Ebi Fry is Japanese fried shrimp. The shrimp is breaded with flour, egg, and Panko (bread crumbs), then deep fried. It is a very popular dish at many restaurants in Japan, from big chain family restrants to mom and pop’s small corner eateries. Although you may be able to find the dish more easily than some other Japanese food at restaurants outside Japan, making Ebi Fry at home is very easy too and also very cost efficient. Most of the ingredients in the recipe are easily found at US supermarkets too. So why not make it at home?
Choosing the main ingredient — shrimp — is pretty easy. They can be fresh or frozen (need to be defrosted). The size of the shrimp doesn’t matter much either, though we prefer larger ones. We thought shrimp that weigh enough to have 10-15 per pound are more substantial and fulfilling. One tip for preparing the shrimp to make them more straight while they cook is to make diagonal cuts on the inner side, and then bend the shrimp the other way to break its muscle inside.
Another key ingredient for Ebi Fry is Panko (bread crumbs). Japanese Panko has become more common and now many US supermarkets carry it. It is medium size bread crumbs or flakes and that is perfect for Ebi Fry. Italian bread crumbs are too fine and that doesn’t give the crunch we want. On the other hand, coarser bread crumbs like fresh bread crumbs you make at home could absorb too much oil and might make Ebi Fry greasy.
Mayonnaise based tartar sauce goes very well with Ebi Fry. We put chopped hard boiled eggs and pickles (cornichones, small sour cucumber pickles) in mayo. Yes, we recognize it is pretty fattening putting fatty tartar sauce on top of deep fried food. And no, it is not a diet food when you want to loose weight in hurry. Ebi Fry is more like a comfort food rather than some other more healthy Japanese food. It is a kind of dish that you may want to eat when you can indulge yourself every so often. If you’re still worried, or want a lighter meal, you can simply squeeze lemon over Ebi Fry, and that’s still very good.
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1 egg (raw, beaten)
- 1 cup panko or bread crumbs
- oil for deep frying
- 1 hard boiled egg
- 5 small pickles (cornichones)
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- Make tartar sauce. Chop hard boiled egg and pickles. Mix them with mayonnaise, and season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until using.
- Peel shrimp shells leaving tails. Make small diagonal cuts on the inner side of each shrimp and pull to help straighten. Sprinkle salt and pepper on both sides of the meat.
- Coat the meat with flour, dip in the beaten egg, then cover with bread crumbs.
- Heat deep frying oil to 350 F, and deep fry the crumb-covered meat. You can check the temperature by dropping a bread crumb in the hot oil. If it comes up to the oil surface right after it's dropped, it's good.
- Fry the shrimp until the color of the coating turns golden brown and the shrimp floats in the oil, about 4-5 minutes, turning a couple of times.
- Serve shrimps on a plate with tartar sauce.