Vegetable and Shrimp Tempura

An iconic dish of Japan, tempura was introduced to the island nation by missionaries from Portugal in the sixteenth century. The Japanese refined this foreign dish, serving it with a dipping sauce. Here, the sauce calls for bonito flakes. These delicate, buff-colored, almost translucent flakes are shaved from a bonito fish that has been dried and smoked. The shavings have a subtle fish taste and aroma, and are one of the principal ingredients in dipping sauces and bonito stock, or dashi.
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