Fall is here and people in Japan are not only enjoying the picturesque autumn view, but they’re also enjoying maple leaves; deep frying them in a sweet tempura batter and eating them.
It sounds like a more of a Canadian dish, but these fried maple leaves—known as Momiji Tempura—were said to be first prepared a thousand years ago. Some, like the Huffington Post, even go so far as to suggest that Canadians are jealous that they did not think of it first.
To make the Momiji Tempura, maple leaves are first collected and preserved in salt barrels for up to a year. Afterwards, they’re removed and deep fried in oil for 20 minutes in a lightly sweetened tempura batter until crisp.
If you’d like to try this traditional Japanese maple leaf snack for yourself, check out the recipe below:
Japanese Tempura Maple Leaves
- Beat 1 egg in a bowl
- Add 1 cup (128g, 4.5oz) ice water
- Add 1 cup sifted all purpose flour
- Mix Lightly (Be careful not to overmix)
- Clean Japanese red maple leaves with a wet towel
- Batter in tempura
- Heat vegetable oil in a deep pan to 350F (175C)
- Lightly dip one side of a Japanese maple leaf in the batter
- Immediately fry them until brown
- Drain tempura on a rack
Check out other strange Japanese foods like an ice cream sandwich that looks like a baked sweet potato.