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National Tempura Day on January 7

January 7 is annually marked National Tempura Day.
January 7 is annually marked National Tempura Day. Photo: avlxyz/Flickr

Americans love anything fried. Don’t deny it—you know deep down, that deep fried food is what you desire—regardless of what your heart will think of the aftermath.

Every January 7, fried foodies alike are allowed one more reason to celebrate their shared love of deliciously greasy delicacies—National Tempura Day.

For those unfamiliar with tempura, it’s the crispy outer shell that coats vegetables, seafood and sushi at Japanese restaurants. Even if you are not a fan of sushi, you are likely to enjoy a tempura roll—proof that frying anything does make it taste better.

In light of National Tempura Day, I have three recommendations in Houston to recognize the occasion. Oishii, Blue Fish House and Soma are restaurants perfectly acceptable in the area to enjoy some good tempura.

Oishii, voted Best Sushi and Japanese in the recent selection by AOL City’s Best, is located at 3764 Richmond Avenue with a wide menu of tempura to choose from. For an appetizer, Oishii offers jalapeno, vegetable, chicken, ika (squid) and ebi (shrimp) tempura platters. Customers may also purchase the Tempura Hand Roll for only $2.5.

For an entrée with a tempura ingredient, try the Nebeyaki Udon—complete with shrimp tempura, chicken and egg in a Japanese-style noodle soup for $8.5. You can contact Oishii at (713) 621-8628 or visit their website for more information. Oishii is closed on Sundays and does not take reservations, so come early because it can get pretty crowded.

Blue Fish House, also on Richmond Avenue at 2241, has a slightly more formal atmosphere—but not to the point of being upscale or too fancy. Besides sharing its street with Oishii, Blue Fish House was also voted “Best Sushi” in 2010 by City Search.

For some tempura on the menu at Blue Fish, try the 3 Musketeers sushi platter, comprised with 18 handmade pieces of the traditional California Roll, the Rock N’ Roll and Shrimp Tempura Roll for $12.95. As if that isn’t enough food, the meal comes with Miso soup and a side salad. Also available to customers this holiday is the Mixed Tempura dish for $8.95. The meal is accompanied with Miso soup, a side salad and a choice between rice and homemade mashed potatoes.

To contact Blue Fish House, you can visit their website or call the restaurant at (713) 529-3100.

Last but not least is Soma, located at 4820 Washington Avenue. Arguably the most expensive of the three and considered a trendy spot, Soma is a great fine dining experience regardless.

The atmosphere alone is reason enough to eat there, spacious and modern with décor of deep blue fluorescent lights and a hopping and social scene on the weekends… a perfect spot to celebrate the occasion of National Tempura Day.

For more information you can visit Soma’s website or call them at (713) 861-2726.

Everything is worth celebrating, and January 7 is the day to celebrate tempura. Since we all want an excuse to divulge into fried food anyway, there really is no reason not to.

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