Out of all the Japanese dishes, you might have tasted, one that you will never forget and would love to eat again and again is tempura. Although it is a Japanese dish, the word is theoretically known to be drawn from either Portuguese word ‘Tempero’ (meaning cooking) or Spanish word ‘Templo’ (meaning temple). It reached Japan through foreign missionaries and became cheap and delicious fast food. As its popularity increased it moved out of Japan and now is found in other parts of the world. It is also traded in frozen form in many ways. You can easily find tempura products in different countries through services like A&T Trading for tempura fish cocktails. While it is a famous ready-to-eat food, it is most loved when cooked traditionally. It is typically prepared with a batter made of flour and eggs. It is also loaded with seasonal vegetables, edible plants, and seafood like shrimps, Japanese whiting, squids, etc. Here is what you would like to know to enjoy the dish to the fullest.
- Flavoring it up
Conventionally, tempura is served with a dipping sauce called the ‘Ten-tsuyu’. It is made of sweet rice wine, soy sauce, and dashi soup stock. As tempura is fried food, it is more relished with a refreshing edge that is added with Japanese daikon radish and ginger in the ten ‘Tsuyu’.
If you do not like to go the traditional way, you can also play with other simpler options. For those who want to taste the basic ingredients and avoid overpowering sauces, a sprinkle of salt can do wonders. You can also use flavored salts like salt mixed with tea powder or curry spices. You can squeeze a lemon to add a tangy citrus flavor and freshness.
- A simple standard tempura menu
Tempura alone is sufficient to activate your taste buds and excite you about your meal. However, it is often paired with rice and noodles as side dishes or a combined dish to create a fancy platter. Ten-don is a popular dish that comprises a bowl of steamed rice with tempura resting on the top of it. It is served with a sauce made of concentrated soy sauce, mirin, and dashi poured over it. You can also place tempura mixed with scrambled eggs over rice.
In other dishes like ten-soba and ten udon, shrimp tempura is placed on the top of either thin buckwheat noodles or thick flour noodles.
- Eating tempura with proper table manners
The best way to enjoy the tempura is when it is hot and crisp. Once it cools down it loses its texture and excitement. You can order tempura at a restaurant or have it at a tempura shop. In a restaurant, the dish is often served with lighter tempura, ones with vegetables, Japanese whiting, or shrimps, in the front and heavier tempura, like the Anago eel at the back. This is also the right order to eat as it is said that the flavor gets richer as you go from lighter to heavier tempura. Eating at a tempura shop is a more luxurious experience as the chef would prepare each piece and you get them hot, served one by one. No matter how and where you are eating them, always eat tempura in the right order to draw the maximum pleasure from your meal.