It’s National Tempura Day! Tempura is a delicious deep fried Japanese dish made with lightly battered vegetables and seafood. The original cooking technique is actually attributed to the Portuguese, who landed in Japan in the sixteenth century to establish new trade routes.
The word “tempura” is also related to the European roots of the dish. It comes from the Latin phrase “quattuor tempora” meaning “Ember Days.” This term refers to the days when Catholics eat fish or vegetables instead of meat.
Tempura batter is made with cold water and wheat flour. Some recipes also call for eggs, baking soda, oil, or spices for extra flavoring. A traditional tempura will usually include shrimp, scallops, eggplant, green beans, sweet potato, mushrooms, or bamboo.
To celebrate National Tempura Day, try making your own tempura at home or head out to your favorite Japanese restaurant!