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Avocado Tempura

Avocado Tempura has the perfect combination of crispy tempura coating and creamy avocado. It's super easy to make and makes a great appetizer or side dish. You can make this avocado appetizer in two different shapes: as avocado "bites" and avocado "fries."

Serve with tempura sauce or some spicy mayo for dipping.

Avocado Tempura bites on a plate
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Crispy fried avocado tempura

Tempura is one of the few ways we get our picky son to try new veggies, and avocado tempura is no exception! It's no surprise that our son agreed to try a bite of crispy fried avocados, and that he liked it!

The avocado is "hidden" by a light layer of crispy tempura coating, and dipping avocado into sauce is a great way to get kids to eat avocado. This is also a great avocado appetizer recipe for us grownups.

This recipe has the simplest batter and you can make avocado tempura in about 10-15 minutes.

Avocado tempura pieces on a plate

Tempura batter

Tempura batter is incredibly easy to make and such a great budget-friendly way to elevate ANY veggie. All you need is flour, salt, egg, ice cold water, and seltzer water/sparkling water. If you don't have seltzer, you can use beer, or use more water and add a pinch of baking powder.

The bubbles in the seltzer pop as the avocado cooks, which makes for a crispy fried avocado.

The batter I use in this recipe is very lightly salted because I like to serve the avocado tempura with sauce for dipping, but you can definitely add a little more salt if you prefer, and maybe add a ½ teaspoon of garlic powder and onion powder to the flour.

Dipping avocado fry into tempura sauce

Avocado fries and avocado bites

Just like my fried jalapeños recipe, you can cut avocado intro strips or into pieces to make "avocado fries" or "avocado bites."

The "fries" are a little healthier because there is more avocado-to-batter ratio. They're also easier to fry because there are less pieces to deal with

The avocado "bites" are more snackable and have a higher crisp-to-avocado ratio. If you're the kind of person who likes to keep reaching for snacks (AKA MY KIND OF PERSON!) you might prefer the bites because you can eat more pieces in one serving. 

Either way, they're equally delicious!!

More avocado appetizers: Tomato Avocado Bruschetta

Ready to get started??

Ingredients

  • 2 Hass avocados (ripe and easily sliced, but not mushy)
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup ice cold water
  • ½ cup cold seltzer water (or sparkling water)
  • 2-3 cups vegetable oil for frying (such as canola, soy bean, or peanut oil)
  • Tempura sauce or spicy mayo for dipping (make spicy mayo by combining a few tablespoons of mayo with a squeeze of sriracha)

Tempura dipping sauce

Dipping sauce: I like this tempura sauce, but I also make a quick sauce myself by mixing 2 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce, 1 tablespoon rice vinegar, ½ tablespoon Thai chili paste, and 1 tablespoon honey, or brown sugar.

It might not be the most authentic, but it's tasty! And that's what matters to me.

Sauces used for tempura sauce

Equipment

  • Fine mesh sieve for sifting the flour
  • Tongs (2 tongs is best, one for dipping the avocado into batter and placing into the oil, the other for flipping the avocado pieces while they're frying and removing them from the pan)
  • Small pot or pan for frying
  • Paper towels for absorbing excess oil

More avocado recipes: Shrimp Stuffed Avocados

Instructions

Step 1: Sift the flour into a medium bowl. Sifting takes out any lumps from the flour and makes a light batter. Add salt and mix well. 

Sifting flour into a bowl

Step 2: In a separate bowl, combine the egg with the cold water and seltzer and mix really well.

2 bowls, one with sifted flour, the other with egg and cold water mixture

Step 3: Slice the avocado into strips or into bite-sized pieces. 

Cutting board showing avocado cut in 2 ways for Avocado Tempura

Step 4: Add the egg and water mixture to the flour and mix well until almost no lumps remain (a few small lumps are OK, you don't want to overmix and pop all the bubbles).  

Batter for Avocado Tempura

Step 5: Preheat your cooking oil to 350-360F. (I typically do not measure the temperature, I just add do the tooth pick test or add a test piece of battered avocado to test the temperature: if small bubbles form around around the toothpick or the test piece starts frying, the oil is hot enough. If the bubbles are too vigorous, the oil is too hot.) 

Step 6: Dip each avocado piece into the batter to coat on all sides. Gently shake off excess batter into the bowl and carefully place into the hot oil. Add more pieces, but do not crowd the pan. 

Avocado pieces dipped into tempura batter
There's no need to put the battered avocado onto a plate, you can place each piece directly into the hot oil. I was just showing you what the tempura batter coating looks like on avocado.

Step 7: Fry each piece of avocado for about 2 minutes, carefully flipping halfway through. Remove from the oil when the tempura coating is a light golden brown and place on a large plate lined with paper towels to absorb excess oil. Serve warm with dipping sauce.

Dipping piece of Avocado Tempura into tempura sauce

More crispy fried appetizers: Fried Chicken Hearts

Can you make avocado tempura in an air fryer? 

This recipe doesn't work that well in an air fryer because the batter is liquid and will drip off the avocado and onto your air fryer tray or basket before the crisps up. If you want to make fried avocado in an air fryer, consider following the same method I use for fried briecoat the sliced avocado into an egg mixture, then dip into seasoned panko breadcrumbs.

