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Delicious Shrimp Tempura Roll Recipe

Delicious Shrimp Tempura Roll Recipe with Step-by-Step Instructions
Shrimp Tempura roll sushi on a white plate placed on a bamboo cutting board. Also in the picture are black chopsticks and soy sauce

Like the crunchy rolls, the shrimp tempura roll combines two different Japanese cooking methods, sushi and tempura. Unlike many forms of cooked sushi, the shrimp tempura roll is a traditional Japanese sushi roll that is eaten in many Japanese homes.

While there are more steps to making this than some other sushi rolls, the finished product is definitely worth the effort.

Shrimp Tempura roll sushi on a white plate placed on a bamboo cutting board. Also in the picture are black chopsticks and soy sauce

What is a Shrimp Tempura Roll?

Shrimp Tempura roll

Shrimp tempura rolls are sushi rolls that consists of tempura fried shrimp, cucumber, and avocado wrapped in sushi rice and nori seaweed. While they can be made as a maki roll (meaning the rice is on the inside), I usually see them made as an uramaki roll, or inside-out sushi roll, meaning that the rice is on the outside of nori wrap.

Like many sushi rolls, the exact preparation methods, ingredients, and styles change based on each sushi chef’s preferences.

What’s in a Shrimp Tempura Roll?

While some of the fillings may vary, the primary ingredients of a shrimp tempura roll are the sushi rice, shrimp tempura, and nori sheets. I also like to add avocado and cucumber to my filling. In addition, I like to garnish with tobiko and drizzle with unagi (eel) sauce.

How to Make Shrimp Tempura Rolls

As with most sushi rolls, preparing shrimp tempura rolls can be broken down into three main components: Cooking the sushi rice, preparing the shrimp tempura and other fillings, and assembling the rolls. Below we will walk you through each component step-by-step.

Cook Sushi Rice

1. Rinse 1 2/3 cups of sushi rice by placing it in a colander and running water through it until the water is clear.

Rinse the sushi rice in water prior to cooking

2. After the rice is rinsed, add it to a sauce pan with 1 2/3 cups of water. You’ll want to check the instructions on the sushi rice container to verify exactly how much water they recommend.

Add sushi rice to a sauce pot with the amount of water as recommended on sushi rice package

3. Bring the water to a boil and then reduce the heat to low. Cover and let the rice simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the water is absorbed and the rice is soft.

Bring sushi rice to a boil and let simmer for approximately 20 minutes or until fully cooked.

4. Remove the rice and place into a bowl or dish and let cool. I would line the dish with parchment paper prior to adding the rice to avoid sticking.

Add sushi rice to a bowl or casserole dish lined with parchment paper. This prevents the rice from sticking to the bowl or dish.

5. Mix 1/4 cup of sushi vinegar into your rice. Stir until it has absorbed into the rice. Once cooled and fully absorbed, your rice is ready to roll!

Mix sushi vinegar into the sushi rice using a chopping motion until the vinegar until fully absorbed into sushi rice.

Stretch the Shrimp

1. Remove shells from shrimp, leaving the tails on. Remove the spiky part of the tail closest to the back as that can pop when frying.

Remove shells from shrimp.  Leave the tail on but remove the spike from the tail as this tends to pop in the oil when making shrimp tempura.

2. Devein the shrimp. To do this, use a sharp knife to cut along the back of the shrimp about 1/4 of the way through to expose the vein. Once exposed, scrape out the vein with your knife.

Use a sharp knife to make shallow slice down the back of the shrimp exposing the vein.  Use knife to scrape vein out of shrimp.

3. Use your knife to scrape the black liquid out of the tail as this liquid can also cause the shrimp to pop during frying. Rinse the shrimp and dry thoroughly with a paper towel.

Use knife to scrape black liquid out of shell so the shrimp doesn't pop in the oil while making the shrimp tempura

4. Stretch the shrimp. You can do this by using a sharp knife to cut slits along the belly of shrimp from the head to the tail. Then use your fingers to press the shrimp against the cutting board. You should feel the shrimp muscles cracking each time you press down straightening the shrimp.

