Tempura : This crunchy dish is everyone’s favorite!

Have you ever eaten “tempura,” one of the most popular dishes in Japan?
Many people may like its crunchy texture.

Tempura is a Japanese dish of seafood and vegetables that are deep fried in batter made with beaten egg and wheat flour.
It has been preferably eaten since early times as one of the three major dishes in Edo (as of now Tokyo) along with soba and sushi.
Speaking of tempura, we have an image of dish which can eat only at Japanese restaurants, specialized stores or fast food chains -but that is definitely not the case. We can make it easily at home so it’s a home-cooked meal at the same time.
Furthermore, it now becomes more popular in the world as the number of Japanese restaurants has increased.

However, the origin of tempura is not Japan.
There wasn’t any recipe of deep frying in Japan for many years and it came from China more than 1000 years ago at that time when the bilateral exchange began.
People molded rice to make batter and just fried it, far from the current form back then.
After that, since Japan began to trade European countries such as Spain and Portugal, “flitter” was introduced into the country to become tempura. Thus it is said that the word “tempura” is derived from the Portuguese. “Tempero” which means “cooking” in Portuguese has now turned to tempura in Japanese.


Tempura is a favored home cuisine as well.
A general way of eating tempura is to dip it in seasoning soy sauce with grated white radish.
Some eat it with a pinch of salt and there are many ways to eat tempura other than that.
The most famous tempura dish is “tendon.” Put tempura on a bowl of rice and baste it with a sweetened spicy soy sauce, called “tare.”
Next, tempura soba and tempura udon, hot buckwheat noodle or wheat flour noodle topped with tempura are also popular. When noodles are chilled, tempura is put on another dish. We eat both noodles and tempura with dipping sauce known as tsuyu.
Kakiage is a type of tempura made with shredded vegetable strips and seafood, different from tempura which is fried by ingredient. It’s fluffy but filling and you can enjoy various tastes at once.


At last, let us introduce a unique tempura -that is Momiji tempura.
Momiji, a leaf of the Japanese maple colored scarlet or yellow, is a feature of autumn in Japan.
We deep-fry it!
Momiji tempura is a snack from Minoh, Osaka, which is very famous as a souvenir of the Kansai region, the southern central part of Japan’s main island.
Long time ago, one disciplinant who came to the Minoh Mountain was deeply moved by the beautiful scenery of Momiji and he started to serve deep-fried Momiji to tourists to appreciate the beauty of the colored leaves. Now that deep-fried Momiji tempura turns to an easy-to-eat snack. In contrast to tempura as a meal, it’s crunchy and sweet by using batter mixed with sugar.

Photo by りあん, cyan, acwork

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