Check out this web page. If you don’t understand a word, right click on the page to bring up the menu and select “Translate to English.” Pleasantly surprised? The translation is far from perfect, but for those of you who cook regularly, the recipe is self-explanatory, no?
I caught this episode of Kewpie 3-Minute Cooking, one of the longest running programs, on the Japanese channel a few months ago. This particular dish is called New Tea Kakiage, or Shincha Kakiage (新茶入りのかき揚げ). Doesn’t kakiage look just like tempura? Indeed, kakiage is tempura whose batter is mixed with additional ingredients such as chopped vegetables, and in this case, tea leaves! If you are ready to give this a try, don’t forget to read the “Advice” section near the bottom of the web page.
There is another kind of Japanese cooking shows with which we in the States are more familiar, that is, programs like Ryōri no Tetsujin, or Iron Chef – the father of all culinary reality television. The language barrier should not prevent you from realizing how original and entertaining the show is, especially the very first episode aired more than 20 years ago, in 1993! One does wonder why there was never a tea-themed episode . . .
Now watch this video, in which a Chinese chef and an Italian chef competed to prepare the most memorable Lunar New Year’s Eve dinner during a CCTV (China Central Television) cooking show. They were to create six dishes within four hours, using only ingredients provided by the network. Skip to 16:10 to witness the creation of Yixing Teapot Matsutake Mushroom Soup. Then at 20:37, the panel of judges are served the first dish. The use of a teapot enhanced the presentation and dining experience, without tea being an ingredient.
I spent a bit more time searching for that Kewpie 3-Minute Cooking video and stumbled upon a home cooking session – now this is a tempura dish, not kakiage.
Images courtesy of the contributor.