Tempura is a Japanese dish usually consisting of seafood or vegetables that have been battered and deep fried. The dish was influenced by fritter-cooking techniques introduced by Portuguese residing in Nagasaki in the 16th century, and the name “tempura” relates to that origin.
What differentiates tempura from other fried dishes is the use of light batter and oil.Batter is prepared in small batches using cold water to give tempura a fluffy texture. Some tempura chefs use cold sparkling water.
The traditional oil used for tempura is sesame oil. In recent times, some restaurants use canola oil. Great care is taken to cook tempura at a low temperature for the shortest time possible to preserve the taste of ingredients.
Thin slices or strips of vegetables or seafood are dipped in the batter, then briefly deep-fried in hot oil. The bits of batter (known as tenkasu) are scooped out between batches of tempura, so they do not burn and leave a bad flavor in the oil. A small mesh scoop (Ami jakushi) is used for this purpose. Tenkasu are often reserved as ingredients in other dishes or as a topping.
Serving and presentation
Cooked bits of tempura are either eaten with dipping sauce, salted without sauce, or used to assemble other dishes. Tempura is commonly served with grated daikon and eaten hot immediately after frying. In Japan, it is often found in bowls of soba or udon soup often in the form of a shrimp, shiso leaf, or fritter. The most common sauce is tentsuyu sauce (roughly three parts dashi, one part mirin, and one part shōyu). Alternatively, tempura may be sprinkled with sea salt before eating.
Tempura is also used in combination with other foods. When served over soba (buckwheat noodles), it is called tempura soba or tensoba. Tempura is also served as a donburi dish where tempura shrimp and vegetables are served over steamed rice in a bowl (tendon) and on top of udon soup (tempura udon).
720 Fusion Fresh
At 720 Fusion Fresh, you can enjoy our delicious shrimp, chicken and veggie tempura options. Feeling hungry? Stop by today for lunch or dinner! We look forward to seeing you soon!