Eat Well & Prosper The Creativity of Tempura by Executive Chef Ron Skaar of Redwing, Mn. ~

rispy fried cakes can be

traced back as far as the 5th mil- lennium BC. It is believed that the ancient Egyptians enjoyed these treats. Te classical Greeks and Romans used olive oil to fry a variety of foods. During the Middle

Ages fried fritters in various forms are eaten throughout Europe. By the 13th century deep- frying

food is more

prevalent in Europe. Deep-fried fish recipes appear around the this time, in Spain and Portugal. While deep-frying was preva-

lent in Chinese cuisine, the pro- cess did not catch on early in Ja- pan. Te islands only contact with the outside world was through

Chinese, Dutch and Portuguese traders. Tempura is Portuguese in origin. In the 16th century, Por- tuguese missionaries to Nagasaki introduced the cook- ing technique of deep-frying. Te name could come from “tem- poras”, the Cath- olic fast days where only fish and vegetables would be eaten. Early deep-

fried food in Japan was fried without batter or simply dusted with rice flour. Te tem- pura in Nagasaki was coated with a flour, egg, water and salt batter and fried in lard. Tis was origi- nally made with balls of minced meat, vegetables or fish, with out

dipping sauce. Te Japanese have a unique abil-

ity to take foreign food and mod- ify it to their tastes. In the early 17th century around Tokyo Bay,

water recipe. Mixed minimally with chop sticks, not activating the gluten in the flour, resulted in a fluffy and crisper texture. Served with a dipping sauce, the perfect fast food. Te First tempura recipe

tempura and its method under- went a remarkable change. Tere was an abundance of fresh fish and cooking oil was cheaper. Food stalls along the riverside

fish market began to peddle tem- pera with a simple flour and cold

whole.Food was

was published in 1671. Af- ter the Meiji period, tem- pura was no longer consid- ered a fast food but instead was developed as a high- class cuisine. By the 18th century Japanese chefs experimented with deep- frying fish and vegetables fresh and leſt

in its natural state, tempura be- came a meal in itself, rather than a snack. Today the mainstream of tempura recipes originate from the Tokyo or Edo style. A mem- ber of one of the 12 categories of Japanese cuisine, tempura is the most famous of the “agemono”, which covers all manner of coated, deep-fried foods. Te Jap- anese have contrived their own explanation for the name: tem, meaning “heaven”, pu, meaning “woman” and ra, meaning “silk”. Teir metaphor for the delicate food encased in crisp filigree. January 7th is our national day

to celebrate tempura. Te accom- panying recipe uses cold bubbly water which adds to the lightness of the batter.

January 2019

EW & P Recipe


Tempura Batter: 1 cup all purpose flour 1 tablespoon cornstarch 1 1/2 cups cold seltzer water Pinch salt

Dipping Sauce: 1/2 cup mirin or sake 1/2 cup soy sauce 1 teaspoon sugar

1/4 cup grated daikon radish 1teaspoon grated fresh ginger

Directions: Mix tempura batter ingredients together in bowl, using chop sticks, lumps are allowed (do not over mix). Mix dipping sauce ingredients in a separate bowl. Heat oil in deep-fryer, wok or Dutch oven to 325 degrees. Test oil with drop of batter. Deep-fry food until golden brown, drain on paper towels and serve with dipping sauce. Use whole green beans, Chi- nese long beans, asparagus spears,

whole mushrooms,

red bell pepper strips, carrot and sweet potato, peeled and sliced, broccoli and cauliflower florets, cut up Japanese egg- plants, peeled shrimp, scallops, the list is endless.

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