Tempura, Japan's version of battered and deep-fried foods, is not like the golden, brown, and delicious fare of the United States. Tempura is a delicate art, and there's no seasoning to make up for a lack of execution with the batter or inferior ingredients. Kyoshi Chikano of Tempura Matsui is considered to be New York City's only "tempura master," and in this video from the Wall Street Journal, he explains what goes into his cuisine.
Chikano has been cooking professionally for a quarter-century, and he's focused solely on tempura for the last decade. While some may call him a master, the chef prefers a different term. "In Japan, we actually don't say 'master,'" Chikano says in the video. "We call ourselves craftsmen." He goes on to explain the refined technique needed to produce quality tempura, what sorts of ingredients should be used, and how one small mistake can ruin a meal.
Want to know the ins and outs of masterful tempura? Watch the above video for a crash course.
• The Secrets of a Tempura Master [YouTube]
• All Video Interludes [E]