How to Make 'Hechima Tempura'

Hechima 'Sponge Gourd' Tempura (serves 4~5 people)

Hechima is one of the most Okinawan vegetables out there, and yet not often seen in dishes at restaurants anymore. If you want to make a very local dish, Hechima dishes are spot on. 100g only has about 16 calories and contains a bunch of vitamins, minerals, and good water content. The vegetable has a light taste to it, so this tempura-coated hechima makes a tasty addition to the dinner table.



  • Peeler (or knife to peel)
  • Knife
  • Deep Frying Oil
  • Pot for Deep Frying


  • Hechima (Sponge Gourd) - 3 Gourds
  • Salt - 1 Teaspoon
  • Deep Frying - Oil  Enough to Cover Veggie Slices in Pot
  • Tempura Mix
    • Flour- 2 Cups
    • Cold water- 2 cups
  • 'Tentsuyu' Tempura Dipping Sauce
    • Mentsuyu (Noodle Sauce) 1 Cup
    • Water 2 Cups
    • Water-soluble Potato Starch 1 Tablespoon
    • + Water 1 Tablespoon

    Cooking Instructions

    1. Lightly peel the outer layer of hechima, wash it well, and wipe off excess water. Sprinkle salt on the hechima and continue to wipe off any excess water. *If you lightly peel the hechima, it will leave a nice green color.
    2. Cut the hechima into 1.5~2cm slices and poke several holes in the white inside area with a fork. 
    3. Make the tempura batter: Mix the 2 cups of flour and 2 cups of water well (leave a little flour for the next step!)
    4. Lightly cover the hechima slices with flour then dip them in the batter mix made in step 3.
    5. Heat the oil to 190°C (374°F) and deep fry the hechima slices. 
    6. Make the tempura dipping sauce: Put men-tsuyu and water in a pot and bring it to a boil.
    7. Mix the potato starch and tablespoon of water together well, and add it little by little to the boiling pot.
    8. Add the grated radish (or grated nagaimo) to make a thicker tempura dipping sauce. Dekiagari! (finished!)

    Let Okinawa Be Known

    All efforts put forth through this site are to increase knowledge of Okinawa island, its culture, and people. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us. We are the experts with a mission!
    You have successfully subscribed!