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Tendon: The Tantalizing Tempura Bowl 天丼

October 15, 2018

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Hello everyone! Welcome to our little introduction to Japanese Tempura and Tendon 天ぷら and to the*thunder clap* Tale of Martina’s unfortunate Tempura Terrors–terrors—terrors *echo echo* but you’ll have to watch the video to hear THAT story!

Today we took you to a place called Kanekoya (Address—> 2 Chome-4-17 Kichijoji Honcho, Musashino, Tokyo 180-0004) that’s really bumping, often has a line up, but is super delicious. They serve tendon 天丼  rather than just single serving tempura pieces.

There is a cheap fast food tempura chain in Japan that serves both Tempura and Tendon for McDonald’s pricing, but we ate at it before and truthfully found it a big soggy and not super tasty.  Maybe that particular location we went to wasn’t great at frying, but it is a cheaper way to get familiar with tempura and tendon. I just don’t want people to go to this chain have a bad experience and then write off tempura as greasy or soggy.

The place we went to wasn’t a fancy place, it was filled with local people dressed normally coming from work or moms going with their kids, but it’s the difference between getting a burger at a normal quick fast food chain VS a speciality burger shop that cooks their meat fresh and has big delicious buns and fresh toppings. That latter is going to cost more money but it’ll be worth it for the quality in the meal. 

One thing we didn’t emphasize enough in the video is that the tendon is already a pre-sauced kind of meal.  The tempura used has a really nice flavour injected into the batter itself so there is no need for additional salt or sauce.  The rice itself has a teriyaki like sauce poured onto it before they place the freshly cooked tempura pieces on it. That means you can just scoop up some rice with a medium-thick yummy savoury and sweet glaze on it along with a crunchy bite of deliciously seasoned tempura.  

Just make sure you don’t order like 35 pieces and then get on an airplane and then get stuck in traffic as your body attempts to process that much batter and grease…I mean who would do something like that…

If you want to try tempura for yourselves, but you’re not too familiar with what each piece is, here are some of the most commonly used pieces that we’ve seen on menus and we’ve included the Japanese translation just in case the shop doesn’t provide English. 

  1. Ebi (えび shrimp/prawn)
  2. Sakana (魚 fish) a small filet or whole small fish
  3. Ika (いか squid)
  4. Nasu (なす eggplant cut into strips or slices)
  5. Kinoko (きのこ mushroom)
  6. Kabocha (かぼちゃ thin slices of sweet pumpkin)
  7. Satsuma-imo (さつまいも usually a small disc or wedge of sweet potato)
  8. Shiso (しそ sesame seed leaf sometimes called perilla)
  9. Kakiage (かき揚げ a mixed of shredded veggies battered into a little disc or flat ball of yumminess)
  10. Okra (オクラ)
  11. Renkon (蓮根) sliced lotus root, looks like a disc covered in random holes)

Lastly, if you’re looking for an extra giggle or two, here are some extra scenes from this shoot :D

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Tendon: The Tantalizing Tempura Bowl 天丼

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  1. When i was little, i lived in a town here in Brazil that had an amazing japanese restaurant called Mirai. They had ice cream tempura! It was vanilla ice cream and chocolate syrup fried inside of an amazing batter, so it had a nice crisp, the soft batter and then the ice cream inside, and it wasn’t melted (of course)!! It was amazing, i miss that place so much, since i moved to another city. Any chance you guys might find a place that does ice cream tempura? It seems like the type of thing you two would enjoy very much lol

    Lot’s of love, i hope you’re doing well

    1 month ago