whole food ~ well made

Tempura green beans with yogurt sauce at

What’s the Secret for Light & Crispy Tempura Green Beans?

In honor of all of the holiday parties happening over the next 12 days, I’d love to share with you this fun-loving recipe for tempura green beans with an herby and lemony yogurt sauce.

It hits many of the requirements of a solid appetizer detailed in my post about easy, healthy appetizers. To sum up:

  • cheesy
  • crunchy
  • salty
  • creamy
  • spicy

Granted, tempura green beans are not as quick as a pickle platter, cheese and crackers or a bowl of roasted tamari almonds. But the components are simple: green beans + an easy batter + hot oil for frying.

Tempura green beans with yogurt sauce at

Frying Green Beans

Have you gotten a load of the green bean crop right now? The weather conditions south of the border must be excellent because the green beans are looking good!

{Did you know that the U.S. is the largest producer of snap beans–the agricultural term for green beans and string beans–in the world? Me neither. Most of the U.S. production goes to processed green beans anyhow, but of course, at this time of year the fresh crop is coming largely from Mexico.}

I keep a sharp eye out for good-looking green beans at the store because it’s one of the fresh green vegetables that my kids are currently eating without complaint.

Tempura green beans with yogurt sauce at

But back to the frying part.

For this recipe, you want to leave the stem ends on the beans because they serve as both a handle for the frying process and for dipping. {Hooray for less vegetable prep.}

As with any deep-frying project, you want to get everything set up and ready to go in advance–cooking show style. The only difference is, you’ll  wait until the last moment to make your batter so that you can capture all of the bubbles in the sparkling water for the lightest coating.

Yes, sparkling water is the secret! I also learned in this article about the benefits of carbonation in doughs and batters {for food science geeks only} that the water has the best gas-holding properties–that’s the CO2– when it’s cold. So, have a chilled, unopened bottle of sparkling water on hand for deep frying these crunchy, salty and irresistible tempura green beans.

You’re probably stocking up on beverages already for any festivities you’re hosting this year. Whatever you do, I hope you treat yourself well and enjoy the best of this holiday season with those you love.



and become a forager

Tempura Green Beans with Yogurt Herb Sauce

The crispiest foods depend on having the oil at the right temperature and frying the foods until crispy. For best results, I recommend a deep fry thermometer to monitor the temperature as you fry batches of battered green beans. The dipping sauce can be prepared up to 3 days in advance.
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Author Lynne Curry


For the dipping sauce:

  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt pastured
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped Italian parsley
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic salt
  • pinch cayenne optional

For the batter:

  • 1 large egg pastured
  • 1 cup sweet Japanese rice flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, plus additional for seasoning
  • 1 cup sparkling water, chilled
  • vegetable oil for frying
  • 1/2 pound fresh green beans, washed and dried


  • For the dipping sauce, blend the yogurt, chives, parsley, mint, zest, garlic salt,  and cayenne, if using, in a bowl and taste for seasoning. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
  • Choose a skillet at least 3 inches deep. Pour enough oil into your pan to fill it halfway. Heat over medium heat to reach a temperature of 375°F. Line a baking sheet with a cooling rack and turn the oven on to warm.
  • To make the batter, beat the egg in a mixing bowl and whisk in the rice flour and salt. It will become lumpy. When the oil is hot, add the sparkling water and whisk until smooth.
  • Grasp a bean by the stem, dip it into the batter and shake off excess. Drop it into the oil and repeat, adding just as many beans as can float freely in the oil. 
  • Fry for about 3 minutes until crisp. (The rice flour will not brown. To test, pull a sample from the oil and test with your fingers to be sure it's crispy enough, bearing in mind that they will soften as they cool.) Use a wire skimmer or fork to fish out the beans onto the cooling rack and season with the sea salt.
  • Place the baking sheet in the oven to keep the beans warm while you repeat with the remaining beans. Serve with the reserved dipping sauce.



  1. Miriam Torres

    I made these tonight and got rave reviews from our dinner guests. I could’t find the Japanese flour so I used gluten free flour instead and had the most amazing results. I used the sparkling water as stated and boy did that make a difference. Delicious recipe, next time I am finding the correct flour and know I will love it!

    1. So delightful to hear, Miriam. Thank you for sharing your experience–and oh, dinner guests–how lovely!

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