Tempura originated in the seventeenth century when the first Portuguese fritter was introduced to Japan.
The word Tempura comes from the Latin words temperar, tempero, temporas, templo, or tempora. The Kanji (Chinese character) is the phonetic equivalent and has no meaning. One anecdote about Tempura says that the first Shogun, Ieyasu Tokugawa, loved it so much that he eventually died of sea bream Tempura poisoning. Of course, the truth of this story is still up for debate.
Enjoy authentic Japanese Tempura using fresh seafood, seasonal vegetables, and even wild plants!
Some Japanese restaurants cook Tempura in front of you at the counter. You can see the professional way to fry fresh ingredients. In the spring, you may be served edible wild plant Tempura, such as aralia elata shoots, fuki shoots, bamboo shoots, and more. Some have a strong flavor, but Tempura makes everything delicious.
Most people use the
Ten-tsuyu dipping sauce. Salt gives Tempura a crisper, cleaner flavor.
Mix grated Daikon radish into your Ten-tsuyu sauce, then proceed to dip! Most people eat Tempura like this. If you want to preserve the crispiness without sacrificing the flavor, try it with a pinch of salt! Some restaurants serve flavored salt, such as green tea Matcha salt or curry. Bon Appetit!