Tempura | history, curiosities and recipe

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 a typical Japanese food. But this dish is a classic of the portuguese cuisine, however, Japan that popularized it worldwide. This gastronomic masterpiece 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 food like this was not used much in Japan. But it soon became a very popular snack in the country. Changes were made from the beginning, so that the knowledge was 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

Índice de Conteúdo

Tempura history and curiosities

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

At first the dish was expensive, so it didn't spread among the common people. only from the Edo period (1603-1867), that the meal became cheaper, becoming very popular with most people. At first it was considered just a snack, but over time it became the main dish in many restaurants.

A certain story tells that the first Shogun from the Edo period (Army Commander) called Tokugawa Ieyasu I really liked tempura. Even though he was very concerned and careful about his health, he regularly consumed the dish. 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 choice can be used, as well as fish and seafood.

Ingredients (tenpura dough)

  • 1 cup of wheat flour
  • 3 tablespoons of oil
  • 2 tablespoons of corn starch
  • 1 glass of ice water
  • 1 tablespoon of baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • salt to taste

Ingredients (tenpura filling)

  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup sliced carrots
  • 1 cup chopped chives
  • 2 cups chopped cabbage

Tempura | history, curiosities and recipe

Preparation mode:


  • 1 – Beat the egg adding the cold water mixing them slowly;
  • 2 - Add the flour and the other ingredients;
  • 3 - Stir until the dough is very 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- Let it fry for approximately 3 to 5 minutes;
  • 5- Remove from the oil and let the fat drain;

Hope you enjoyed the article. Ever had a chance to eat or make a tempura? What is your experience? We appreciate all comments and shares. xD

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