The origin of tempura is disputed, it is said that it is of Portuguese influence adopted by the Japanese in the mid-sixteenth century, although some Japanese chefs say that the origin is in the arrival of Marco Polo in China. Its name comes from Temporas, meat abstinence days, when vegetables and fish are fried to give more substance to meals.
The tempura describes the dough with which vegetables, fish and poultry are coated to fry them, but also the set of dishes that are made with this method.
Currently we find ready-made tempura flour in grocery stores, it is very fine and smooth, giving a light, crunchy and foamy texture, since it must be mixed with very cold sparkling water until obtaining a dough in which to batter the ingredients.
Although today there are several ways to prepare a dough for tempura, a quick way to prepare it is to sift normal flour and mix it with cornstarch in equal parts, an egg yolk (although there are also those who use the white), very cold sparkling water (yeast or beer is also used) and a little rice liquor (optional).
The ideal is to tempurize the fresh food chosen cut into bite size, which are not too thick, since the frying should not last more than three minutes and you can risk it being too raw. It is fried in very hot vegetable oil, the best tempuras are made with sesame oil, which can also be mixed with vegetable oil and should be eaten fresh to appreciate its flavor and crunchiness.
The tempura does not have salt, the sauce with which it is accompanied will enhance the flavor, it is called tentsuyu and it is made with dashi broth, soy sauce and mirin. Additionally you can add wasabi, white radish or ginger.
The result can be spectacular, non-oily, crunchy, tasty and nutritious bites. Maybe the first time it is made at home you will not fire rockets, but once you get the hang of it it will become a weekly feast.
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