Straighten shrimp for shrimp tempura

Prepare Tempura Batter

1. Assemble the ingredients and chill the water. You may need to add ice if you don’t have access to very cold water. However, make sure to remove ice cubes before combining with egg.

2. Crack the egg into a mixing bowl and beat until the yolk and white are combined.

Stir egg for tempura batter

3. Add cold water to the egg and mix well. I usually strain my ice water directly into the bowl as shown in the picture.

Add water to egg mix for tempura batter

4. Sift flour to the egg and water combination.

Sift flour into egg/water mixture for tempura batter

5. Using a spoon or chopstick, lightly mix making sure not to over stir. The batter should be mixed but a little lumpy.

Mix tempura batter

Prepare Shrimp Tempura

1. Put the remaining cup of flour into a bowl or plate. Dip the shrimp into the flour making sure the entire piece of shrimp is coated in flour. This helps the batter to stick to the flour.

Dredge the straightened shrimp in flour for the shrimp tempura.

2. Holding by the tail, dip each shrimp into the batter ensuring the piece is evenly coated. Then gently drop the batter into the vegetable oil, cooking for around a minute to a minute and a half, or until the batter is slightly crunchy and the shrimp is cooked through. Once done, place on a plate covered with two or three paper towels to help soak up any excess oil. Repeat this process for all shrimp.

Add battered shrimp to the oil to cook the shrimp tempura.

3. Discard the remaining oil when complete.

Assemble the Shrimp Tempura Rolls

1. Cut the avocado and cucumber: Slice the avocado in half the long way. Remove the seed and cut each half into 6 slices. Each whole avocado should yield around 12 slices. I would also drizzle lemon juice over the avocado after cutting to prevent it from browning in your sushi roll.You will then need to cut the cucumbers into strips that are as long as your nori sheet and about 1/8 inch thick.

2. Prepare your bamboo sushi mat: Cover your bamboo sushi mat with plastic wrap. This will help keep the rice from sticking to it.

3. Press rice onto nori sheets: Next, place the nori sheet onto the plastic wrap with the shiny side facing down. Then press around 1 cup of rice onto the nori sheet in an even layer. Tip: Wet your hands in a bowl of water mixed with a splash of rice vinegar prior to handling the sushi rice. This will prevent the rice from sticking to your hands.

Spread sushi rice over the shrimp tempura roll

4. Add tobiko or masago: After the rice is pressed onto the nori sheet, add a thin layer of tobiko or masago to the top of the rice. Then flip the sheet over so the rice is facing down.

Add tobiko or masago to the shrimp tempura roll.

5. Add the avocado and cucumber: Add the avocado slices and cucumber sticks horizontally along the nori sheet. In general, I add 2-3 avocado slices and 1-2 cucumber sticks depending on the size of each ingredient and how everything fits.

6. Add the shrimp: Add two pieces of shrimp to the middle of the roll with the tails sticking out of each end.

Add fillings to the shrimp tempura roll

7. Roll the sushi: Use the bamboo sushi mat to fold your roll until it is completely enclosed. Once the rice is making contact with the nori roll, pull back the sushi mat so it doesn’t get caught in the roll. Still using the sushi mat as your guide, finish rolling until the roll is completely wrapped. Then wrap the sushi mat around the roll and gently tighten the roll together.Keep in mind that rolling sushi is an art that may take some practice so don’t get frustrated if it doesn’t look perfect your first time. It will get easier the more you do it.

Roll the sushi

8. Cut the roll: Using a sharp knife, cut the roll into 8 pieces. I do this by first cutting the roll in half. Then cutting each half in half. Then cutting each fourth in half. Tip: Be sure to clean and wet the edge of your knife before cutting each roll.

Using a wet, sharp knife, cut the shrimp tempura roll.

9. Optional: Lightly drizzle with unagi (eel) sauce.

10. Serve and enjoy: I usually serve with soy sauce and wasabi. Sushi rolls are traditionally served with pickled ginger as well.

