Tempura | history, curiosities and recipe

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Tempura  (てんぷら or 天麩羅) is one of the most common dishes served in Japan. Many even think that this is typical Japanese food. But, this dish is a classic of English cuisine, however, Japan that popularized it worldwide. Such gastronomic work was introduced in Japan around the 16th century, in the port city of Nagasaki.

The dish consists of mixed and fried vegetables and seafood, usually served with rice or pasta. The technique of frying foods like this was something not widely used in Japan. But it soon became a very popular snack in the country. Changes were made from the beginning, so that knowledge would be pleasant for the Japanese palate. It was with these changes and adaptations that the dish ended up becoming a truly Japanese food.

Tempura | history, curiosities and recipe

History and curiosities of Tempura

As already mentioned, it all started in Nagasaki, a Japanese port city, circa 16th century. At that time, in the midst of a civil war, Japan was isolated from the rest of the world. The only external contact was through merchants and missionaries, mainly Dutch, Chinese and English.

In the beginning the dish was expensive, so it did not spread among ordinary people. Only from the Edo period (1603-1867), that the meal became cheaper, becoming very popular with most people. At first it was considered only as a snack, but over time it has become the main dish of many restaurants.

A certain story tells that the first Shogoun of the Edo period (Commander of the army) called Tokugawa Leyasu he liked tempura very much. Although very concerned and careful with his health, he consumed the dish very regularly. So much so, that he once ate too much, and ended up dying.

Tempura | history, curiosities and recipe

Even though the veracity of this story is questionable, it is a fact to say that tempura was a very common and famous dish since the Edo period. Today, tempura is an essential part of traditional Japanese cuisine.

Tempura Recipe

Tempura Of Vegetables

Remembering that the ingredients mentioned are mere suggestions. Vegetables of your taste can be used, as well as fish and seafood.

Ingredients (tenpura dough)

  • 1 cup of all purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons of oil
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 glass of ice water
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • Salt to taste

Ingredients (tenpura filling)

  • 1 cup chopped onion tea
  • 1 cup sliced carrot tea
  • 1 cup chopped chives
  • 2 cups chopped cabbage tea

Tempura | history, curiosities and recipe

Preparation mode:


  • 1 - Beat the egg adding the ice water mixing slowly;
  • 2 - Add the flour and other ingredients;
  • 3 - Stir until the dough is well homogeneous;


  • 1 - With the pasta ready add the vegetables and mix;
  • 2- Take a frying pan with oil to the fire;
  • 3- With the oil very hot, place small portions in the frying pan and let it brown on both sides;
  • 4- Fry for approximately 3 to 5 minutes;
  • 5- Remove the oil and let the fat drain;

I hope you enjoyed the article. Have you had a chance to eat or have a tempura? What is your experience? We appreciate all comments and shares. xD

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