Ebi Furai is one of my son’s favorite dish. Most of the time, he would order this crispy fried shrimp whenever we went out to eat in Japanese restaurants. I still remember that he didn’t like to eat shrimps when he was younger, not even the fried and crispy ones. So it’s still amazing to me that he can eat many things that he didn’t like before.
Actually, I never buy (not even until now) prawns or big shrimps and cook them at home. My husband can’t eat shrimps and he is also not allowed to eat them. As for me, as I’m getting older, I try to avoid several food ingredients such as red meat, prawns, crabs, and clams………….although I like them so much…………….
I only add small shrimps when making dumpling to be mixed together with fish and chicken, and sometimes I add 2 or 3 small pieces of shrimps to make noodle soup or fried noodle just to increase the flavor, but basically, I don’t cook with shrimps very often.
It just happened that last week, my husband had a barbecue dinner party at his office and there were lots of leftovers, especially raw beef and big shrimps. One of his friends packaged them for him and asked him to bring almost everything home because he was the one who had a car and most of his friends didn’t cook at home. So last week, my freezer was so full with fried fishballs, beef, shrimps, and many other things.
Those big shrimps were still fresh so I cleaned them (because they were coated with barbecue sauce) and separate the skins (to make shrimp stock) and the flesh. That was when I thought of making tempura and fried shrimp. So yesterday (it was a school holiday), I tried making ebi furai first and am planning to make tempura tomorrow. While my son was studying to prepare for his exams, I prepared his lunch and that was fried shrimp, and thankfully, he liked it so much………..
Ebi furai is suitable for kids because they will love the juice and soft texture of the prawns, and also the crispy and crunchy texture that coated the prawns. No wonder it’s very famous in Hoka Hoka Bento (very famous Japanese franchise restaurants in Indonesia).
- 10 (or more) big shrimps or prawns
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup flour (you can either use all purpose flour or self raising flour like I did)
- 1.5 cups breadcrumbs or you can use Panko (Japanese style breadcrumb which you can find in the supermarket)
- 2 eggs, beaten
- Oil for deep frying
Since I never like using store bought breadcrumb, I always make my own breadcrumb at home. I used to make everything from scratch, and that included the bread. Since my bread maker is broken and I can’t use it anymore and haven’t bought a new one, I just bought baguette from the bakery and then make it into breadcrumb. In this way, I can always decide the texture of breadcrumb that I want to make.
For the bread, I like to use baguette than white bread because the texture is not as soft as white bread, thus it will make better texture of breadcrumb. This is how I make breadcrumb from baguette:
- Cut the baguette in small pieces using a bread knife
- Process in batches in a blender (I tried using my food processor but it didn’t work as well as my blender) until coarse crumbs form. For Ebi Furai, the bread should just coarsely ground unlike standard breadcrumb that we buy in supermarket. Smoother texture of breadcrumb would be suitable for making chicken or fish katsu, but will not look good in this fried shrimp dish
- Spread the fresh crumbs in an even layer on a large rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes in 150 C while stirring occasionally so the bottom part will not get burn (do this in batches)
- Transfer to a large serving plate and let it really cool and dry (for at least 4 hours)
- Store in an airtight container up to 1 month and the breadcrumb is ready to use
Next step is to prepare the shrimps:
- Pull off the head of the shrimp
- Pull off the outer shell and only keep the last segment of shell and the shrimp tail
- Rinse the shrimp under running water
- Devein the back of the shrimp using a small and sharp knife. Cut vertically for about 2 mm deep
- Lift up the vein using the knife or your two fingers (thumb and index finger)
- Flip the shrimp (belly side up) and make another vertical cut for about 2 mm deep
- Lift up the vein using the fingers
- Cut the tip of the shrimp’s tail so it will not create splatter in the oil
- Still belly side up make 4 or 5 very shallow perpendicular cuts along the length of the belly, be very careful not to slice all the way through the shrimp
- Turn the shrimp over and gently pressing down on the flesh to straighten and lengthen it
Final step: Battering and Frying
- Prepare 3 bowls. In the first bowl, mix flour with salt. In the second bowl is the beaten egg. The third bowl is the breadcrumb
- Coat the shrimp with flour, then beaten egg
- Double coat the shrimp by coating it again with flour, and then egg
- Finally, coat the shrimp with breadcrumb
- Do all these one shrimp at a time
- Leave all the shrimps on a plate and let them rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. I did this to make sure that the breadcrumb would stick to the shrimp nicely
- Deep fried the shrimps until golden brown
- Remove excess oil using a wire rack or paper towel and serve hot with rice, salad, and chili sauce
According to my son, even after 45 minutes the fried shrimps were still crispy. He said he liked them better than the ones that we used to buy in our favorite Japanese restaurant. The shrimps were big and juicy and sweet, and the coating was just perfect, salty, and crispy. Moreover, he could eat as many as he wanted (he ate 8 and I got only 2 by the way), unlike in the restaurant where he only got 2 or 3 pieces every time he ate (and very expensive too according to mommy…………..).
Also, when making Ebi Furai at home, we know that the oil is new and still in good condition, and that makes the taste even better.