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Time To Eat Fried Leaves in Japan

Illustration for article titled Time To Eat Fried Leaves in Japan
Kotaku EastEast is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am.

Yep, it’s fall! The leaves are starting to turn in Osaka. Thank the maples for some of fall’s most beautiful colors—and yummy snacks.

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The Japanese maple is called “momiji” (もみじ), and Minoo City is famous for its momiji tempura. Minoo is known for its Japanese maples. Check out the city’s manhole cover.

Illustration for article titled Time To Eat Fried Leaves in Japan
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[Photo: churateada]

So yes, that’s right, fried leaves. They’re actually quite tasty.

Illustration for article titled Time To Eat Fried Leaves in Japan

[Photo: ekiblo]

But! These are not just regular leaves collected off the ground and then fried. They are preserved in salt barrels for over a year.

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Then, they’re taken out of the salt and are fried in a delicious, slightly sweet batter for over twenty minutes until they are crisp.

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Illustration for article titled Time To Eat Fried Leaves in Japan

[Photo: hosocoshi]

They’re great relaxing with a beer (or two!) under the falling leaves.

Illustration for article titled Time To Eat Fried Leaves in Japan
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[Photo: harukaze_0721]

You can eat fried leaves year round, but honestly, the best time to enjoy leaf tempura is while looking at the autumn colors. There is a long history in Japan of getting close to nature, whether that is through seasonal art, poetry or food.

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And there’s a long history of momiji tempura in Osaka with accounts saying the food was first prepared over a thousand years ago. Though, they certainly haven’t been sealed in plastic bags for that long!

Illustration for article titled Time To Eat Fried Leaves in Japan
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[Photo: カプチーノ@食べログ]

The current recipe is the result of being reworked numerous times over the years. If you are ever in North Osaka, give ‘em a try.

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Illustration for article titled Time To Eat Fried Leaves in Japan

[Photo: yuzuru_minoh]

For more photos, check out the Tabelog link below.

久國紅仙堂の投稿写真 [Tabelog]

This article was originally published on October 2, 2014.

To contact the author of this post, write to bashcraftATkotaku.com or find him on Twitter @Brian_Ashcraft.

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Kotaku East is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am.

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DISCUSSION

batwaynebruceman
Batwayne Bruceman

As a Canadian, I am amazed we don't eat fried maple leaves. This actually sounds interesting...and is a better use than just putting it on a flag.

Is there a difference between NA maple leaves and Japan's?