Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Deep-Fried Maple Leaves Are a Popular Snack in Japan

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. Surprisingly, it isn’t just made by picking up random fallen leaves and frying them. There’s actually an elaborate process involved in making these sweet, golden snacks. 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.

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. You can also purchase a bag for 500 yen ($5.70) at a small shop called Akataki Chaya located in the picturesque waterfalls of Nabari City.


  1. Pfft. First of all, a leaf isn't very meaty, so it's all just fried batter. Even if a maple leaf did have some discernable flavor, after a year soaking in salt water, it's just going to taste like salt. Assuming you can taste anything through the batter.

    And frying it for "over 20 minutes"? Until crisp? Well that's just silly. People fry chicken pieces for four minutes and they're cooked through being crispy on the outside, a 1mm thick leaf covered in a thin batter isn't going to take 20 minutes!

    You can trust my rant, I'm American. I know fried things.

    1. ..but it has sesame seeds on it? The Scottish wouldn't fall for that, either, being lovers of deep fried Mars bar