Agemono – it’s pretty much the generic Japanese term for all sorts of fried foods, though I’m quite sure it specifically refers to deep-fried dishes such as karaage (Japanese-style battered fried chicken), and tempura. On their own, these things can be quite cloying; but when paired with a number of other things, these can be quite sublime.
Here are a few of my personal favorites:
- Karaage udon at Komoro Soba I haven’t eaten at KS in ages, but I have fond memories of their deliciously savory karaage. These boneless chicken thigh fillets are marinated in a mix of light soy sauce, mirin, and a bit of sesame oil before being dipped in a tempura-style batter and deep fried till beautifully burnished. Cooked in such a manner, the chicken is the perfect thing to eat with a bowl of thick white udon noodles in a light shoyu broth;
- Tempura ramen (shown above) at Kitaro Possibly not the commercial ramen bowl of choice, but if the batter-fried prawns are crisp and eaten before they go soggy, it’s quite good;
- Tonkatsu sandwiches at JiPan Yes, they actually slice up a whole tonkatsu and stick it in between slices of buttered white bread with some shredded white cabbage and some Bulldog sauce. These look like delicate tea-party bites, but they’re actually quite hearty;
- Aji sushi over at Yoshi’s Japanese Deli These are actually inari zushi – sushi rice stuffed into pockets of deep-fried tofu which are then braised in a sweetish soy sauce. They are, to me, a perfect little snack.
So, what’s your favorite deep-fried Japanese dish? 😉