Tempura is a very popular fritter in Japan and very light in the mouth. Presentation:
- Tempura, delicious and light fritters
- The most popular varieties of tempura
- Seafood and mushrooms
- How to eat tempura?
- The composition of tempura
- Variations of tempura in other countries
Tempura, delicious and light fritters
Tempura, 天ぷら (tenpura) in Japanese are fried fritters of vegetables and seafood that are very tasty, light and very digestible. Introduced to Japan by the Portuguese in the 16th century, tempura has become very popular in Japan and even beyond the Japanese borders. It is one of the rare fried food that is very light in calories. We can compare it to Chinese shrimp fritters but tempura is much lighter and crispy in the mouth. Tempura can be found in most restaurants in Japan where it is served as a main dish, side dish or garnish on a bowl of Japanese rice, or on udon and soba (Japanese noodles). Check out our tempura recipe and feel free to tell us what you think.
The most popular varieties of tempura
Seafood and mushroom
Kinoko きのこ, mushrooms Mushrooms are also popular for tempura, all types of mushrooms are used especially mushrooms shiitake.
Kabocha かぼちゃ, pumpkin Kabocha are Japanese pumpkins, with a thin dark green skin. They are cut into thin wedges and eaten with the skin.
How to eat tempura?
In Japan you can find tempura in different types of restaurants like izakaya, the soba-ya, the bento-ya, family restaurants… but the restaurants specialized in tempura-ya are the best and the most expensive. In these restaurants, generally the chef will serve you the lightest tempura in taste like shrimps or fish first and then bring you stronger tempura in taste like lotus roots for example. For fish and shrimp you can eat them in their entirety. However, you can leave the tails if you wish. Depending on the restaurant, you will find salt, sometimes matcha, or wasabi or a small ball of daikon grated (giant white radish) to be added in a sauce called tentsuyu (composed of mirin soy sauce and dashi). It’s up to you! A video of Mark Wiens in a tempura-ya :
The composition of tempura
The tempura is made with a thin doughnut dough with egg yolk, flour and ice water. This dough must be very cold because in contact with the hot oil of cooking that will allow to seize them, to cook them quickly and especially to make them crunchy by preventing the oil from penetrating too much. The frying bath must be at 180° and the oil used is generally sesame oil. You can also use neutrals such as grapeseed or sunflower oil.
If you want to give more crunch to your fritters, add Japanese panko breadcrumbs. But the classic Japanese recipe does not use panko.
Tempura variations in other countries
You can find tempura in a california roll, which gives a crispy look and contrasts well with the Japanese rice. Very good!