Trust us, once you start eating Ebi Fry, you won’t be able to stop! Ebi Fry (enticingly crunchy fried shrimp) are a staple in bento lunch boxes, inside of sushi rolls, and topping donburi rice bowls. You can also enjoy them as a full meal, which is what we’ll be doing in this recipe.
While it is similar to shrimp tempura, Ebi Fry is coated in crunchy panko bread crumbs before frying, whereas tempura is coated in a flour batter. Panko bread crumbs add an extra delicious dimension and are also used to cover tonkatsu (Japanese-style pork cutlets).
When making Ebi Fry, be sure to devein the shrimp and score their bellies with a small knife, pulling them to lengthen them. Scoring them allows for a straighter shrimp when frying, which makes the Ebi Fry easier to dip in sauces such as tonkatsu or tartar sauce or to cut up for sushi. While any shrimp can be prepared with the following instructions, we suggest choosing the biggest shrimp available to you.
These deep fried delicacies are especially well-known in Nagoya. The dish was developed in Japan during the Meiji period (1868-1912). According to one website, it became extremely popular in Nagoya in the 1980s due to a televised comedian making fun of how Nagoyans pronounce the name of the dish. This apparently caused a surge in demand for the dish in that region. Today, the dish experiences widespread popularity in Japan, and there is even an Ebi Fry “Sumikko Gurashi” character. Make a platter of Ebi Fry for your next meal and let us know if you see the resemblance!
Time: 30 minutes
Yield: 10 fried shrimp with dipping sauce
- 10 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- ¾ cup Panko bread crumbs from Bokksu Grocery
- ½ cup cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons sake
- ½ cup flour
- 1 large egg, whisked
- Vegetable oil, for frying (about 4 cups)
- Salt, to taste
- Black pepper, to taste
For the Dipping Sauce
- 3 tablespoons Kewpie Mayonnaise from Bokksu Grocery
- 1 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- Cut the belly of the shrimp in at least 3 spots to help loosen and straighten them.
- Toss shrimp in cornstarch.
- In a separate bowl, soak shrimp in sake for at least 10 minutes.
- Heat oil in a medium pan to 350°F.
- Pat shrimp dry with a paper towel.
- Coat shrimp in flour, then dip in egg, and finally in panko bread crumbs. Pat the bread crumbs down onto the shrimp so that they firmly stick.
- Fry shrimp 4 at a time until golden brown, about 5 minutes per batch.
- Remove shrimp from oil with a slotted spoon or tongs.
- To make the sauce, mix Kewpie mayonnaise with chopped dill, parsley, and lemon juice, until combined.
- Season shrimp with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve Ebi Fry with a side salad or extra veggies for dipping.