The recipe for tempura is widely credited to Portugese and Spanish missionaries who lived in western Japan during the late 16th century. In “Japanese Cooking: A Simple Art,” author and chef Shizuo Tsuji, writes that, as this new dish caught on in Japan, it was slowly adapted for local tastes, eventually being paired with a delicately seasoned dipping sauce with grated daikon mixed into it.

If only the missionaries had also introduced another Iberian custom — the siesta — because, after a big lunch of tempura at Shintaro, the best postprandial advice I could offer is to take an hour off and flop down on a park bench (there are several nearby along the bank of the Dojima River).

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.