Heavily battered large shrimp and anago (fresh conger eel) tempura which dominates on top of rice in a bowl is impressive. This is a famous Edomae (Edo style) ten-don, corruption of tempura donburi. We enjoyed it at 70 years old Aoimarushin (tempura specialized restaurant) in Asakusa after touring the Senso-ji temple, one of the must visit destinations in Tokyo.
Tempura started at the hands of street vendors in the city of Edo (present Tokyo) during Edo period (1600-1868). Edo style tempura differs from the ones of Kyoto or Kansai. It uses thicker batter, sesame oil to deep-fry the ingredients, which includes vegetables and small seafood caught by the Edo Bay, and strongly flavored sauce. Well-toasted sesame oil’s strong but pleasant nutty flavor adds distinctive fragrance and golden color to the deep-fried items.
Tendon is a popular lunch time item across Japan – crisp hot tempura served on the bed of hot steamed rice in a bowl. The delicious sweet & salty shoyu (soy sauce) based sauce drizzled over the tempura quickly reaches to the rice and flavor it. When you are served the tendon like this in the photo you may wonder how to attack the dish. This is how to enjoy tendon. Have a couple bite of one of the tempura item. Put it back on top of the rice. Dig the sauce smeared, delicious rice with chopsticks and enjoy few bites of it. Back to the tempura and enjoy it. Then, back to the rice. Repeat the process until you finish all food in the bowl.