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When is National Tempura Day?

January 7th is National Tempura Day.

What is National Tempura Day?

Tempura started as a Portuguese dish. Weird, yes? The Japanese made it their own though, and we celebrate this unique fried food on National Tempura Day.

Shiitake mushrooms, carrots, sweet potato slices, and shrimp are a few classic tempura ingredients. The batter sets tempura apart though, with less grease and no bread crumbs. Portuguese missionaries introduced the tempura frying method in Japan as an alternative to meat during Lent, a season when many Christian denominations abstain from eating meat.

You can eat tempura in any season though. From Japanese restaurants to American bistros, tempura is everywhere, and we honor this dish on National Tempura Day.

Fun facts about National Tempura Day!

  • Only seafood and vegetables are used in tempura frying.
  • Tempura batter consists of eggs, flour, and cold water, sometimes with oil or spices added.
  • Etymologists don’t know exactly where the word ‘tempura’ came from, but it might have grown out of a Latin phrase meaning “in the time (tempora) of Lent,” or just the Portuguese word for seasoning.
  • Traditionally, tempura was cooked in sesame oil, though vegetable and canola oil are more common today.

How to celebrate National Tempura Day:

Enjoy some tempura! Find a restaurant that serves it, or just make it at home. Along with the usual fare, try a few non-traditional options like zucchini blossom, hard-boiled eggs, or pickled oyster.

What’s the hashtag for National Tempura Day?

Post your tempura selfies on social media with #NationalTempuraDay.