Satsuma-age proves that, like most things edible, minced fish paste benefits from a little time in the deep fryer.
Ironically, this iconic Japanese dish finds its roots abroad -- in Portugal.When Portuguese missionaries and traders arrived in Nagasaki in the mid-16th century, they brought with them a taste for rich foods and the technique of deep-frying.Maisen (Jingumae 4-8-5, Shibuya-ku; 81 (0)3 3470 0071) is also an unbeatable stand-by.At first, those fine white veins of fat may seem shocking, but compared to regular beef, wagyu actually contains higher levels of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, which help reduce the risk of heart disease. Wooing the world through the international language of deep-fried deliciousness, tempura is one of Japan's most popular culinary exports.We especially love the gindara saikyo-yaki at Ginka (Azabu Juban 2-19-2, Minato-ku; 81 (0)3 5439 6938).
It's a hole-in-the-wall shop selling himono dried fish with a small dining area hidden at the back. But, when properly prepared, horsemeat is tender, mildly sweet and not at all gamey. Dry aging, which concentrates the flavor and gives the meat a pleasing springiness.The fish and rice are first mixed with soy sauce and wasabi, and later with pickled vegetables.When most of the mixture has been eaten, dashi broth is poured over the remaining third, which is consumed as a soup.Christianity may have been slow to catch on in Japan, but tempura was an instant hit. 9F, Ginza 5-5-13, Chuo-ku; 81 (0)3 5568 0923), deep frying is almost an art form: greaseless morsels of tender asparagus, delicately crisp kisu fish, and plump scallops still pink in the center.More books, blogs and movies have been dedicated to ramen than any other noodle dish in Asia.Without a doubt, sushi is one of Japan's greatest gastronomical gifts to the world.