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Maple Tempura, Japan’s Popular Autumn Snack

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They say everything tastes better deep fried, but who’d have ever guessed that also applies to maple leaves? Well, the dish is real – it’s called Maple Tempura and it’s a fall delicacy in Japan.

There is more to these snacks than just picking up dead leaves and frying them. The process involves dipping the maple leaves in the most perfect batter and fried until they’re golden, crispy, and oh-so-sweet.

To prepare Maple Tempura, the leaves are carefully selected and preserved in salt barrels for over a year. Then, they’re removed from the salt and dipped in a batter made from flour, sesame seeds and sugar. These batter-coated leaves are then deep fried for over 20 minutes, until crisp.

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The leaves itself doesn’t carry much flavour, so the batter has to be spot-on to lend the taste. But it is the leaves’ star shape that is so alluring to hungry customers, who seem to can’t get enough of the snack.

The interesting dish is believed to have originated 1,000 years ago, in the Kansai region of south-central Japan. Although the recipe has gone through several changes over the centuries, you can still enjoy a nice plate of Maple Tempura at Kyoto City, Mie Prefecture, or Osaka City.

Each bag goes for 500 yen (RM15.00) and are typically freshly-fried right there in front of your eyes.

The popular deep-fried goodness can be enjoyed all year round, but is best consumed during Fall while admiring the scenery.MYNEWSHUB/Text: Sara Khalid

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