Tempura Chicken Nuggets are small pieces of crispy, fluffy golden brown battered chicken breast pieces. A classic Japanese recipe that is used in many recipes.
Chicken bites, tempura style was all that my kids wanted growing up. With their great taste that the whole family loves.
Delicious, tasty, and full of flavor describes my homemade chicken nuggets recipe to a tee!! If you are a parent of young kids, you probably understand my chicken nuggets dilemma.
Because I was a working mom, they got frozen, easy to microwave, chicken nuggets. My mom would spoil them with the homemade chicken nuggets or tempura chicken fingers whenever she would babysit for me.
And they would come home wanting me to make tempura chicken fingers, just like grandma made!! UGH!! Until I discovered how easy it was to make this chicken nugget – tempura style recipe.
Now that my mom has passed away and my kids are not kids anymore, they still request “Grandma’s” famous nuggets recipe.
Get my easy instructions to learn a few tricks of the trade to make the best chicken nuggets that your family will rave about!! You can make this chicken recipe on your Blackstone Griddle, in a deep fryer, or a pan on the stove.
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What is Chicken Tempura Nuggets?
Nuggets with tempura are found on menus in Japanese style restaurants. Tempura style refers to items that have a light breading and deep fried to a crispy golden-brown crust.
Breading with tempura is different from other batters in that it is thinner, lighter, and crispier. Tempura battered vegetables, fish, shrimp, chicken, and more are quickly fried in hot oil, which results in super crispy delicacy that is still tender and juicy inside. Japanese style chicken tempura is very popular and easy to make at home.
Tempura Battered Chicken Nuggets Ingredients
Tempura Batter for Chicken Nuggets
To make the tempura batter for your chicken breast nuggets add the Drakes mix in a medium sized bowl and pour the cold water on top of the mix. Whisk until smooth to remove any lumps. Set aside until ready to use.
How to Make Tempura Chicken Nuggets
On A Blackstone Griddle
Cut the chicken breast into thick strips and then into one-inch pieces.
TIP: If using frozen breasts, cut them into strips while they are semi-frozen. The chicken breasts pieces will have a cleaner cut and make the thawing process go faster.
Fill a griddle proof pan (I like to use disposable foil pans) with peanut, fry, or vegetable oil (about 1 to 2-inches deep) and turn on your Blackstone burners to high heat. All appliances vary, but you want your oil temperature to be 375°.
Use a digital thermometer to keep track of the proper temperature. Cooking times will vary. Heat the griddle as high as it needs to be to keep the oil at a consistent 375°F temperature.
How to Cook Tempura Chicken Nuggets
Add the chicken pieces to the batter and stir to coat all the chicken. Pierce chicken with a fork, one by one, lift from the batter mix and let the excess drip back into the bowl.
Carefully, place the coated chicken piece into the hot oil. Repeat with more chicken, making sure not to overcrowd your pan and keep the chicken pieces from touching.
You’ll need to work in batches to insure this does not happen. Frying times will vary depending on how big your pan is.
The chicken tempura will float to the top when they’re done if they are not stuck to anything. Remove the crispy tempura battered chicken from the hot oil when they have a golden-brown crust.
Place the pieces on a plate lined with paper towels to drain the excess grease. Serve right away while the homemade chicken nuggets are hot.
Chef Sherry’s Cookbook
How To Make Homemade Chicken Nuggets on the Stove Top or in a Deep Fryer
Make the tempura batter by combining the cold water and Drakes mix in a medium bowl. In a large skillet or wide pot, heat the oil until it reaches 375°F.
Place several pieces of chicken into the batter. Use a fork to pull a piece of chicken from the batter mix, let the excess batter drip off, and then lay the chicken into the hot oil.
Repeat with more pieces, but don’t overcrowd the pan. You’ll know it’s cooked when the chicken breast nuggets float to the top and is golden-brown.
Cook time will vary. Use tongs or a metal slotted spoon to scoop the homemade nuggets out of the hot oil and let them drain on a paper towel-lined plate.
