura gluten-free? Yes, substitute the all-purpose flour with a gluten-free flour blend and ensure any additional ingredients, like baking powder, are also gluten-free.
How can I ensure my tempura batter is the right consistency? The batter should resemble a thin pancake batter. If it’s too thick, add more ice water; if too thin, add more flour. Aim for a batter that coats the back of a spoon but drips off easily.
What other vegetables can I use for making tempura in the air fryer? Air fryer tempura can be made with various vegetables, such as broccoli, bell peppers, mushrooms, and zucchini. Just ensure they are cut into sizes that allow for even cooking.
More Easy Air Fryer Recipes
- AIR FRYER BOSTON BROWN BREAD
- AIR FRYER HOMEMADE PIZZA ROLLS
- EASY AIR FRYER LATKES
- AIR FRYER FRIED GREEN TOMATOES
- AIR FRYER TWICE-BAKED SWEET POTATOES
- EASY AIR FRYER LOADED POTATO CHIPS
Don’t Forget To Pin!
Air Fryer Sweet Potato Tempura
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup club soda
- 2 large sweet potatoes, cut into thin slices
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- In a small mixing bowl, mix together the cornstarch, flour, egg, and soda water.
- Then dip the sweet potato into the batter, shake off the extra batter. Then place it directly into the panko, coating all sides.
- Put the completed sweet potatoes into the fryer basket and spray both sides with cooking spray.
- Cook at 400 degrees for 7 to 10 minutes, air fryer setting.
- Plate, serve, adn enjoy!
- Air Fryer
- Cooking Spray
- Parchment Paper, optional