Shuji Niitome, currently Japan’s number one tempura master in action. Until only recently, tempura master from Nagoya Shuji Niitome refused to be listed in any restaurant guides. As soon as he got onto tabelog.com, he soared to number one in Japan for tempura. Niitome-san is a true shokunin (and despite being very private, he is legendary among other shokunins) who never compromises in quality and never ceases to get better and better. He is known for frying his tempura in lower temperature and also for thick, but at the same time very light batter.
For Niitome-san batter is a crucial element in the art of tempura making. First he sieves the flour and then keeps it for two days in minus 45-53 degrees temperature. Normally even the most famous tempura restaurants’ batter will have small lumps inside. Because he takes out the moister from the flour by keeping it in extremely low temperature, his batter is translucent and perfectly smooth. Because Shuji Niitome’s batter is so special, he can use wider range of the temperature of the oil, which will bring out umami and the best flavours from the ingredients at their optimal temperature. His tempura is served with Okinawa salt, which has higher mineral content and umami, but is mild at the same time.