Tempura

Tempura

Tempura

Tempura is a dish of deep fried seafood or vegetables, etc. using a mixture of beaten egg and flour as its fry batter.

Initially, tempura was not a traditional Japanese food, but rather a western dish that came from Portugal (along with firearms) around 400 years ago.

The current cooking method for tempura spread in Japan in the first half of the Edo period (1615 to the mid-1700s). In the beginning, tempura was served at food stalls. Tempura, soba and sushi were called three major foods in the Edo era.  
This cooking style then spread across Japan and it is often served at soba restaurants and restaurants offering Japanese cuisine, besides tempura restaurants.

Commonly used tempura ingredients are shrimps and vegetables such as eggplant and pumpkin but you can find odd items such as ice cream tempura. When this cooking method is applied, they are all called “tempura.” Originally, tempura meant deep fried seafood, and deep fried vegetables had another name, shojin-age.
Kaki-age and isobe-age are dishes derived from tempura. Kanto (the greater Tokyo area) and Kansai (southern-central Japan) have their own characteristic styles of tempura.
Kanto’s tempura uses egg-mixed batter and sesame oil, and is finished in golden brown color. On the other hand, Tempura in Kansai-style is white, fried in cooking oil with batter without eggs. It is said that sesame oil was originally used to remove smell of seafood harvested in Tokyo Bay (referred to as Edo-mae).
In Kansai, they mainly used vegetables for tempura, so they used salt to make the best of the flavor, instead of a special dipping sauce for tempura used in Kanto.  
Crisp textured tempura with its aromatic flavor and light after-taste is one of most popular Japanese dishes among people around the world.