Tempura ice cream is a Japanese dessert made with deep-fried batter and ice cream.

It’s like an ice cream sandwich, but even better because there’s no bread! 

The batter stays on the ice cream well, so there’s less mess than with regular fried ice cream. Plus, it tastes delicious!

Let’s find out more about tempura ice cream and how to make one. 

Let’s dive right in! 

What Is Tempura Ice Cream?

Tempura ice cream is a Japanese dish that consists of battered and fried seafood or vegetables, and it’s served with rice. 

Some vegetables or seafood include shrimp, squid, eggplant, and sweet potato. However, remember that tempura ice cream is not actual food. This ice cream is 

  • Easy to make.
  • Delicious.
  • A fun treat for kids and adults alike!

Tempura Ice Cream: Origin Story 

There are competing legends about the tempura ice cream origin.

Some say the ice cream sundae was invented at the famous 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, where ice cream was first served.

It was initially characterized as a small cake of dessert wrapped in a scant sheet of pie covering.

Then, dip into bubbling margarine or fat to cook the outside to a crisp. 

However, in 1894, an unknown corporation in Philadelphia claimed to be its originator. 

In the 1960s, a third lawsuit claimed that the ice cream was served initially at Japanese tempura restaurants.

In the U.S., fried ice cream has long been associated with Asian cuisine.

For example, it appeared in Chinese cafes and Japanese surveys published in New York Times around 1970. 

The chain restaurant Chi-Chi’s, which first opened in the mid-1980s, popularized fried ice cream served with tortillas and cinnamon.

That cemented the dessert’s association with Mexican cuisine.

What Does Tempura Ice Cream Taste Like?


Some say it tastes “crunchy” and “crispy,” but others said they could barely detect the batter’s flavor. 

There are hints of saltiness from soy sauce and wasabi powder. You can swap that out for ⅛ teaspoon of freshly grated wasabi root. 

You may want to try adding 1 teaspoon of kosher salt if the finished product seems too bland for your liking. Also, using salted butter really helped bring out these flavors as well.

How To Make Tempura Ice Cream


  • Ice cream. You can use your favorite flavor. For example, you can use peach almond or salted caramel chocolate chip. 
  • Eggs (for breading). The egg yolks help keep the breadcrumbs on your ice cream once you dip them.
  • Breadcrumbs or Panko (for breading). The panko gives an extra crunch to your coating and helps give it a nice golden color when cooked in oil.
  • Oil (for frying). You could use vegetable or coconut oil if you want; they both work well!


1. Prepare The Ice Cream 

Fill a deep-fryer or large saucepan with enough oil to submerge the ice cream. Heat until it reaches 350 degrees F (about 180 C).

Place a chunk of ice cream into the batter and swirl to coat. Carefully drop the battered ice cream into hot oil and fry until golden brown, about 1 minute per side. 

Remove from oil when done and place on paper towels to drain excess oil before serving. 

If you’re feeling fancy, sprinkle with powdered sugar or drizzle with chocolate sauce if desired!

Related: 10 Best Pans For Cooking Fish

2. Prepare The First Batch Of Breadcrumbs 

To make the first batch of breadcrumbs, you’ll need to start with a baguette. You can use any kind of bread, but it should be sturdy enough to withstand frying. 

Cut the baguette into 1-inch cubes and pulse them in a food processor. Do that until they are small enough to resemble crumbs (about 1/4 inch). 

Transfer the crumbs to a bowl and set aside for now.

3. Freeze The Ice Cream. 

The batter will stick better to the ice cream when it’s frozen. In addition, it makes the process easier and more efficient. 

But it also helps prevent the ice cream from melting too fast. Freezing is optional but recommended.

Related: What Is Double Cream? Uses And Ingredients 

4. Shape Ice Cream Into Balls


Shape ice cream into balls. Set aside again. Note that if the batter cools down too much, it won’t stay on the batter well. It’s best to do this step right before breading and frying.

Freeze the ice cream for at least 30 minutes or up to one hour, depending on how cold your freezer is. Or how fast your ice cream would freeze if left out (at 0 degrees F).

Bread and fry! Dip each ball in tempura batter, and let excess drip off. Then drop in hot oil until golden brown on all sides (about 45 seconds per side). 

Serve immediately with dipping sauces of choice: soy sauce, mayonnaise mixed with sriracha, and more lime juice or whatever your choice. 

5. Drop Ice Cream Into The Second Batch Of Breading. 

Drop ice cream into the second batch of bread. Roll around until coated completely. Use a spoon to help coat the ice cream if needed.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind: 

  • Be careful not to burn them!
  • Don’t use too much oil.
  • Don’t cook for too long.
  • Don’t let the oil get too hot
  • Don’t crowd the pan

Tempura Ice Cream Calories 

what does tempura ice cream taste like

A serving of tempura ice cream could have more than 300 calories, depending on the toppings, fried batter, and sauce. In addition, this dish has a high sugar and fat content due to the content used.

This dessert option is unhealthy and should be eaten moderately by those watching their weight.


If you’ve not tasted tempura ice cream before, we recommend trying it now! It’s delicious, and your whole family will love it! 

Follow the steps in this guide correctly to have the best time ever! 

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