Shrimp Tempura Roll Recipe

Shrimp Tempura roll sushi on a white plate placed on a bamboo cutting board. Also in the picture are black chopsticks and soy sauce

Shrimp Tempura Roll Recipe

Delicious Shrimp Tempura Roll Recipe with Step-by-Step Instructions
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: Shrimp Tempura roll, Shrimp Tempura roll sushi
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 4 People
Calories: 470kcal

Equipment

  • 1 Bamboo Sushi Mat
  • 1 Pot for cooking sushi rice
  • 1 Pot for frying tempura batter
  • 1 Sharp knife and cutting board

Ingredients

Sushi Rice

  • 1 1/3 cups Sushi Rice dried, will cook to 4 cups
  • 1/4 cup Sushi Vinegar

Tempura Batter

  • 6 cups Vegetable oil
  • 2 cups All purpose flour
  • 1 Egg Large
  • 1 cup Water Ice cold

Roll and Filling

  • 4 Nori Sheets
  • 1 Ripe Avocados
  • 1 English Cucumber Sliced into 1/8 sticks
  • 8 Pieces Shrimp Size – 13 to 15 per pound
  • 8 tbsp Tobiko or Masago
  • Lemon Juice
  • Unagi (eel) sauce (optional)

Instructions

Cook Sushi Rice

  • Rinse 1 2/3 cups of sushi rice by placing it in a colander and running water through it until the water is clear.
  • After the rice is rinsed, add it to a sauce pan with 1 2/3 cups of water.
  • Bring the water to a boil and then reduce the heat to low. Cover and let the rice simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the water is absorbed and the rice is soft.
  • Remove the rice and place into a bowl or dish and let cool. I would line the dish with parchment paper prior to adding the rice to avoid sticking.
  • Mix 1/4 cup of sushi vinegar into your rice. Stir until it has absorbed into the rice. Once cooled and fully absorbed, your rice is ready to roll!

Stretch the Shrimp

  • Remove shells from shrimp, leaving the tails on. Remove the spiky part of the tail closest to the back as that can pop when frying.
  • Devein the shrimp. To do this, use a sharp knife to cut along the back of the shrimp about 1/4 of the way through to expose the vein. Once exposed, scrape out the vein with your knife.
  • Use your knife to scrape the black liquid out of the tail as this liquid can also cause the shrimp to pop during frying. Rinse the shrimp and dry thoroughly with a paper towel.
  • Stretch the shrimp. You can do this by using a sharp knife to cut slits along the belly of shrimp from the head to the tail. Then use your fingers to press the shrimp against the cutting board. You should feel the shrimp muscles cracking each time you press down straightening the shrimp.

Prepare Tempura Batter

  • In a sauce pan, heat 6 cups of vegetable oil on medium heat to 350 degrees.
  • Assemble the ingredients and chill the water. You may need to add ice if you don't have access to very cold water. However, make sure to remove ice cubes before combining with egg.
  • Crack the egg into a small bowl and beat until the yolk and white are combined.
  • Add cold water to the egg and mix well.
  • Sift flour into the egg and water combination.
  • Using a spoon or chopstick, lightly mix making sure not to over stir. The batter should be mixed but a little lumpy.

Prepare shrimp tempura

  • Put the remaining cup of flour into a bowl or plate. Dip the shrimp into the flour making sure the entire piece of shrimp is coated in flour. This helps the batter to stick to the flour.
  • Holding by the tail, dip each shrimp into the batter ensuring the piece is evenly coated. Then gently drop the batter into the vegetable oil, cooking for around a minute to a minute and a half, or until the batter is slightly crunchy and the shrimp is cooked through. Once done, place on a plate covered with two or three paper towels to help soak up any excess oil. Repeat this process for all shrimp.
  • Discard the remaining oil when complete.

