January 7 is National Tempura Day. But for lovers of this crunchy delight, any day of the year is fit to celebrate and savor it.
The deep-fried dish, first served in the 16th century, was introduced to the Japanese by Portuguese Jesuit missionaries. Tempura ingredients include prawns, sweet potato, various mushrooms and vegetables, lightly battered and fried in hot oil.
In downtown Napa, Sushi Mambo serves tempura at $9.50 for an appetizer portion, $14.50 to $16.50 as an entrée.
Nearby Eiko's menu includes shishito peppers tempura style ($6), avocado tempura ($7) and and "healthy fries," tempura green beans ($9), as well as soups with tempura ($14-$15) and tempura entrées ($12-$14).
Acclaimed Morimoto Napa has a rock shrimp tempura appetizer at $16; a shrimp tempura maki roll is $7.
Where's the best tempura in the Napa Valley? Tell us in the comments below and review your favorite restaurant here.
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