The Difference: Tenkasu vs Agedama tempura bits
Tempura is a traditional Japanese food made by deep-frying one piece of ingredient covered in the batter of hen’s eggs and wheat flour.
It seems that the scraps of leftover deep-fried Tempura batter generated in the cooking process are often referred to as Tempura bits or Tempura crumbs in English-speaking countries.
In Japan, the deep-fried Tempura batter bits are called “Tenkasu (天かす)” or “Agedama (揚げ玉)”, so the crunchy Tempura flakes have 2 different Japanese names. But are there any differences between Tenkasu and Agedama bits?
The Difference between Tenkasu and Agedama Crumbs
Actually, Tenkasu and Agedama are basically the same things, but sometimes the latter is distinguished as what is somewhat different from the former. Therefore, here I will explain that.
First off, Tenkasu originally refers to the bits of leftover deep-fried flour batter made in the cooking process of Tempura.
Tempura restaurants generate lots of Tenkasu bits that aren’t suitable for preserving, and those scraps are usually discarded as food wastes.
However, sometimes the Tempura flakes are used as a topping for Udon and Soba noodle dishes, in addition to being put in Onigiri rice balls.
By the way, Tenkasu is the word for Tempura bits that is often used by those who live in western Japan.
On the other hand, Agedama sometimes refers to the Tempura bits that are intendedly produced in order to sell as products.
In that case, it takes time and labor to make Agedama bits, and the ingredients may include chopped shrimp or squid to improve the taste and flavor.
Incidentally, in contrast to Tenkasu, Agedama is the word for Tempura bits that tends to often be used in eastern Japan.
(Reference Page: Wikipedia 天かす )