Assemble the Shrimp Tempura Rolls

  • Cut the avocado and cucumber: Slice the avocado in half the long way. Remove the seed and cut each half into 6 slices. Each whole avocado should yield around 12 slices. I would also drizzle lemon juice over the avocado after cutting to prevent it from browning in your sushi roll.
    You will then need to cut the cucumbers into strips that are as long as your nori sheet and about 1/8 inch thick.
  • Prepare your bamboo sushi mat: Cover your bamboo sushi mat with plastic wrap. This will help keep the rice from sticking to it.
  • Press rice onto nori sheets: Next, place the nori sheet onto the plastic wrap with the shiny side facing down. Then press around 1 cup of rice onto the nori sheet in an even layer. Tip: Wet your hands in a bowl of water mixed with a splash of rice vinegar prior to handling the sushi rice. This will prevent the rice from sticking to your hands.
  • Add tobiko or masago: After the rice is pressed onto the nori sheet, add a thin layer of tobiko or masago to the top of the rice. Then flip the sheet over so the rice is facing down.
  • Add the avocado and cucumber: Add the avocado slices and cucumber sticks horizontally along the nori sheet. In general, I add 2-3 avocado slices and 1-2 cucumber sticks depending on the size of each ingredient and how everything fits.
  • Add the shrimp: Add two pieces of shrimp to the middle of the roll with the tails sticking out of each end.
  • Roll the sushi: Use the bamboo sushi mat to fold your roll until it is completely enclosed. Once the rice is making contact with the nori roll, pull back the sushi mat so it doesn't get caught in the roll. Still using the sushi mat as your guide, finish rolling until the roll is completely wrapped. Then wrap the sushi mat around the roll and gently tighten the roll together.
    Keep in mind that rolling sushi is an art that may take some practice so don’t get frustrated if it doesn’t look perfect your first time. It will get easier the more you do it.
  • Cut the roll: Using a sharp knife, cut the roll into 8 pieces. I do this by first cutting the roll in half. Then cutting each half in half. Then cutting each fourth in half. Tip: Be sure to clean and wet the edge of your knife before cutting each roll.
  • Optional: Lightly drizzle with unagi (eel) sauce.
  • Serve and enjoy: I usually serve with soy sauce and wasabi. Sushi rolls are traditionally served with pickled ginger as well.

Video

Notes

You can control how thick your sushi rolls are by how much of the nori sheet you use.  This recipe uses the entire nori sheet which makes thicker rolls.
If you like smaller rolls, you can cut the nori sheet in half.  This will definitely make the roll thinner and easier to eat with chopsticks but it can be trickier to roll.  You can also cut off the top 1/4 of the nori sheet to reduce the thickness of the roll depending on your preference.

Nutrition

Serving: 1Roll | Calories: 470kcal | Carbohydrates: 63.9g | Protein: 22.3g | Fat: 14.1g | Saturated Fat: 2.8g | Cholesterol: 140mg | Sodium: 191mg | Potassium: 517mg | Fiber: 5.1g | Sugar: 1.4g | Calcium: 82mg | Iron: 3mg

Frequently Asked Questions

Are shrimp tempura rolls gluten free?

Traditionally, shrimp tempura rolls are not gluten free as the shrimp tempura batter contains flour. However, they can be made gluten free by substituting the flour for a 1 to 1 gluten free flour substitute.

Are shrimp tempura rolls healthy?

While shrimp, avocado and cucumber are good for you, the act of deep frying the shrimp tempura style adds a lot of calories and fat to the roll. If you are looking for a healthier version of the shrimp tempura roll, I would try the Boston roll.

What are common ingredients in shrimp tempura rolls?

All shrimp tempura rolls must contain rice, nori, and shrimp tempura. Most of the shrimp tempura rolls I have seen also include avocado and cucumber in the filling. However, I have seen lettuce, asparagus, spicy mustard and other ingredients in shrimp tempura rolls as well. I have also seen maki versions (where the rice is inside the nori wrap with the filling) of shrimp tempura rolls that contain nothing but rice and shrimp in the filling.

Final Thoughts on Shrimp Tempura Rolls

Preparing shrimp tempura rolls, or at least giving it a college try, exposes you to both the sushi and the tempura cooking methods. This opens up a wide range of exciting new culinary options to add to your cooking playbook. We hope you have found this informative and fun! Happy cooking!

For more great information, check out the below articles:

Delicious Crunchy Roll Sushi Recipe (Crunchy California Roll)

Ebi Sushi: What it is and How to Make it

How Long Does Shrimp Last in the Fridge? Your Questions Answered

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