Fried shrimp, also known as “Ebi fry” in Japanese, is a popular deep fried shrimp! Plump and succulent shrimps are crumbed with panko (bread crumbs) and deep fried. Japanese bento boxes often have some fried shrimp included. You will also find the shrimp in a range of other dishes like donburi and sushi. It is irresistibly delicious, especially with Tartar sauce.
Shrimp vs Prawn
You may remember the Australian tourism advertisement in which the Ozzie actor Paul Hogan from “Crocodile Dundee” said, “I’ll slip an extra shrimp on the barbie for you”. In Australia, we eat prawns and not shrimp. The anatomy of the shrimp is different to the prawn and they are two different creatures. However, often the terms shrimp and prawn are used interchangeably. So they are not just two different sizes of the same creature.
If you are living in Australia then the following is a good tip. I always buy “Tiger Prawns” because are less fishy smelling than “Banana or Green Prawns”.
Tips for preparation
Wear a pair of disposable gloves
Although they are so plump and delicious, removing the shell and deveining is a bit daunting and smelly. And the smell stays in your hands for quite some time. I dislike the fishy smell so I make sure I use a pair of disposable gloves.
Easy way to peel the shell
This is the way I have learnt from a professional chef. He told me to leave the tail on, and peel the shrimp’s outer shell off from the tail side first, because of the way the shells are overlapped. If you try to remove from the head side, you have to remove the shells one by one, but if you start from the tail side the shells will be lifted up altogether and you can remove the shell in one go.
Score the back of the shrimps and remove all the poo. This little step makes a huge difference to the taste. So don’t forget to remove the poo.
Prevent the fried shrimps from curling up
Make sure the presentation of the shrimp is perfect. To prevent the shrimp from curling up, follow this technique. Simply score the shrimp’s belly side two or three times with a small knife.
As the step by step photos indicate, hold a shrimp with your index and middle fingers and thumb. Push the back of the shrimp with your thumb between index and middle finger. You will feel or even here the muscle snap. This step is similar to cutting the rind off bacon. By doing this, the bacon does not curl up. Your fried shrimp will be straight and look well presented.
5. Cut off the very tip of the Prawn’s tail (oops Shrimp’s tail)
This is one last tip that I have learnt from the chef. Cut the very tip off the shrimp’s tail so that when it is cooking in oil, the end of the tail doesn’t blow up and spit oil.
Generally speaking, when anything is deep fried and panko crumbed, the procedure is to coat the item with flour then dip into egg and then panko crumbs. But I have shortened this process to make it quicker and easier by adding the flour into the egg and mixing them together to make a batter so that we can skip the separate flour then egg process.
Which sauce to eat with fried shrimp?
Well, of course, Chopstick Chronicles’ Tartar sauce is great to eat with fried shrimp. Also, I personally like just eating them with soy sauce. Because the shrimp has a strong flavour, just a dash of lemon juice or salt and pepper is great too.
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- 10 Shrimps
- 1 egg
- 3 tbs plain flour
- 1 tbs Japanese mayonaise
- 50 ml water
- Oil for deep fry *5
- Green salad leaves to serve *1
- cherry tomatoes *1
- wedges of lemon *1
- Tartar sauce *2
- Prepare the shrimp by removing the shell and deveining it.
- Score the shrimps belly 2-3 places and snap the muscle to prevent the shrimps from curling up. *3
- Mix the egg, flour, water, and mayonnaise in a small bowl to make a batter.
- Coat shrimps with the batter then place into the Panko crumbs and coat. *4
- Heat some frying oil in a deep pan until it reaches around 180 °C(356°F).
- Fry each shrimp until it's crispy and golden brown on both sides then set aside on paper towel to absorb the excess oil.
- Serve the fried shrimps with vegetables and top with Tartar sauce.