The Temple of Tempura in Tokyo

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  • Tetsuya Saotame

A most arresting quote, from Nick Lander's column in last Weekend's FT, stops us in our tracks.
Mr Lander is quoting the chef Tetsuya Saotame, who has cooked tempura in Mikawa restaurant in Tokyo for the last 33 years. Mr Saotame says;
“I'm not frying, but baking in oil and my role when the fish is in the pot is to calculate the right combination of air, water and batter”.
“I think that I am able to see the scales on the fish that other people cannot see and then just coat each piece in the appropriate amount of batter. After that, the trick is simply to count the seconds the fish should be cooked for”.
Such precision, such poetry, such philosophy...

Mikawa, 3-4-7 Nihonbashi-Kayabacho, Chuo-ku, Tokyo