Tempura Soba For Newbie Cooks With A Simple Recipe

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Last Updated on March 28, 2024 by Share My Kitchen

What Are Tempura Soba Noodles? One of the most popular Japanese noodles. Often, when we hear Japanese noodles, we think of one of these:

  • Ramen
  • Udon
  • Soba

You might also think of other things.

Soba is a type of noodle made with buckwheat flour, and it has a distinct grayish-brown color.

It is a Japanese dish with a rich history that spans approximately 1400 years. It is considered to be one of the most famous Japanese dishes, along with sushi and tempura.

Is Tempura Soba Served Hot or Cold

Soba can either be served hot or cold.

As expected, people prefer soba with hot soup in the winter, and cold soba in summer.

These are the most popular examples:

  • Zaru Soba (ざるそば): cold soba with dipping sauce
  • Kake Soba (かけそば): soba with simple hot soup
  • Tempura Soba: Soba (hot or cold) served with tempura

You can go on and on. There are endless possibilities for soba! But today’s recipe is Kake Soba style!

Making Tempura Soba Is Always Difficult

It’s always difficult to make tempura. You have to get the batter, temperature, and cooking time just right. It is so easy to make mistakes, but a great batter recipe solves the problems.

Tempura Soba Batter Recipe


  • Weak flour (for example, cake flour)
  • Cold Sparkling water
  • Mayonnaise

A good homemade mayonnaise is a good addition to the batter. It adds egg, vinegar, saltiness and sparkle water to make it light.

Cold Water

It doesn’t matter if you use sparkling or regular water. However, make sure your water is as cold as possible. This ensures that once the batter is dipped into the oil, it becomes crispy, light and airy.

Sparkling water should be kept in the fridge because this keeps its fizziness. Then, place it in the freezer for 10 minutes before you intend to use it.

Some people add ice cubes and let them melt before adding them to the water. But no matter what method you use, ensure that your water is cold!

Temperature and Cooking Time For Tempura Soba

Tempura batter is sensitive and therefore oil temperature is important. Preferably, temperature should vary between each type of ingredient, such as:

  • Low (150-160°C; 300-32°F): for potatoes, anything you want to keep the color
  • Medium (170-180°C, 340-360°F): for most vegetables
  • High (180-190°C; 360-375°F): for seafood and meat


What are soba noodles made of?

Soba noodles are made with buckwheat flour, normal flour, and water.

What is the difference between soba and udon noodles?

While udon is usually very thick and white, soba is a grayish-brown color. It is thinner than udon.

Can vegans eat soba noodles?

The noodles are vegan themselves.

Why isn’t my tempura crispy?

It might either be that your batter was not cold enough or your oil was not hot enough. These are the main causes of soggy batter.

What’s the difference between tempura and panko?

Tempura is made with a light batter. Thus, it becomes crisp and airy, but pale in color. Panko breadcrumbs have a thicker, crunchier texture and a golden color. But both are delicious!

What oil should I use to deep fry my tempura soba?

Deep frying is possible with any oil that can withstand high temperatures. Peanut oil, vegetable oil, and canola oil are all common. Japan’s professionals sometimes use 100% light sesame oils, but it is too costly for home-frying.

Simple Recipe for Tempura Soba



  • 1000ml – Water
  • 7g – Kombu (dried kelp)
  • 30g – Katsuobushi (Bonito flakes)
  • 80ml – Soy sauce
  • 50ml – Mirin


  • 100g – Weak Flour
  • 2 tbsp – Mayonnaise (preferably Japanese mayo)
  • 140ml – Refrigerated Sparkling Water
  • Oil for deep frying


  • 8 Tiger Prawns (or similar large prawns)
  • 1 Eggplant (Or vegetables of your choice, like bell peppers, renkon, carrot etc.)
  • 4 Shiso Leaf (optional)


  • 400g Dry soba noodles (100g per serving)
  • 50g Finely sliced spring onion
  • Shichimi Japanese 7 spice powder (optional)



  1. In a large pot, heat 1000ml cold water and add 7g dry kombu.
  2. Bring the water and kombu to boil over medium heat.
  3. Once the water has boiled, remove the kombu and reduce the heat to a simmer.
  4. Stir in 30g of bonito flakes (katsuobushi) and let it simmer for 5 minutes.
  5. Next, take out the bonito flakes. You can either strain the broth and return it to the pot or use a spoon with a slotted spoon.
  6. Mix in 80ml soy sauce and 50ml mirin. Then turn the heat up to medium. Bring back to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer.


  1. Deshell the prawns, leaving the tail on, then remove the veins.
  2. Place the prawns into a bowl, then using 2 pinches of salt and a tsp of cornstarch to rub it over the surface of the prawn. Salt is added to dehydrate them and the corn starch is used to clean them better.
  3. You will be amazed at how clean the prawns look after a few minutes of running them under cold water to remove the cornstarch and salt.
  4. Let them dry on kitchen paper, then transfer them to your cutting board.
  5. Next, trim the tails. Place the shrimp on its side with the tail, fold the tail in half and trim diagonally. You should trim the pointy tip and be the shorter part of the diagonal. This prevents oil from splashing out while it’s being fried and also looks better!
  6. Make diagonal incisions across the entire body by turning the prawn upside down, with the underbelly facing up. The incisions should be approximately 1cm apart, and about half way through the prawn.
  7. The prawn should lain out flat and straight.
  8. Continue this process for all your remaining prawns.


  1. In a pan or pot that can hold enough oil to cover the prawns, heat your oil to 375°F (190°C).
  2. Cut your eggplant into long slices.
  3. Pour 140 ml of cold sparkling water into a bowl.
  4. Then sift 140g of flour and 2 tbsp of mayonnaise.
  5. Mix the batter until it is well combined. However, it’s okay to have some flour lumps in the batter.
  6. Add a little drop of batter into the oil. If the batter sizzles and floats up to the top, then it’s ready for cooking.
  7. Then coat your prawns, eggplant, prawns and shiso leaves using the batter then place them into the pot carefully.
  8. A wire rack with something to catch any excess oil should be kept on hand. While you wait for your tempura to cook, place the cooked ones on the rack. You can also place your batter in the refrigerator to keep it cool between batches.
  9. Remember not to overcrowd your pot. Only put a few items into the pot, and once they are all done, transfer them to a wire rack. The batter would be crispy and puffy, and remove them before they turn golden.


  1. Follow the package instructions to properly boil your soba noodles, and in a separate pot.
  2. After they are cooked, rinse them under cold water to separate them into bowls.
  3. Then add the broth over the noodles.
  4. Add the tempura to the top of the noodles, then garnish it with spring onions.
  5. Sprinkle with Japanese Shichimi powder for an extra kick.
  6. Enjoy!


  • Be mindful to remove the tempura from the oil before they turn golden.


Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Category: Noodles
Method: Boil and Deep Fry


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