The Joy of Tempura

Tempura moriawase by Masakatsu Takemoto, chef-teacher of Tsuji Culinary Institute, featuring lotus root, shiitake, kisu (sillago fish), prawn, sweet potato, squid, kaki-age of mitsuba and shrimps. The two condiments: ten-dashi sauce with a mound of daikon-oroshi (grated radish) and umami-shio (umami salt) (Photo: viv)

DEEP-FRYING isn’t something I do often at home. The deliciousness is incomparable, but the work and labor always feels insurmountable, until I enrolled in an agemono class last month at the At-Sunrice GlobalChef Academy. The double-day, full-day sessions—held on Wednesday and Friday to break up the intensity of our frying lessons—opened my eyes to the joys and beauty of deep-frying, which is essentially what agemono means (“a-ge,” in Japanese, is “fry,” and “mono” means “things”).

Whoever says that deep-frying is unhealthy would do well to attend this class to appreciate that deep-frying can deliver superior taste and texture without all that grease. Hang out with Chef-Teacher Masakatsu Takemoto from Tsuji, that famous culinary institution in Japan, and you will learn some of the finer techniques of working up a good pot of oil, hot enough to sizzle your prawn or squid or lotus root, quickly and expertly, without leaving them soggy with grease . . .

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This piece first appeared in the Global Cook Lab by At-Sunrice GlobalChef Academy

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