Tempura Tenko,Chef Hitoshi Arai Part2

  • Tempura Tenko,Chef Hitoshi Arai

Plant-Based Umami from Japan: Chef Hitoshi Arai of Tempura Tenko in Tokyo tells us about his plant-based Tempura dipping sauce.

Tenko serves “Edomae” tempura. That means using as many ingredients caught in Tokyo bay as possible. So the traditional dipping sauce doesn’t use Kombu from the North at all but only uses local Katsuobushi, dried bonito flakes - a whopping 80g of Katsuobushi per 1 litre of water - and it is simmered down slowly, never boiled up.

Chef Arai’s father, who founded Tenko, never used Kombu or dried Shiitake but Chef Arai decided to use both to make his plant-based dipping sauce because: “I came across Umami at a culinary conference in the USA”. 

The Glutamate from Kombu and Inosinate from dried mushrooms together cause an Umami synergistic effect and make good plant-based stock. Dried mushrooms have stronger Umami than Katsuobushi, so there is no need to use as much.?

Chef Arai also says the oil to deep fry the Tempura gets tastier after it's been used because the flavour of the ingredients infuses the oil. “When you know the Umami composition of each ingredient, cooking becomes more and more intriguing!”

In the next post, Chef Arai will show us his no-waste Tempura.

Tempura Tenko,Chef Hitoshi Arai Part1

Tempura Tenko,Chef Hitoshi Arai Part3