Crispy, plump, and flavorful, Ebi Fry (Japanese fried panko-covered shrimp) is a dish beloved by both kids and adults in Japan. A type of “Yoshoku” (Japanized forms of European dishes, originating in Meiji-era Japan) this style of shrimp is a longtime bento favorite.
Where it all began...
Renga-Tei, in Ginza, Tokyo. Still in operation today!
The origins of Ebi Fry can be traced back to Renga-Tei, a Yoshoku restaurant in Ginza, Tokyo. In the late 1800s, breaded and deep fried Yoshoku foods like Tonkatsu and Menchi katsu were very popular in Japan. Wanting to create new fried dishes, the owner of Renga-Tei, Motojiro Kida, experimented with different types of ingredients, eventually creating the wildly popular Ebi Fry. Jump to Recipe. View our collection for Japanese deep-fried foods.
Ebi Fry is not difficult to prepare at home, but it does require just a bit of careful preparation of the shrimp to achieve the characteristic straightness, golden brown crunch, and fresh flavor. You'll also need Panko, fine Japanese breadcrumbs made from crust-less white bread, that imparts the deeply satisfying crunchy coating. Here’s how to make this delectable dish!
Ingredients (serves 2):
- 1 egg
- 4-6 large Black Tiger Shrimp (tail on)
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1 cup Panko
- 2 cups neutral flavored oil (vegetable, rice bran, canola, etc) for deep frying
- Pinch of salt + black pepper
- 2 servings of cooked Japanese rice
- Sprinkle of Furikake
- 2 servings of your favorite side dishes
- Tempura Pot (or any heavy-duty pot
- Skimmer (to remove tempura crumbs from oil)
- Tempura Tongs or cooking chopsticks.
- Paper towels
Make Ebi Fry
- Prepare shrimp by peeling off outer shell and devein. Keep tail tip on. Make 2-3 slits in stomach. Placing shrimp belly side down on cutting board, press down gently to straighten out shrimp.
- Remove the thorny part of tail and squeeze out water from the tail using knife (this prevents hot oil splashes when frying).
- If you would like to remove any aroma from the shrimp, sprinkle some cornstarch on the shrimp, mix, and then rinse with running water.
- Next, add a tablespoon of sake to shrimp, mix and let sit for 10 min. Discard liquid, and pat shrimp dry. Now your shrimp is ready to be made into Ebi Fry!
- Season shrimp with salt and pepper.
- Next beat egg.
- Coat shrimp thoroughly with flour, egg, and then Panko.
- Heat oil to 350ºF (180ºC) and fry shrimp until golden brown (about 1-2 min).
- Transfer to paper towel lined plate to remove excess oil.
- Between batches, use skimmer to scoop up bread crumbs to keep oil fresh and from darkening.
- Pack bottom tier of bento with cooked rice.
- Add furikake
- Pack your favorite side dishes along with Ebi Fry!
- (We added pickles, cooked corn, tempura vegetables, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, cherries and boiled egg!)