Posted in The Wonders of Japanese Cuisine

On Kaki-age

It’s called kaki-age; as to whether that pertains to kaki as in persimmons or kaki as in oysters is something of a culinary misnomer. Well, at least in the Philippines, anyway, because neither ingredient is thrown into the mixture for these savory fritters.

Kaki-age is usually made with sliced sweet onions, carrots, grated squash, spring onions, and green beans all tossed in a bowl of tempura batter and dropped in generous dollops into a pan of bubbling oil. In some parts of Japan, bits of assorted seafood – shrimp, crab meat, squid, cuttlefish, and then some – are added to make it more savory. Local Japanese joint Teriyaki Boy has a spicy variant with pulverized red pepper in the batter and a hot dip made with soy sauce, shichimi togarashi, and chili oil is served on the side. However, such incendiary delights are not for me.

I prefer my kaki-age as one of a properly varied assortment of tempura atop a bowl of rice. However, on my low carb days, I also like it when it’s served as part of a selection of vegetable tempura (as seen in the little platter from Fukuya) above. There’s just something so satisfying about vegetables prepared and served in this manner.



Midge started her career in PR writing at seventeen when she began drafting documentaries for a government-run television station in the Philippines. Since then, she made a career in advertising and public relations which ended in June 2016 These days, she works full time at Philippine Tatler as a features writer under the nom de guerre Marga Manlapig. Aside from what she does for a living and her poetry, she has turned her home kitchen into a personal culinary lab and is currently working on another novel. Follow her on Instagram at @midgekmanlapig.

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