Tenkasu vs. Agedama: Tempura Bits

Tempura is a traditional Japanese food made by deep-frying one piece of ingredient covered in a batter of hen’s eggs and wheat flour.

The scraps of deep-fried Tempura batter generated in the cooking have the name Tenkasu (天かす) or Agedama (揚げ玉) in Japan, known as Tempura bits or Tempura crumbs in English.

Tenkasu vs. Agedama

Tenkasu and Agedama are the same things. But sometimes, the latter is distinguished from the former.

Tenkasu (天かす)

Tenkasu Bits

Tenkasu (天かす: meaning Tempura crumb) is originally a by-product generated in the cooking process of Tempura.

Tempura restaurants have lots of Tenkasu bits every day unsuitable for preserving, and they usually discard them as food waste.

However, we sometimes use those flakes as a topping for Udon and Soba noodle soups and put them in Onigiri rice balls.

By the way, when describing Tempura bits, we Japanese use the word Tenkasu more commonly than Agedama.

Agedama (揚げ玉)

Agedama Crumbs

On the other hand, we tend to call commercial Tempura bits (intentionally produced to sell as products) Agedama (揚げ玉: meaning deep-fried ball).

It takes time and labor to make Agedama, whose ingredients may include shrimps or chopped squid to improve the taste and flavor.

Compared to Tenkasu, Agedama is the word for Tempura bits often used in East Japan, especially in the Kanto region around Tokyo.

(Reference Page: Wikipedia 天かす )


Hi, I'm Tomo, a Japanese blogger living in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. For the purpose of enriching your life, I would like to introduce things about Japan on this blog, especially unique Japanese products, cooking recipes, cultures, and facts and trivia.

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