Ebi Fry (エビフライ, 海老フライ), or we call it Ebi Furai, is one of the most popular Yoshoku in Japan. Yōshoku refers to a Japanese-style western dish, which originated during the Meiji Restoration between 1868 and early 1900.
Other popular yoshoku include Curry Rice (Karē Raisu カレーライス), Japanese Hamburger Steak (Hambāgu ハンバーグ), Spaghetti Meat Sauce (ミートソーススパゲッティー), Tonkatsu (Pork Cutlet トンカツ) or Chicken Katsu (Chicken Cutlet チキンカツ), Korokke (Croquette コロッケ), Omurice (Japanese Omelette Rice オムライス), and more. As you can see from their names, these Japanized European dishes feature western names and are usually written in katakana.
As I mentioned earlier, Ebi fry is very popular dish eaten at home and widely available in yoshoku restaurants in Japan. It is also a very common menu item in bento (Japanese lunch box) and my son almost always selects an Ebi Fry Bento at bento stores when we travel in Japan. He doesn’t look what else are in the bento, he just want that Ebi Fry.
This dish is very easy to make. The main ingredient is large prawns, breaded with Panko before being deep fried.
Panko is a Japanese-style breadcrumb traditionally used as a coating for deep-
Ebi Fry is usually served with tartar sauce or Tonkatsu sauce. I personally prefer Tonkatsu sauce, but today I also made Tartar sauce in case you prefer over Tonkatsu sauce.
- Large prawns (I used 17 prawns today)
- Freshly ground black pepper
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 3 eggs
- 2 cups Panko
- Oil for deep frying
- 2 eggs
- ¼ onion
- 1 pickle or 7 cornichons/gherkins
- Freshly ground black pepper
- ½ lemon
- 4 Tbsp. Japanese mayonnaise
- Parsley (optional)
- Let’s make Tartar Sauce first. We start with boiling eggs. I learned this method at Home Economics in elementary school and still practice till now. Put water in a saucepan, and gently put eggs. Make sure the eggs are completely covered by water. Bring the water to boil on medium heat. Meanwhile you rotate the eggs with chopsticks or a spoon once in a while (this is a tip to make sure the egg yolk will be in center). Once the water boils, lower heat but keep the water boiling (but don’t let the eggs jumping around) for the next 12 minutes. Discard the water and run under cold water. When eggs are almost cool, they are ready to peel.
- Meanwhile you dice the onion finely and soak the onion in cold water for 10 minutes to get rid of bitter flavor.
- Finely chop the pickles.
- Drain the onion after 10 minutes. Put it the center of paper towel and squeeze the excess water out.
- In a bowl, break the eggs into small pieces with a fork.
- Add the pickles, the onion, salt and pepper and squeeze some lemon juice. Then add the mayonnaise (and parsley) and mix all together. Cover and keep it in the fridge until Ebi Fry is ready.
- Ebi fry’s prawns are very straight. Here’s how we prepare prawns (click HERE).
- Season the prawn with salt and pepper.
- Dredge the prawns with flour, and then beaten egg (I do not dilute the egg mixture, but you can do so with 1 Tbsp of water or milk). Next you usually go to Panko, but for Ebi Fry, you double dredge with flour and egg. So after the egg, you go back to flour, then egg, and finally panko. Don’t forget to shake off the excess.
- Heat the oil to 350F (180C) degree (Read more on How To Deep Fry).
- Gently put 2-3 prawns in oil and deep fry them for about 2.5 minutes, or until golden brown. Transfer Ebi Fry onto a wire rack or paper towel-lined tray to remove excess oil.
- Between batches, make sure to scoop up the bread crumbs to keep the oil clean and avoid the oil turning dark.
I usually make a lot of Ebi Fry. And the next day, I make Ebi Fry Sandwich with the leftover. For Ebi Fry and Korokke Sandwich, I usually buy these super soft dinner rolls (We call them “Butter Roll (バターロール)”) from a Japanese bakery. Hmm… perfect lunch!