Crawfish Tempura

Rating: 5.00
By Dave
April 30, 2022

Crawfish are like tiny lobster tails and they make fantastic tempura. Try this incredible twist on deep fried seafood.

Why Crawfish?

Crawfish are tender and sweet, much like lobster, and they make wonderful tempura. They are also bite size already, no need to cut them up. if you buy them shelled and deveined, there is a lot less work than preparing lobster or shrimp tempura.

Where to Find Crawfish

You can find live crawfish in the South but may need to buy 50 pounds of them and then, you get to clean them. Or, buy shelled and deveined frozen crawfish tails. They are available at better markets and many online specialty stores.

Crawfish tails
Frozen Crawfish Tails

What is the Secret to Making Great Crawfish Tempura?

Actually, there are a few secrets. First, make sure that whatever you are going to fry is very cold. For this crawfish tempura, I kept the thawed crawfish in an ice bath in the refrigerator until it was time to make the tempura.

Second, use the best tempura mix that you can find. Sure, you can make your own but I don’t think tempura batter from scratch is nearly as good as a high-end mix. But not any tempura batter mix will do. I have tried all of the tempura batter mixes at my local grocery store and was disappointed in all of them. A local Japanese specialty store carried an imported tempura batter mix that produces some of the best tempura I have ever had. It’s not very expensive and well worth it.

Tempura batter mix
Japanese Tempura Batter Mix
Tempura batter mix
Japanese Tempura Batter Mix (package back)

Third, make the tempura batter with very cold water or, better yet, with very cold soda water. The bubbles in soda water make the batter a bit lighter and fluffier. I used a soda stream to create my soda water and then refrigerated it until it was very cold.

Finally, keep the batter cold. Mix the batter in a shallow bowl then place that bowl inside a larger bowl that has been partially filled with crushed ice. That will keep the batter nice and cold why you fry several batches of crawfish.

Mixing tempura batter in an ice bath
Tempura Batter in an Ice Bath

Cooking the Tempura

Dredge the cold crawfish in dry tempura batter mix, then coat it in tempura batter.

Crawfish in tempura batter
Coating the Crawfish in Tempura Batter

Drop the coated crawfish into the hot oil and cook until golden brown.

Crawfish tempura in the fryer
Crawfish in the Deep Fryer
Crawfish tempura out of the fryer
Out of the Fryer
Crawfish Tempura
Crawfish Tempura Ready to Serve

Some Similar Dishes

Here are some similar dishes to try:

Watch the video on YouTube

Crawfish Tempura

Crawfish Tempura

5 from 1 vote
Crawfish are like tiny lobster tails and they make fantastic tempura. Try this incredible twist on deep fried seafood.
Servings 6 servings
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 3 minutes
Total Time 23 minutes


Crawfish Tempura

  • 1 cup tempura batter mix
  • 12 oz crawfish meat peeled and deveined
  • canola oil for frying

Spicy Aioli

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tbs lime juice
  • 1 tbs chives chopped
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper fresh ground
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt


Tempura Crawfish

  • Preheat oil in a large pot of deep fryer to 375˚ F. Prepare the batter using ice cold water or, better yet, ice cold soda water. The soda water bubble make the tempura batter lighter and fluffier. Keep the batter cold by placing it in an ice filled dish.
    Mixing tempura batter in an ice bath
  • Coat the crawfish first in dry batter mix, then in the tempura batter.
    Crawfish in tempura batter
  • Carefully drop it into the hot oil. Gently stir the crawfish after they are in the oil to separate the pieces and prevent clumping. Fry until golden brown, about 3 minutes.
    Crawfish tempura in the fryer
  • Serve with tempura sauce or spicy aioli.
    Crawfish Tempura

Spicy Aioli

  • Mix mayonnaise, lime juice chives, black pepper, salt and cayenne.



BBQ Tools & Supplies


Calories: 209kcalCarbohydrates: 17gProtein: 2gFat: 14gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 8gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 20mgSodium: 274mgPotassium: 33mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 75IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 7mgIron: 1mg
Calories: 209kcal
Cost: $10
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American, Japanese, Seafood
Keyword: crawfish tempura, lobster tempura, seafood tempura

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