This food is best to eat while hot. Using the same method, you can also use a deep fryer to make your tempura nuggets recipe.
What To Serve with This Tempura Nuggets Recipe?
Tempura cooked foods goes with so many different side dishes. You can serve these crispy homemade chicken nuggets with various sides.
Try a side salad or a platter of veggies. Here are some of my favorites:
- Blackstone Fried Rice
- Deep Fried French Fries
- Crispy Smashed Potatoes
- Sweet Potato Fries
- Glazed Carrots
- Griddle Butternut Squash
How To Store Tempura Chicken Nuggets
Chicken tempura nuggets tends to lose its crunch and crispiness the longer it sits, so this meal is best served piping hot. You can pack leftovers into an airtight container. Then store them in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Have an air fryer? You can air fry the leftover nuggets to crisp them up again or place on a baking sheet and pop them in a hot convection oven or toaster oven. They won’t be quite as good as fresh, but they shouldn’t be soggy.
Chicken tempura nuggets in the freezer? It’s not recommended because the batter will not survive the freezing and thawing process.
More Blackstone Griddle Chicken Recipes
Chicken Tempura Dipping Sauce
Tempura Chicken Nuggets – FAQ
Yes, the batter needs to be deep fried for the nuggets to turn out correctly. Cooking the tempura batter in very hot oil for frying helps to create a light crispy fried chicken. Crispy tempura chicken cannot happen in an oven or air fryer.
Tempura nuggets are not spicy. Unless you want them to be! Before you batter the chicken pieces, season them with your desired spicy seasoning. You can also dip it into something spicy like your favorite hot sauce or Sriracha.
No. Drakes mix is made with wheat flour. Try using a gluten-free tempura batter mix to make gluten-free chicken tempura.
Tempura Chicken Nuggets Recipe
Get the full recipe and nutrition calories below.
- Chicken Breast. 1 Pound
- Drake's Mix 1 cup
- Water, Cold 3/4 cup
- Oil for Frying
- To make the tempura batter, combine the Drake's mix in a medium sized bowl with cold water and whisk it to remove any lumps.
- Cut each chicken breast into long strips and then into 1 inch pieces by using a cutting board and sharp knife. TIP: If using frozen chicken breast, cut them into long strips while they are partially frozen.
- Fill a griddle pan with frying oil (about 1 to 2-inches deep) and heat up your Blackstone Griddle on high heat. You want your frying oil temperature to be 375°F, making sure to use a digital thermometer to keep track of the temperature.
- Add the chicken nuggets in batches to the tempura mixture and stir to coat all the chicken breast pieces. Using a fork, lift a piece of battered chicken and let the excess homemade tempura batter drip back into the bowl.
- Carefully, place the Drake's coated chicken nuggets into the hot oil. Continue with more chicken, but don’t overcrowd your pan and keep the nuggets from touching. You’ll have to work in batches if needed. Cooking times will vary, but the chicken pieces will float to the top when they’re done. The chicken needs to reach an internal temperature of 165°F.
- Remove the crispy chicken nuggets from the hot oil when they have a golden-brown crust. Lay them on a paper towel lined plate. Serve immediately while the chicken nuggets are hot.
- If you don't have a Blackstone Griddle, fry your tempura chicken nuggets in a deep fryer, or a pan of hot frying oil on the stove.
- Serve with your favorite dipping sauce such as ranch dressing, lick dob (ketchup and may sauce), or Sweet and Sour Sauce.
- Store leftover chicken tempura nuggets in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 6 days.
As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. This page contains affiliate links. Click on the highlighted text in a post to explore a product. If you purchase through one of them, I will receive a commission (at no additional cost to you). I ONLY EVER ENDORSE PRODUCTS THAT I TRULY LOVE. Thank you for your support!
Amount Per Serving Calories 174Total Fat 6gSaturated Fat 1gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 4gCholesterol 77mgSodium 69mgCarbohydrates 0gFiber 0gSugar 0gProtein 28g
Note: For exact nutritional information, consult your dietitian. All nutritional information is simply a guideline.
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