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How To Reheat Tempura

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Tempura is absolutely delicious fresh, just out of the fryer. Whether you are making tempura prawns or tempura vegetables, it is best to enjoy them hot, savoring that delectable crunch and all the flavors the tempura brings.

As delicious as tempura is, there is only so much you can eat at one time. You might be lucky enough to have some tempura leftovers to enjoy the next day.

But how do you reheat tempura? The best way to reheat tempura is in the oven or deep-fryer. If you have one, you could even reheat the tempura in the air fryer. Do not use the microwave, as it will only make your tempura soggy and the crispiness will be lost.

We have put together a guide on how to reheat tempura, to ensure you get to enjoy it in all its glory the next day, with safe preparation and proper reheating!

The Best Ways To Reheat Tempura

Fresh tempura is delicious, golden, and crisp. However, after a night in the fridge, your tempura will look limp and almost soggy, definitely not the appetizing meal you ate the night before.

But before you throw away any leftover tempura, there are a few ways that can bring the sad-looking tempura back to life, and hopefully give it back its crunch and flavor, whether it be tempura vegetables or tempura shrimp.

Good tasting reheated tempura depends on following safe food storage practices, especially when dealing with leftover tempura shrimp. 

Food Safety Tips For Tempura:

  1. Do not keep the tempura in the fridge for more than two days.
  2. Store leftover tempura in an airtight container. Make sure the pieces of tempura are not touching each other, and if there are several layers, separate them with parchment paper or wax paper.
  3. Do not leave the tempura to sit out for long at room temperate. If the tempura has been at room temperature for more than two hours, it is best to throw it away.
  4. Do not reheat tempura or any other food twice. Once you have reheated tempura once, either finish the food or throw whatever is left away. Reheating food more than once encourages harmful bacteria growth.
  5. Avoid reheating tempura that has a funny smell or which looks off.

Reheating Tempura In The Oven

Reheating tempura in the oven is possibly the best way to do so.

The dry heat from the oven, along with the high temperature, helps to bring the tempura back to its crispy state. If done right, tempura reheated in the oven should be golden and crispy once again.

Here is how to reheat tempura in the oven:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  2. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  3. Lay the leftover vegetable or shrimp tempura on the baking tray, making sure that none are touching, and they are all spread out.
  4. Place the baking sheet with the tempura in the preheated oven for 3 minutes.
  5. After 3 minutes, remove the tray from the oven, and turn each piece of the tempura over to the other side.
  6. Place the baking tray back into the oven for another 3 minutes.
  7. Remove the baking tray from the oven. One by one, take each piece of tempura out of the tray and put them onto a plate lined with paper towels.
  8. Serve the tempura immediately.

Keep a watch that the color of the tempura darkens while reheating, but do not leave it to burn or become too dark. This will give your tempura a bitter, burnt taste.

Using the oven to reheat tempura means that the tempura heats up crisp and dry, saving it from being limp and soggy.

Reheating Tempura In The Deep-Fryer

Tempura is most commonly made using a deep-fryer, frying the tempura pieces in hot oil.

You can use this same method to reheat tempura pieces, but just keep in mind that too much oil might make the tempura taste very oily, which is never pleasant.

However, if it turns out right, you will enjoy fresh-tasting, crispy tempura, almost as if it was fresh.

Here is how to reheat tempura in a deep-fryer:

  1. Heat the oil in a deep-fryer, or a deep pan.
  2. Allow the oil to reach between 350-375°F.
  3. Once the oil is hot enough, place a few pieces of the tempura in at a time. Do not place too many pieces of tempura in at once, as this would overcrowd the deep-fryer and cause the tempura to come out soggy and oily.
  4. Leave the tempura pieces to fry for one or two minutes, keeping a check that they stay a beautiful golden brown, and do not darken too much.
  5. Remove the tempura pieces carefully from the deep-fryer, and place them on a plate lined with a paper towel.
  6. Serve the tempura immediately.

It would make sense that deep-frying the tempura is one of the best ways to reheat it, as it is how it was cooked in the first place.

You just need to be careful not to leave the tempura in the oil for too long, and to not overcrowd the oil, or the tempura won’t taste as good.

Reheating Tempura In The Air Fryer

Air fryers are wonderful inventions. You get to cook and reheat food with little to no oil. The hot, dry environment created in an air fryer makes it ideal to use to reheat tempura, no matter how the tempura was cooked in the first place.

Here’s how to reheat tempura using the air-fryer:

  1. Turn the air fryer on and allow to heat to between 350-400°F.
  2. Once heated, lay the tempura pieces down on the frying rack, making sure there is space between them and they are not touching or it is not overcrowded.
  3. Leave the tempura to heat for 3 minutes.
  4. Pull out the tray and turn the pieces over to the other side.
  5. Place them back in the air fryer for another 3 minutes.
  6. If the tempura is not ready, put it back in the air fryer for another 3 minutes.
  7. Place the tempura on a plate lined with a paper towel and serve immediately.

It might take some time to use the air fryer to reheat tempura, especially if you have quite a bit to do. You cannot stack the tempura in the air fryer, so you will have to do a few batches before it is ready.

However, using an air fryer is a great way to get crispy, golden tempura that isn’t oily, soggy, or limp.

Ways to Reheat Tempura – Comparison

For your convenience, we’ve included the chart below laying out the important details of each reheating method side-by-side so that you can better discern which one works for you.

Reheating MethodTimeWhat To Expect
Stove± 6 minutesDry heat from the oven helps crisp up tempura and give it a good color. There is no additional oil needed, so tempura won’t be soggy or limp.
Deep-fryer± 2 minutesGives tempura the golden crispiness, but might be too oily once reheated. Make sure to not overcrowd the deep-fryer.
Air Fryer± 6 minutesReheats tempura back to a golden crisp without the need for oil. You will only be able to do a few tempura pieces at a time, so it might take longer.

Extra tip – You could also reheat tempura in a toaster oven if you have one at home. You need to set the toaster oven on high and leave the tempura to crisp up for around 5-10 minutes, keeping track to make sure that they do not burn.

Related Questions

How Do You Keep Tempura Warm and Crisp?

Once tempura is cooked, you either need to eat it straight away, or keep it warm and crisp for a short time.

The best way to do this is to store the cooked tempura in a preheated oven. The oven should be preheated to around 250°F. Lay the tempura on a baking sheet lined with paper towels, on a cooling rack.

This is a good way to keep tempura warm and crisp, but you cannot leave them in there for too long, as they could dry out and burn.

Just use this method to keep the first few batches of tempura warm while you finish cooking the rest, then serve all the tempura together warm and crispy!

What Is the Best Oil to Use to Cook and Reheat Tempura?

The best oil to use to cook and reheat tempura would be vegetable oil. You could also use corn oil, canola oil, safflower oil, or peanut oil, but you should not use olive oil.

Try to add in a few tablespoons of sesame oil to the vegetable oil you are using, as it is amazingly fragrant and will add a tantalizing and toasty aroma to your tempura.

You could also use this oil a few times, and it can be used to reheat the tempura the next day.

Why Does Tempura Batter Need to Be Cold?

Tempura batter is best when it is cold, as it prevents the batter from absorbing too much oil when it is deep-fried. When cold, the hot oil shocks the batter so it turns wonderfully crispy.

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