A common dish that is served throughout Japan is Tempura. Tempura is made of a deep fried seafood or a vegetable and is often dipped in a tempura sauce called tentsuyu. It is a simple dish to prepare in your home once you have learned the basic steps.

Some of typical ingredients used in this dish include squid, shrimp, green bell pepper, potatoes, sweet potatoes (satsumaimo), carrots, kabochas (Japanese tiny green pumpkins), lotus roots, Japanese eggplants and shiitake mushrooms. These ingredients are usually easy to find in grocery store produce departments.

Basic cooking steps:

1. Rinse, peel and slice vegetables.

2. Seafood should be rinsed and kept in cold water.

3. Make Tempura butter. To make 4 servings, beat 1 egg and slowly add 1 cup of ice water. Add 1 cup of sifted all-purpose flour and slightly mix.

4. In a deep pan, heat vegetable oil to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

5. Briefly dip each ingredient into the batter and immediately fry until they are crisp. Vegetables often require slightly more time to fry than seafood.

6. Let Tempura drain on metal racks.

7. Serve immediately while still hot with salt or Tempura dipping sauce.(see below)

Tempura dipping sauce ingredients include:

- 1 cup dashi soup stock (made from boiling dried shiitake mushrooms in water)
- 1/4 cup rice wine
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/2 tablespoon of sugar

To cook sauce, place rice wine in a small sauce pan. Cook on medium heat. Add dashi soup stock and soy sauce. Bring ingredients to boil.

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