The history of tempura
About the origin of tempura, the theory that it was introduced from Portugal in the 17th century is the most convincing. The food from overseas was adjusted in Japan, the recipe was improved repeatedly, and changed into something to suit the Japanese taste and style.
How to make tempura
Cut the ingredients into bite-sized pieces and remove the moisture. Dip the ingredients into the batter containing eggs, water and flour, then deep fry in oil. When they are ready, put on a wire rack or on kitchen paper to drain off the oil.
The batter decides the deliciousness
What defines tempura is, by far, the batter. The ingredients wrapped in batter are steamed at high heat and the delicious flavor is locked inside. Depending on the temperature control of the oil and ingredients, the frying time varies and skill is required to achieve tempura with a light texture.
Types of tempura
Basically anything that can be fried in oil can be used for tempura. Prawns, whiting and pumpkin are popular. Other tempura includes kakiage, which is several kinds of ingredients such as squid, onions and carrots mixed and then fried together.
How to eat tempura
Generally tempura is eaten with a salty-sweet soy sauce-based soup called "tsuyu", or with salt. There is no special rule so you can choose according to the ingredients or your preference. The trick is to eat as soon as possible once it is served, because tempura is most delicious when just fried.
Other tempura meals
There are lots of other meals using tempura. Tempura on top of rice is called tendon, soba or udon together with tempura is called tempura soba or tempura udon, and these meals are loved by everyone. One unusual dish is ice cream tempura. The battered ice cream is fried for a very short time, so it becomes a curious dessert that is very hot outside while still cold inside.
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