Who doesn’t love tempura? Tempura is forever a favorite among our customers here at Sushi Shack in Plano, TX – and for good reason! Golden fried with the perfect amount of crunch, yet still delightfully light and airy, tempura is oh-so-satisfying and absolutely delicious. Want to learn more about this fan-favorite Japanese dish? Check out these 10 fun facts about tempura!
1. Classic tempura batter consists of only three simple ingredients: cake flour, eggs, and cold water.
2. Cold water is critical for a properly light and airy tempura batter. The cold water does two things: First, it slows the development of gluten – which would otherwise cause the batter to be heavier and less crispy when fried. Secondly, it creates a shock when the cold-battered ingredients hit the hot oil – which ensures a crispy crust outside, and locked-in moisture on the inside.
3. Tempura was influenced by and adapted from fritter-cooking techniques, introduced by Portuguese living in Nagasaki in the 16th century.
4. To keep its light and airy texture, tempura is usually only made with vegetables or seafood, since meat would weigh down the dish and make it too heavy for the batter. Some recipes (mostly Westernized-Japanese dishes) do use a tempura batter with chicken and meat, but with different seasonings and cooking techniques.
5. No one knows for sure where the word “tempura” originates from! The two most common theories are that “tempura” comes from:
The Latin quator anni tempora or ad tempora cuaresme, referring to Ember Days or Lent, during which no meat is consumed.
The Portuguese tempêro, which means “seasoning.”
6. Vegetable or canola oil are most commonly used for deep frying tempura today, but tempura was traditionally fried in sesame oil.
7.January 7th is National Tempura Day!
8. More recently, tempura has branched out to experimental sweets such as tempura ice cream, tempura chocolate, and even tempura gummies!
9. There are many ways to enjoy tempura, but the most common are: as an entree with dipping sauce (often with grated daikon), or as a topping for other dishes like a tendon rice bowl or a tempura udon noodle soup.
10. In Japan, tempura can be found nearly anywhere, from casual chain restaurants to upscale specialty restaurants, supermarket bentos, noodle shops, street vendors, etc. Restaurants that specialize in serving tempura are called tempura-ya, and are a must-visit for tempura lovers.
Enjoy deliciously crunchy and light tempura here at Sushi Shack in Plano, TX!
You can choose multiple tempura appetizers and/or roll options with our All You Can Eat lunch and dinner specials, or try our delectable tempura specialties such as Soft Shell Crab Tempura from our traditional menu!