5. Tempura Lettuce

April 6, 2008

Few people will argue the merits of tempura, a golden-brown sheath of fried goodness which veils even the most offensive vegetable. Broccoli, carrots, and even turnips find in tempura an answer to their inherent vapidity.

In fact, the Japanese kanji for tempura, 天, means HEAVEN. And it is no wonder, given the superiority of tempura to some other Japanese dishes, i.e. oden (coming soon).

But even the best food must occasionally have its weakness. And by weakness, what I really mean is LETTUCE.

Lettuce is not heaven – especially not Iceberg Lettuce, the Britney Spears of greens. Struck by a national debt due to overexpenditure, Japan is trying to cut corners. But substituting a blade of Iceberg here or a frond of Romaine there is not the answer.

No amount of oil, all-purpose flour, or eggs, will palliate the disease that is Iceberg Lettuce (pictured here); other lettuce species may have their answer in a balsamic vinaigrette, but never in tempura.


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