Happy National Tempura Day (1/7)

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As kickoff of the BCS National Championship approaches, what better tailgate food could there possibly be for the unaffiliated viewer than a little Tempura? Tempura is basically Japanese for fried, so an algomation between the always GQ magazine rated “Douciest” student culture of Notre Dame, and the the most stereotyped redneck student base of Alabama, is just what you gotta have today. Shrimp Tempura is like a sushi style deep fry.

Now, in the world of sushi, Tempura is not my preference. I’d much rather just have the fish, thanks. Maybe add a little rice underneath, a bit of wasabi on top, but that’ll do ‘er. Also, in the world of fried, Tempura is not my favorite. I mean, if you’re going to fry something, don’t go wimping out. Fry that bad boy up! Tempura is like diet fried, all light and fluffy.

What’s crazy about Tempura, is how simple and the same it is. A cup of flour, slightly more than a cup of cold water, and an egg, and you’re ready to fry. Sometimes you add a little baking powder, but that’s about it. But then, you toss in a few extra spices, and a bit more flour, and there’s almost no difference between Southern deep frying and Japanese Tempura…ing.

That really does make sense, of course. The Asian cultures have a bit more history than Southerners. Although, it could be argued with reasonable accuracy, that The South stole frying from Europeans, who were doing up dumplings as far back as the 1700s, and the Japanese stole Tempura from the Portuguese back in the 1500s. So, who wins? I really just don’t think you can award a “Stole it First” title. Well, not outside of an Indiana Jones movie, anyway.

There is a lesson here, though. If you’ve got your pretentious friends over for dinner, and want to serve your amazing fried chicken recipe, just tell them it’s Kentucky Chicken Tempura.

See you Tuesday for National English Toffee Day.

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About Jim Clark

"If it was worth doing, then it is worth writing!" -- Jim Clark -- Someone else probably said that before, and I'm sure that each semester she starts her Creative Writing 101 class by writing it on the board, but I never took that lady's class so I am taking her quote! I work in the world of advertising, but I write for a living. Here in the second decade of the '00s, we find ourselves in a culture where virtually everyone writes for a living. With all the clicking and clacking on Facebook, Twitter, emails and texts, our lives are more than ever intertwined with writing. At the same time, it's also become increasingly more important to shorten our thoughts down to as few characters as possible. So, now, more than ever, I think it's also important to hold a place in our lives for expanding and honing our thoughts through writing. This is my place for that.
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