NATIONAL TEMPURA DAY
On January 7th, National Tempura Day encourages us to celebrate with a dish made with a tempura batter. This Japanese fare includes either seafood or vegetables dipped in batter and deep-fried.
Where did tempura originate? No one really knows. What we do know is back in 1549, Portuguese sailors arrived in Japan and introduced a way of battering and frying food that is now infused into the culture.
Today, chefs all over the world include tempura dishes on their menus. They use a wide variety of different batters and ingredients, including nontraditional broccoli, zucchini, and asparagus. Chefs also dip dry fruits in a tempura batter too. In addition, some American restaurants serve chicken and cheeses, particularly mozzarella, in a tempura style.
For sushi lovers, a more recent variation of tempura sushi provides a new way of enjoying the delicacy. Shushi chefs tempura fry entire pieces of delicate sushi and serve it on a beautiful platter.
HOW TO OBSERVE
What is your favorite way to enjoy tempura? Mix up your best tempura recipes. When you do, let your friends and family be your taste testers! We even have a recipe for you to try. Be sure to let us know your favorite combinations, too!
Have some tempura and use #NationalTempuraDay to post on social media.
NATIONAL TEMPURA DAY HISTORY
While we haven’t discovered the origins of the day, we still occasionally heat up some oil and mix up some batter and dip into the research.
Q. What temperature should my oil be for tempura?
A. The oil should be between 350F to 360F. When you add food to the oil, the temperature will drop, so only add a few pieces at a time so that the oil recovers quickly. Oil that is too cool will be absorbed more quickly into the food resulting in soggy tempura.
Q. What happens if my oil is too hot?
A. Oil that is too hot will cause the batter to burn. So, it’s important to monitor the oil temperature.
Q. What oil should I use for tempura?
A. Vegetable oils with a high smoking point such as corn, peanut, safflower, or the most popular for tempura is canola.