Ebi Fry, AKA Japanese fried shrimp, is a Western style shrimp tempura dish created in the early 1900s. It’s most popular in bento boxes because it tastes wonderful both warm and at room temperature. It also holds up well to being frozen and defrosted, like many bento boxes are. I like this dish because it’s crunchy (who doesn’t love crunchy food!?) and showcases the subtle flavors of the shrimp.
12 Large Shrimp, peeled and deveined – Tiger Shrimp are a good choice, I usually just buy the biggest wild caught shrimp I can find.
1 Egg, beaten
Salt and Pepper to taste
Start by washing and drying your shrimp. Next, remove the black digestive track from your shrimp by sticking a sharp toothpick about 1/4 in into the underside of the head and pulling up, bringing it out like a string.
Flip over the shrimp and make diagonal cuts starting from the head to about 1 in from the tail on each shrimp. This will help you flatten the shrimp out.
Sprinkle the shrimp with salt and pepper to taste. I often skip this step completely because I eat my ebi fry with tonkatsu sauce.
Preheat frying oil in a large wok, it should fill the wok a little more than halfway. You will want to bring the oil to about 350-370 degrees. When the oil reaches temperature, start breading your shrimp. You want to put them in the wok as soon as you finish breading the shrimp, so make sure you preheat the oil.
To bread the shrimp, coat each piece in flour, then coat it fully in egg, and finally coat it in panko before putting the shrimp into the oil. Take your time, but make sure to keep an eye on the cooking shrimp as you work.
Cook each shrimp for 5-7 minutes, turning occasionally, until it reaches a deep golden brown. Then remove it from the oil and place it on a drying rack for the oil to drain. Repeat these steps for all of the shrimp.
Serve these hot or at room temperature, in a bento or for dinner, with tonkatsu sauce and raw cabbage. Click here for a few cabbage salad recipes to try!