If you have an air fryer though, it is the best way to reheat leftover tempura (see below for tips).

Storing and reheating tempura

Avocado tempura (just like most tempura) will keep well in the fridge for 1-2 days. I would not recommend keeping it longer because the avocado gets a weird mushy texture after day 3. Refrigerated tempura might not look appetizing (it will feel soft and greasy), but trust me that you can revive it using the steps below:

To reheat tempura, you absolutely have to do it in an air fryer, toaster oven, or oven. That's the only way to crisp it back up. Microwaving leftover tempura or even pan-frying it does not yield the same results.

I reheat leftover tempura in my Instant Pot Vortex Air Fryer + Oven Combo. I simply put it on the "bake" setting at 360F for 3-4 minutes. The crispy coating actually gets nice and crispy again!

If you're using an oven to reheat, preheat it to 375F and then place the avocado pieces on a baking sheet and bake for about 5 minutes, or until heated through.

If you enjoyed this recipe, let me know with a comment and a star rating below. And don't forget to share it on Facebook and save it on Pinterest for later!

Recipe card

Avocado Tempura bites on a plate
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5 from 4 votes

Avocado Tempura

Avocado tempura is a delicious avocado appetizer that is ready in just 10-15 minutes! The light tempura batter makes such a crispy coating for fried avocado. Dip into the easy tempura dipping sauce, spicy mayo, or your favorite dip. A great way to get kids to eat avocado!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Japanese
Diet: Low Salt, Vegetarian
Servings: 4
Author: Kate

Ingredients

  • 2 Hass avocados - (ripe and easily sliced, but not mushy)
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup ice cold water
  • ½ cup cold seltzer water - (or sparkling water, see notes for substitutions)
  • 2-3 cups Vegetable oil - for frying (such as canola, soy bean, or peanut oil)
  • Tempura sauce or spicy mayo - for dipping (see notes for links and recipes)

Special equipment

  • Fine mesh sieve for sifting the flour
  • 2 Tongs (one for dipping avocado into batter, one for frying)
  • Small pot or pan for frying
  • Paper towels for absorbing excess oil

Instructions

  • Sift the flour into a medium bowl. Sifting takes out any lumps from the flour and makes a light batter. Add salt and mix well.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the egg with the cold water and seltzer and mix really well.
    2 bowls, one with sifted flour, the other with egg and cold water mixture
  • Slice the avocado into strips or into bite-sized pieces.
    Cutting board showing avocado cut in 2 ways for Avocado Tempura
  • Add the egg and water mixture to the flour and mix well until almost no lumps remain (a few small lumps are OK, you don't want to overmix and pop all the bubbles).
    Batter for Avocado Tempura
  • Preheat your cooking oil to 350-360F. (Try the tooth pick test or add a test piece of battered avocado to test the temperature: if small bubbles form around around the toothpick or the test piece starts frying, the oil is hot enough. If the bubbles are too vigorous, the oil is too hot.)
  • Dip each avocado piece into the batter to coat on all sides. Gently shake off excess batter into the bowl and carefully place into the hot oil. Add more pieces, but do not crowd the pan.
  • Fry each piece of avocado for about 2 minutes, carefully flipping halfway through. Remove from the oil when the tempura coating is a light golden brown and place on a large plate lined with paper towels to absorb excess oil. Serve warm with dipping sauce.

Notes

No seltzer or sparkling water? Use a beer (lager or ale), or use ice water and add a pinch of baking powder.
→ Don't want to use a dipping sauce? Add a little extra salt to the flour for more flavor.
→ Try these optional flavor enhancers: Drizzle a few drops of freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice onto the avocado before dipping into the batter. Add ½ teaspoon onion powder or garlic powder to the flour mixture.
→ Dipping sauce: You can use store-bought sauce (tempura sauce, sriracha mayo), or make your own. To make spicy mayo, combine a few tablespoons of mayo with a squeeze of sriracha. To make homemade tempura dipping sauce, combine 2 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce, 1 tablespoon rice vinegar, ½ tablespoon Thai chili paste, and 1 tablespoon honey or brown sugar. Mix well.
→ Store and reheat leftover tempura: Leftover tempura will keep well in the fridge for 1-2 days. It will look sad and greasy, but it can be revived to delicious crispiness again! I reheat leftover tempura in my Instant Pot Vortex Air Fryer + Oven Combo. Put it on the "bake" setting at 360F for 3-4 minutes. You can also reheat in an oven. Do NOT reheat in a microwave or even in a pan because it will not get crispy again.
→ Nutrition facts are an estimate and will vary on the actual amount of batter used and oil absorbed during frying.

Nutrition

Calories: 262kcal (13%) | Carbohydrates: 27g (9%) | Protein: 6g (12%) | Fat: 16g (25%) | Saturated Fat: 3g (15%) | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 41mg (14%) | Sodium: 168mg (7%) | Potassium: 528mg (15%) | Fiber: 7g (28%) | Sugar: 1g (1%) | Vitamin A: 206IU (4%) | Vitamin C: 10mg (12%) | Calcium: 22mg (2%) | Iron: 2mg (11%)

The nutritional information displayed is an estimate and not to be used as dietary or nutritional advice. Consult a nutritionist or dietician for nutritional info based on the exact ingredients you use.

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