In Search of: Momiji Tempura (Fried Maple Leaves)

Momijigari, or “viewing autumn leaves,” is a traditional Japanese pastime during the autumn months, when many Japanese trees (including maples, ginko, and other deciduous species) transform from lush, green summer tones: Japanese cuisine is seasonal by nature, and autumn favorites like roasted sweet potatoes (yaki-imo) and chestnuts begin to appear as the season turns. Regional specialties appear in autumn, too, including one I’m hoping to try when I head to Japan later this month: tempura maple leaves (momiji no tempura), a specialty served at Minō Park in Northern Osaka. The maple leaves are pickled in salt for a year, and then fried in a sweetened sesame batter, producing

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