We venture into new territory in our latest trip into the SoraKitchen.

For certain types of food, like curry and spaghetti sauce, you could make the argument that they’re better the day after they were cooked, once the flavors settle and concentrate. Tempura however, is definitely not like that.

Foodies will tell you that tempura tastes better the more freshly fried it is, which presents a problem for our Japanese-language reporter P.K. Sanjun. See, P.K. is a regular tempura takeout customer, and quite understandably his eyes are often bigger than his stomach when he’s picking out morsels to take home. The result is that more often than not, he ends up with leftover tempura,

▼ Merely the latest of P.K.’s many, many plates of leftover tempura.

But recently P.K. had an idea: What if he used his leftover tempura to make fried rice?

Inspired and hungry, P.K. rushed to the kitchen and assembled his ingredients:
● Leftover tempura
● Cooked white rice
● Green onion
● Oba (Japanese basil)
● Mentsuyu (Japanese noodle broth)

When we asked him how much of each he used, P.K. replied “Oh, you know, just however much I had on hand. Tekitou ni

With such a talent for precise planning, we’re beginning to see how he ends up buying more tempura than he can eat so often. On the bright side, the simplified measurements are for a pretty simple recipe.

1. Briefly heat the tempura in the oven, then chop everything into bite-sized pieces.

2. Mince the green onion and oba.

3. Place the rice in a bowl and pour in some mentsuyu. Mix well.

4. Add the tempura, and then the rice, to a lightly oiled wok or frying pan, and stir-fry them.

5. Shortly before turning off the flame, add the green onion and oba. Season to taste with salt, pepper, or soy sauce if desired, and you’re done!

If the ingredient list seems pretty basic, that’s by design. Since tempura is battered, P.K. wanted to make sure things didn’t get too heavy or starchy, and he purposely avoided adding an egg, even though it’s ordinarily a pretty common part of fried rice, since he thought the combination of rice, egg, and batter might be a little too much.

Grabbing a spoon (the preferred way to eat fried rice in Japan), he took a bite, and was happy to learn that his experiment was a success! While mentsuyu is most commonly used with noodles like soba or udon, it’s also used as a dipping sauce for tempura. Made with soy sauce, sugar, cooking sake, and fish stock, its mix of sweet and savory flavors seeped into the rice and formed a mouth-watering base flavor for the meal.

So now that P.K. knows how to use any leftover tempura (or sushi, too) he has, he’s got even less reason to try to restrain himself when choosing how much takeout to buy.

Photos ©SoraNews24
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