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What is Ebi Fry?
Ebi Fry is basically a deep fried shrimp that is coated in flour, egg and breadcrumbs just like Tonkatsu.
The history of Ebi Fry is uncertain but some theories go all the way back to early 20th century by creating different version of Tonkatsu or Menchikatsu (deep fried mince meat).
What kind of prawns are used?
When cooking at home, black tiger prawns or king prawns are commonly used but bigger and more expensive types of prawns are used in restaurants.
Ebi Fry and Nagoya
Up until this moment, I've believed that Ebi Fry was my regional dish (Nagoya region) but apparently that's just a myth.
Apparently the myth comes from a time when people in Nagoya called this dish Ebi Fryaaa "えびふりゃー" on national TV. From then, it was believed that people from Nagoya always say "Ebi Fryaaa" and so many people started to think this dish is from Nagoya. Lots of restaurants took advantage of this belief and made it one of the city's specialties.
FYI, people in Nagoya never really call it "えびふりゃー".
Tips for Prepping Prawns.
Prepping prawns can be very annoying but proper preparation leads to successful Ebi Fry. So here are the special tips for after you have deveined and deshelled your shrimps.
1. Washing shrimps
Only two things are needed to wash shrimps properly
Salt dehydrates and starch absorbs dirt.
2. Cut the tails
There are 3 tails on a shrimp, two fins on the sides and a pointy one in the middle.
Place the shrimp on its side and with the tail folded in half and trim it diagonally. This prevents oil from splattering out when it’s frying.
3. Make diagonal incisions
The incisions should be about 1cm apart and go about ½ way through the prawn.
This process prevents prawns from bending when they're being cooked.
How are Ebi Fry and Tempura different?
Ebi fry is made with flour, egg and breadcrumbs like cutlet, while tempura is cooked with a runny tempura batter which may or may not contain eggs. There are many recipes for tempura batter. Check out our tempura recipe here.