Tsukiji Market Cheap Eats – Tenfusa Tempura


One of my indulgent breakfasts at Tsukiji Market is tempura anago at Tenfusa. Tenfusa is on the same block of restaurants as the popular Sushi Dai and Daiwa Sushi. While crowds of people queue for a rushed sushi breakfast I like to slide right by them, push aside the noren and slide open the door to this tiny shop. Only two tables that seat four and a counter for five. The walls are filled with signatures of Japanese celebrities who have dined here. There are two staff, the tempura master who for the most part stands guard over the hot pot of oil. His assistant (perhaps his wife?) takes orders, brings out the dishes, and collects money at the end of the meal.

This morning the other diners are all fishmongers. How do I know? They are all wearing the official gear of fishmongers: knee-high rubber boots.


My order is always the same, anago don teishoku, the set meal of tempura anago over rice, pickles, and tofu. The dish includes two long pieces of anago in a crispy tempura batter that is drizzled with a sweet soy dressing. The contrast of the juicy eel to the crispy batter is what makes this dish so appealing. It is delivered as soon as it comes out of the oil so it is always piping hot.
Shrimp tempura here is also very popular. Hanging on the wall the menu is written on tall, narrow blackboards. While anago and shrimp are the most popular items, you can also add seafood like megochi, haze, or kisu. Vegetable tempura options here today included eggplant, sweet potato, asparagus, kabocha pumpkin, shishito pepper, and renkon lotus root.

While most visitors to Tsukiji Market want to have sushi for breakfast, for those of us who go frequently it’s nice to have a variety of other foods to choose from. Tenfusa anago tempura is hands down my favorite.


Tsukiji 5-2-1, Building #6


http://www.tsukijigourmet.or.jp/24_tenfusa/index.htm (Japanese – with good photos)

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