Tempura Battered Eggplant Tacos

If you’re going to batter and fry something, best do it the right way — and this crispy, bubbly, hearty tempura eggplant is balanced beautifully with a zesty salsa and creamy mayo all nestled in a warm taco…

Preparation time Prep: 30 mins
cook 10 mins
Skill level Totally Doable

You will need:

  • 500ml vegetable oil
  • 1 large eggplant cut into strips 1 inch thick (at least 1 slice per tortilla that you plan to use)
  • ½ cup plain flour
  • ¼ cup cornflour
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 160ml soda water, chilled
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 10 cherry tomatoes
  • ¼ red onion
  • 1 lime, juice and zest only
  • 1 red chilli, halved, seeds removed
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 10 sprigs coriander roughly chopped, to garnish
Aquafaba Mayonnaise
  • 100ml aquafaba (liquid from chickpea tin)
  • 100ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Pinch of salt
To serve
  • 10 tortillas
  • Fresh limes, wedged
Recipe: Simon Toohey


  • 1Pour the vegetable oil into a wok or pan and heat to approximately 180°C.
  • 2Use a whisk to mix the plain flour, cornflour, paprika, baking powder, salt and cold soda water together in a bowl. With chopsticks or tongs, coat the eggplant strips in the tempura batter mixture and then place gently into the oil. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until the tempura is a lightly browned (but not burnt) colour. Take out of the oil and rest on a cooling rack. Season with salt. The batter will go crispier as it cools!
  • 3Place the tomatoes, onion, chilli, lime juice, cumin seeds, sugar, salt and oil in a stick blender and pulse so that it comes together, this will keep everything chunky yet relatively similar sized pieces. Pour the salsa into a bowl and garnish with a few sprigs of coriander. This salsa is fresh and light to counterbalance the fried eggplant.
  • 4To make the mayonnaise, add aquafaba, lime juice, sugar and salt to a stick blender. Bring together and gradually add the oil in a slow stream; as the mayonnaise begins to form, you can begin to add the oil quicker.
  • 5Place the tortillas in a large dry pan on medium-high heat. Heat them through for 30 seconds on each side, put on a plate and cover with a tea-towel to keep warm.
  • 6Place each warmed tortilla on a plate with 1 or 2 strips of fried eggplant; top with the salsa and aquafaba mayo. Season with salt and a squeeze of lime to serve.
Did you enjoy this recipe?
Nah not my cup of tea

Sign up for a week of delicious plant-based recipes

Send me my recipes
Heads up: by signing here you’ll get free recipes and updates from VegKit. Privacy policy

Take the best of VegKit with you!

Vegetarian Starter Kit magazine cover
Get your FREE Veg Starter Kit

Get your FREE Kit!

Picture of the Veg Starter Kit