Gluten-Free Tempura Recipe

gluten free tempura

Perfect gluten free tempura doesn’t get any easier than this stovetop recipe by famed Napa Valley chef Hiro Sone. Here, we are all about mushrooms and onions. But you can easily dip and fry 1⁄4-inch-thick slices of pumpkin, sweet potato, or zucchini and whole shrimp or asparagus—or anything else your tempura-loving heart desires.

gluten free tempura
5 from 5 votes

Gluten Free Tempura

With perfect, airy crispness, this gluten free tempura is heavenly. And judicious finishing sprinkle of salt adds a glorious burst of flavor to this crispy, crunchy appetizer.

Servings 6 people


  • 1 cup white rice flour
  • 1⁄2 cup cornstarch
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon baking powder
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 to 1 1⁄4 cups cold soda water
  • Rice bran oil or vegetable oil for frying
  • 1 pound maitake mushrooms stem ends removed and mushrooms separated into bite-size portions, or button or other mushrooms, halved
  • 1 small yellow onion thinly sliced


  1. In a mixing bowl, combine the rice flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and a pinch of salt. Slowly whisk in the soda water a little at a time to achieve a light paste that lightly sticks to the mushrooms and onion when they’re dipped into it.
  2. Pour 2 inches of oil into a 10-inch-wide cast-iron pan or other heavy pan. Over medium to medium-high heat, bring the oil to 360°F. (If you don’t have a thermometer, drop a bit of the batter into the oil: no bubbling means it’s too cool; furious bubbling and smoke means it’s too hot.)
  3. Line a sheet pan with paper towels. Working in batches, dip the mushrooms and onions in the batter to lightly coat, then gently place them one at a time in the oil. Do not overcrowd the pan or the oil will lose its heat. Cook for about 20 seconds, turn over and cook for another 20 seconds, then remove with a slotted spoon and drain on the paper towels.
  4. Repeat with the rest of the mushrooms and onions, sprinkle with salt, and serve immediately.

Photography Aubrie Pick

24 Comments on “Gluten-Free Tempura Recipe”

  1. Avatar for Mariko

    5 stars
    Amazing!!! Just as the others have said, it’s light and crispy, with a lovely crunch. I substituted the cold soda water for 1 tbsp distilled white vinegar and the batter still took on a “foamy” texture. If you use that method, just add water to moisten to your liking. I’m definitely using this as a chicken nugget breading in the future!

  2. Avatar for Erika

    Yay! I’m thrilled you like it as much as I do. And great adjustments, too!

  3. Avatar for Kathryn

    5 stars
    I used acorn squash, sweet potatoes and mushrooms and I made sure to salt the veggies before dipping in the batter. They turned out amazing! The first time I did it I battered, fried then repeated because the 1st coating seemed quite thin. They were very crunchy and good. The 2nd time I made this I just did the battering and frying once and found that I preferred the thinner version. It didnt feel too thin, but was just perfect. I will certainly come back to this recipe!

  4. Avatar for patricia

    Tempura is Japanese – a Japanese dish of fish, shellfish, or vegetables, fried in batter.
    Your chef Hiro Sone is Japanese.

    Please correct the tags: Chinese , and gluten free Chinese.

  5. Avatar for Malu

    Hiro Sone’s gluten free tempura is light, crispy—just right. I made it with mushrooms and calabaza.
    I love his clarity—and am grateful for his gluten free options.

  6. Avatar for Maura

    So this sounds great but right now oil is an issue, so I wonder if anyone has thought of trying it in an air fryer? I was curious about the AF and having one now can see its huge benefits, even though I don’t use it as often as I’d like (kitchen counter real-estate issues!).
    May give it a try even if no one else has any intell from their own experience.

  7. Avatar for Pam

    To clarify, is soda water club soda or can I use plain seltzer or any type of bubbly water?

  8. Avatar for Erika

    We haven’t tried subbing tapioca for corn, Ann. Please let us know if you do and how it turns out!

  9. Avatar for Gina

    Substitute arrowroot for cornstarch. You should use twice as much arrowroot as you would cornstarch. Will be making this recipe soon. Will let you know how it turned out.

  10. Avatar for Michaela

    Keen to try this. Quick question: what is soda water? Is it like tonic water? Fizzy but no flavour? Thanks.

  11. Avatar for Erika

    Yes, but tonic water has sugar. Soda water doesn’t; it has no real flavor. You will love it!

  12. Avatar for Robert

    5 stars
    Love this recipe , tried a few and this is the best one I’ve tried, Mary even try using beer instead of soda water as an experiment

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