Creamy Spicy Shrimp Tempura by Nobu Matsuhisa [recipe]

creamy spicy shrimp tempura
Though we’ve been to the original Matsuhisa (in LA) and verious Nobu outlets multiple times, we’ve never actually tried the Creamy Rock Shrimp Tempura that everyone gushes over. It wasn’t until we went to one of the infinite number of Matsuhisa alumni restaurants, Katsu-Ya, that we actually go to experience the utter decadence (you’ll see what we mean by “decadence”) that is Creamy Spicy Rock Shrimp Tempura.

Now we’ve seen many a recipe for Nobu’s signature dish, Miso Marinated Cod, and have even tried our own hand at it (with shockingly good results), but had never thought to make the Rock Shrimp Tempura in the TasteSpotting Kitchen. Part of the reason, of course, is that deep-frying anything well is only slightly more challenging than well, deep-frying anything well, but most of the reason is that we didn’t really think about it.

Until we came across the actual recipe from Nobu’s book, Nobu Now.

So here it is, the recipe for Nobu’s Creamy Spicy Rock Shrimp Tempura. We have yet to attempt this in the TasteSpotting Kitchen, partly because, like we said, it’s deep frying, but mostly because Katsu-Ya is less than two blocks from home.

Shrimp Tempura with Creamy Spicy Sauce

Adapted from: Nobu Matsuhisa’s Nobu Now
Serves 8-10 as an appetizer, 4-6 as a main course


Creamy Spicy Sauce

enough to coat 1½ lbs of shrimp
1 egg yolk
½ teaspoons sea salt
couple grinds of fresh white pepper
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
100 ml grapeseed oil (or other very mildly flavored oil)
2 teaspoons chili garlic sauce (Tobanjan)

Tempura Batter

1 egg yolk
200 ml iced water
100 grams all purpose flour

Shrimp Tempura

1½ pounds rock shrimp, or peeled and deveined “large” shrimp cut into thirds
tempura batter (as prepared below)
Splash of Yuzu juice (or lemon juice)
Vegetable oil for deep frying


Creamy Spicy Sauce

Make the by whisking together the egg yolk, salt, pepper, and vinegar, and then very gradually whisk in the grapeseed oil. Start with just a few drops of oil at a time until your emulsion is well formed, then increase the oil to a small drizzle, whisking all the while. Once the mayo is thick and all the oil has been incorporated, add the chili sauce and check for seasoning.

Tempura Batter

Lightly whisk together all ingredients to make the batter.

Shrimp Tempura

Peel and de-vein the shrimp, cut large shrimp into bite-sized pieces.

In a heavy deep pot (we use a le creuset dutch oven) place about 5″ of oil, and with the aid of a Taylor Classic Candy and Deep-Fry Analog Thermometer , heat to 355℉ (180 C). Working in batches, dredge the shrimp in the batter and gently place 2-3 handfuls in the hot oil, fry until lightly golden, about 2 minutes. Scoop shrimp onto a paper towel covered sheet tray to drain and repeat the process until all the shrimp is cooked.

Place the cooked shrimp into a large bowl with the creamy spicy sauce, and toss to coat. Splash with a little yuzu juice, sprinkle with chopped fresh chives, and serve.

by Sarah J. Gim on September 30, 2010 · 6 comments

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

FramedCooks October 7, 2010 at 5:37 pm

This is probably my favorite restaurant meal EVER – I am incredibly excited to have the recipe!! Thanks!


Jenny October 13, 2010 at 2:22 am

gonna try this recipe for sure – it looks pretty easy too!


Lilly April 9, 2012 at 4:57 pm

This is my favorite dish at Nobu so naturally, I was thrilled to find this recipe. I just made this for dinner tonight and it was spot on. I didn’t change a thing and followed the recipe as shown… Arrigato!


josh July 14, 2012 at 8:03 am

how many calories in this dish, please? Thanks!


Ian Jeffreys August 15, 2013 at 6:48 pm

Terrible. This did not come out anything like the Nobu dish. Look elsewhere.


Howie Mash November 19, 2016 at 2:28 pm

The trick is the temp of the oil. It must be very very hot. If not you will get a goo. It does come
Out at least very close.


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