If you're a fan of Japanese food, then you've probably tried tempura, but did you know tempura was introduced in Japan by the Portuguese? Tempura, comes from the Latin word tempora which means time period. Spanish and Portuguese missionaries in the 16th century referred Lent, Fridays and holy days as tempora. The Portuguese still eat a dish similar to tempura called peixinhos do horta or garden fishies. In one way or another, tempura has taken the world by storm and has been the inspiration for a myriad of culinary creations including mozzarella sticks, fried ice cream and oden.
So what is tempura? Lightly-fried shrimp, vegetables, cheese, fish, or fruit that has been battered in a simple egg, ice cold water and corn flour or all-purpose/plain flour batter. For the better you beat an egg into a bowl and add the ice water followed by sifted flour. Mix the ingredients very lightly, taking care not to over-mix the batter. Ensure that your water is as cold as possible.