One would imagine that tempura -- deep-fried batter-dipped fish, chicken or vegetables -- began in ancient Japan. But no, the genre was born in Portugal and landed in Japan during the 16th century, when merchants introduced it.

Whatever its origins, tempura is well honored at these Long Island Japanese restaurants:

OSAKA, Shoreham

Good thing that the vegetable tempura at this, the only Japanese restaurant in Shoreham, speaks of a chef who knows that frying is an art.

TAKUMI, Commack

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The chicken and vegetable tempura at this strip-mall spot is done to a greaseless crunch, giving fried food a good name.


Lobster tempura figures into the very good lobster king roll at this friendly little place for sushi and more.