For those of you who don’t know what tempura is, let us explain it to you.
Tempura is a batter used to provide a thick and crispy coating to various food items.
You could say it’s similar to chicken nuggets, but with an East Asian touch.
Although it was initially a Portuguese invention, tempura has taken the storm in Japanese cuisine.
Since its arrival in the land of the rising sun, tempura has taken a permanent place in this exotic food industry.
Tempura shrimp is a combination of raw shrimp coated with tempura batter, which is then deep-fried to perfection.
This batter is typically made of flour, eggs and ice water; however, different variations do exist.
It’s a light and snacky meal which you can enjoy with your favorite side dish.
But what do we serve alongside tempura shrimp? Let’s find out.
Why Consider Serving a Side Dish with Tempura Shrimp?
Tempura shrimp packs the best of Japanese flavour and gives us a rare and exquisite taste.
However, it is not a filling meal and is better appreciated with a side dish to add more volume.
Unlike food from other countries, tempura shrimp is usually paired with light meals rather than heavy main courses.
Japanese cuisine is all about elegance and presentation.
In Japan, lightweight and exquisite tasting meals are more appealing than big meaty chunks.
What to Serve with Tempura Shrimp? 7 BEST Side Dishes
1 – Tsuyu (Dipping Sauce)
Tsuyu is a dipping sauce commonly served alongside various Japanese dishes, including tempura shrimp.
The recipe for tsuyu is an intricate process that demands an excellent touch.
Although complicated, you can easily prepare it once you get the hang of things.
Some of the ingredients for tsuyu are dried kelp, soy sauce and rice wine.
It has a savoury taste and also has a hint of umami flavour.
Tsuyu sauce is an excellent dip that goes well with tempura shrimp’s crispy and sweet taste.
The sauce brings an excellent range of rich and exceptional flavours, unlike any other food you’ve tasted.
Tempura shrimp with tsuyu is arguably one of the most eaten meals in Japan, and we can taste why.
2 – Ramen Noodles with Sesame Seeds
You simply cannot ignore some brothy and delicious ramen if you like Japanese food.
While the rest of the world is used to eating noodles, Japan is obsessed with ramen instead.
The light and soupy meal has a mild taste and is very filling.
We love gulping down the tasty broth at the end of the meal.
The sesame seeds provide a nutty and sweet flavour that you will love tasting.
The sweet and savoury flavour of tempura shrimp is an excellent partner for soupy ramen.
You’ll love the combination of soft and hard, soupy and dry, salty and sweet.
Overall a great dish to have for dinner.
3 – Curried Rice Pilaf
There’s no way we can talk about Japanese food and not mention rice; It’s a staple Asian delicacy after all.
The fluffy and chewy delicacy is not only a favourite in Japan but the entire Asian continent.
Curried rice pilaf is a great side dish for almost any cuisine, including tempura shrimp.
The curry consists of turmeric and can bring a much-needed earthiness to this dish.
It is a great side dish that brings the buttery flavours of Indian pulao.
What’s more, it’s very simple to prepare and tastes amazing even when eaten on its own.
We absolutely recommend trying tempura shrimp alongside a wholesome bowl of curried rice pilaf.
It’s an excellent meal for any day.
4 – Zaru Soba Noodles
Zaru soba noodles might be unheard of in the rest of the world, but it is a typical delicacy in Japan.
Unlike most noodles, zaru soba noodles are eaten at chilled and cold temperatures; now that’s an adventure.
The noodles are typically served with tsuyu, and drained on bamboo made zaru trays, hence the name.
They are commonly served in soba shops with a plate of tempura shrimp.
These noodles have a nutty and earthy flavour that tastes appealing while eating tempura shrimp.
Overall, they are incredibly healthy and high in nutrients.
Zaru noodles are a great accompaniment for tempura shrimp that you definitely try.
5 – Ginger Sesame Salad
Vegetables are always a great side for any meat dish or seafood, and it’s no different in the case of tempura shrimp.
Ginger sesame salad is prepared with various exotic ingredients that will make you drool.
Some of them include peapod shoots, snow peas and bok choy.
Overall, it is a perfect side dish to balance out the muskiness of the tempura coating.
The sweetness of the shrimp is fantastic when eaten with the fresh veggie mix.
You can even sprinkle some cilantro and peanuts for that extra later of texture.
Try ginger sesame salad for a delightful and healthy eating experience that you will love.
6 – Kakiage
The next entry in our list is yet another hidden Japanese gem for you that you might not have come across.
Kakiage is a mixture of ingredients, including shrimp and carrots, deep-fried until crispy.
It is commonly found in Japan; however, you might find it difficult coming across it in your country.
Luckily for you, Kakiage is very simple and easy to make.
This crunchy batter has an earthy and mild flavour and tastes excellent when eaten alongside tempura shrimp.
The combination gives you a very snacky delicacy on your plate that you will love taking a bite out of.
So go ahead, get your crunch on and enjoy.
7 – Whitefish With Spicy Beans And Chorizo
Shrimp with fish? Why that’s a mouthwatering combination indeed.
What’s that? There are beans and pork sausages too? Let the drooling begin.
Whitefish has a bland tasting flavour with a tinge of sweetness.
On the other hand, Chorizo is spicy and hot and is sure to make you sweat.
Add spicy beans into the bunch, and you have yourself one big spicy meal that will fire up your tastebuds.
Whitefish with spicy beans and chorizo is the perfect dish to spice up your tempura lunch or dinner.
We advise having this fiery combination with a chilled glass of juice to avoid any accidents.
So there you have it, these are our 7 side dishes to have alongside tempura shrimp.
Tempura shrimp is one of the most eaten meals in Japan and is growing popular worldwide.
Japanese delicacies always bring us a rich and exotic flavour that you cannot find anywhere else.
That’s why we love eating tempura shrimp and hope you enjoy it too.
Whether you love seafood or are just opening up to it, we guarantee you will love our choice of assortments.