Vegan Peixinhos da Horta – Tempura Green Beans

Peixinhos da Horta, tempura green beans in a light beer batter, offering a crispy, flavourful twist on a classic Portuguese dish. Perfect for vegans and tempura lovers!

vegan peixinhos da horta - beer battered green beans

If you’re a fan of Portuguese cuisine or looking for a quick vegan snack to add to your repertoire, Peixinhos da Horta might be the perfect dish. Translating to “little fish from the garden,” this traditional Portuguese dish offers a great way to enjoy tempura green beans. By preparing vegan Peixinhos da Horta with a beer batter, you can indulge in a crispy, flavorful treat that remains true to its cultural roots while being fully plant-based.

Preparing Vegan Peixinhos da Horta

To make vegan Peixinhos da Horta, start with fresh, crisp green beans. You can use any variety such as string beans, french beans, or runner beans. We particularly like using runner beans, we grow them in our allotment and usually have an abundance and this recipe is perfect for using them up. 

tempura runner beans
Using runner beans is our preferred version.

Before coating the beans in batter, it’s best to parboil them. Parboiling, or partially boiling the beans, ensures they are tender and cooked through once fried. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil, add the beans, and cook for 2-3 minutes until they are just tender but still firm. Different beans will take different times to cook. String beans will only take a couple of minutes while runner beans will take up to 4 minutes. Immediately transfer the beans to an ice bath to stop the cooking process and preserve their bright colour. Drain and pat them dry before proceeding with the batter.

The batter is typically made using a combination of flour, water, eggs, and a pinch of salt. For our vegan version, we add some cornstarch, which gives the batter a light, airy texture similar to traditional tempura. To elevate the flavour and texture even further, incorporating ice-cold beer into the batter is an excellent choice. Beer adds a rich, slightly malty flavour. Beer also adds air to the batter giving it an extra crispiness that pairs perfectly with green beans.

tempura green beans

The Tempura Technique

The key to perfect tempura green beans lies in the batter and frying technique. The batter should be cold, which helps it adhere to the beans and puff up when fried. You can achieve this by using ice-cold beer and placing the batter in the fridge between batches. When frying, ensure the oil is hot but not smoking, around 170°C (340°F). Fry the beans in small batches to maintain the oil temperature and prevent overcrowding, resulting in a crisp, golden exterior.

vegan peixinhos da horta with garlic mayo

Serving Suggestions

Vegan Peixinhos da Horta can be served with a variety of dipping sauces to complement their flavour. Garlic mayonnaise or peri-peri sauce is traditionally used in Portugal. Alternatively, a simple soy sauce based dip is perfect, paying homage to the dish’s influence on Japanese tempura.

Peixinhos da Horta are best enjoyed fresh from the frier. However, leftovers can be kept in the fridge for up to 3 days and can be reheated in an oven or air fryer.

Vegan Peixinhos da Horta – Tempura Green Beans

Tempura green beans in a light beer batter, offering a crispy, flavourful, vegan twist on a classic Portuguese dish.
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Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Lighter Bite, Snack
Cuisine Portuguese
Servings 4
Calories 381 kcal


  • 350 g green beans
  • 180 g all-purpose flour
  • 40 g cornstarch
  • ½ teaspoon garlic granules
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 275 ml ice-cold beer or sparkling water
  • Vegetable oil for frying


  • Wash the beans and trim the end. If using runner beans cut them in half.
  • Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the beans and cook until tender but still crisp, around 2 to 4 minutes depending on which green bean you are using.
  • Once cooked immediately place the beans in an ice bath to stop the cooking process.
  • Drain then pat dry on a clean kitchen towel.
  • Place the flour, cornstarch, garlic granules, paprika, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Combine with a balloon whisk. Pour in the ice-cold beer and mix until there are no large white lumps of flour. Don’t overmix, some small lumps are fine.
  • In a large deep pan heat 5cm of oil to a temperature of 170°C (340°F).
  • Once the oil is hot coat the beans in batter, letting some excess drip off. Gently place the beans in the hot oil in batches. Don’t overcrowd the oil as this will make the temperature drop.
  • Place the batter in the fridge between batches to keep the batter cold.
  • Fry each batch until they are evenly lightly golden brown, around 4 minutes.
  • Once done place the fried beans on a wire rack and lightly sprinkle with salt.
  • Serve your vegan Peixinhos da Horta with some garlic mayo or peri-peri sauce.


*Nutritional values are estimates based on frying.


Calories: 381kcalCarbohydrates: 53gProtein: 7gFat: 14g
Tried this recipe?Mention @mikeronm or tag #theveganplanetkitchen!

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