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“The dressing is delicious with the shrimp. I added Furakaki and used Korean Fry mix for the batter (because I had it in the pantry and I wanted to try it). The beer was a wonderful idea. My husband and kids loved the recipe!”– Colette
What is Ebi Mayo?
Ebi Mayo (エビマヨ) is a delicious and simple dish featuring fried prawns coated in a flavorful mayonnaise-based sauce. The word “ebi” (エビ) is Japanese for prawn or shrimp, and this recipe typically uses medium to large-sized prawns such as whiteleg or giant tiger shrimps.
While my recipe involves making a batter and deep frying, some cooks prefer to coat the prawns in potato starch and fry them in a pan.
The mayonnaise sauce can be used to fully coat the prawns, drizzled over them, or served on the side as a dipping sauce – it’s up to you!
Ebi Mayo was created by the famous chef Shu Tomitoku (周富徳), also known as “Iron Chef.” Tomitoku was Chinese, born in Japan, and significantly contributed to “Chuka Ryori” (Chinese-style Japanese dishes) in Japan.
While on a trip to LA, Shu tried a mayonnaise-flavored shrimp dish and saw its potential. Inspired by the dish, he tried coating the prawns in starch, frying them, and adding extra seasonings to the mayonnaise, thus creating the first Ebi Mayo.
After introducing the recipe on TV, it became a beloved menu item in Chinese restaurants in Japan and a popular dish to make at home.
How I Developed This Recipe
I must say, developing this ebi mayo recipe was so much fun and creative. As I mentioned, this dish is a fusion of Japanese and Chinese, but I decided to fuse one more culture into the mix.
Yes, it is an element of English fish and chips, where I have lived for many years. I incorporated that signature beer batter to create a deliciously light and crispy batter and then tossed them in my own special ebi mayo sauce.
I also paid close attention to the sauce, adding paprika powder and other ingredients to achieve our own best ebi mayo sauce. This recipe is in my personal top 10; it’s a must-try!
Why I Use Beer Batter for This Recipe
In Japan, beer batter in dishes like ebi mayo is uncommon. However, I decided to incorporate beer batter into this recipe to add a personal touch and achieve a crispy texture at its best. I am proud to say that this batter is the best I have ever made.
Beer batter is a popular choice for fish and chips in the UK, often made with light lagers. The use of beer in batter creates a light and crispy texture due to three key components: carbon dioxide, foaming agents, and alcohol. The CO2 is the bubbles in the beer, and when these react with hot oil, they froth up, making the batter airy. You could also achieve a similar effect with soda water, but it still lacks two other things that beer has.
You know when you pour a beer and a foam layer forms at the top? Well, this foam coats the CO2 bubbles and slows the rate at which they pop, essentially stopping the batter from deflating.
It also helps direct the heat to the batter, producing the crispiest coating without overcooking what’s inside.
The alcohol in beer also plays a role by evaporating at a lower temperature than water, resulting in a quicker cooking time and less oil absorption for a crispy and delicious batter.
This versatile batter can be used for prawns, fish, and onion rings. Give it a try and experience the difference for yourself!
Ingredients & Substitution Ideas
- Shrimp: Medium to large shrimp, like whiteleg shrimp (often called king prawns) and giant tiger prawns, give the best results. Don’t forget to devein them for a cleaner taste.
- Garlic Cloves: Personally, I add these to infuse the frying oil with a hint of garlic flavor, but it’s totally optional.
- Cooking Oil: When it comes to deep-frying, neutral oils with high smoke points are the way to go. Think canola, sunflower, or peanut oil. However, I usually lean towards rice bran oil and extra virgin (white) sesame oil, especially for deep-frying.
- Batter Ingredients: I use a mix of cake flour, rice flour, baking powder, salt & pepper, and chilled lager beer. If you’re not into using alcohol in your cooking, plain soda water is a great substitute.
- Japanese Mayonnaise: Kewpie mayonnaise is my top pick, but other brands also work.
- Condensed Milk: This is a game-changer in my special ebi mayo sauce. Its unique sweetness and thick consistency really make the sauce. I wouldn’t recommend swapping it out.
- Tomato Ketchup: Any regular ketchup works, but I used Heinz tomato ketchup this time.
- Vinegar: Rice vinegar (unseasoned) is my go-to, but other options like grain vinegar, apple cider vinegar, and white vinegar will also work. If you’re curious about the best rice vinegar brands, check out my guide on “20 Most Useful Condiments and Seasonings for Japanese Cooking“.
- Soy Sauce: Personally, Kikkoman soy sauce is a budget-friendly choice that doesn’t compromise on flavor. I’ve written a comprehensive soy sauce guide for more insights on selection.
- Lemon Juice: Lime juice is a good alternative if it’s more accessible to you.
- Paprika Powder: In my honest opinion, this is the secret star of the sauce. You can use regular or smoked paprika powder.
- Dried Parsley: Just an optional sprinkle on top for added flair.
Curious about the exact brands and products that bring my recipes to life? Discover the brands and ingredients behind my recipes at the Sudachi Amazon Storefront. Explore my handpicked pantry essentials and find your next kitchen favorites!Jump to Full Recipe Measurements
Visual Walkthrough & Tips
Here are my step-by-step instructions for how to make Ebi Mayo at home. For ingredient quantities and simplified instructions, scroll down for the Printable Recipe Card below.
Begin by whisking together the dry ingredients: cake flour, rice flour, baking powder, and salt and pepper.
To reduce gluten formation and create a superb texture, the dry mix is placed in the freezer until it is time to use it.
Remember, hold off on adding the beer at this point.
Then, grab a bowl (large and wide if you’re coating the shrimp, small if you’re dipping) and combine the sauce ingredients: Japanese mayonnaise, condensed milk, tomato ketchup, rice vinegar, soy sauce, lemon juice, and paprika powder.
Mix until smooth and set aside. Trust me, this sauce is a game-changer.
Place deveined and deshelled shrimps in a bowl and rub the surface with cornstarch and a couple of pinches of salt. Rinse with cold water and pat them dry.
This one step makes the shrimp even tastier.
Heat your oil to a sizzling 180-190°C (356−374°F). The oil temperature should be this high for this batter. I use a contactless cooking thermometer when deep-frying. I recommend this because it is convenient to use, no matter your pot!
Also, drop garlic cloves while preheating to infuse the oil with flavor (optional) and remove them before they start to burn.
Dust your shrimp with cornstarch. This little trick ensures the batter clings to them.
Then, remove your dry batter mix from the freezer and stir in chilled lager beer (or plain soda water). Once the oil is hot, thoroughly dip each prawn into this batter and place them straight into the oil.
Fry the prawns in batches (in my case, two batches). Avoid overcrowding; we want each prawn to cook evenly. They’ll need about 3 minutes until they’re a lovely golden brown.
Keep an eye on that garlic if you haven’t already removed it. When it’s dark brown, it’s done its job. Fish it out and discard or eat!
As each batch finishes frying, transfer the shrimp to a wire rack. This lets any extra oil drip away.
Once all the prawns are fried and looking delicious, toss them in that fantastic mayo sauce we prepared earlier.
However, the trick is to mix gently in a wide bowl, as mixing too hard risks the batter to flake off.
Plate your shrimps, and give them a sprinkle of dried parsley for that extra touch!Jump to Full Recipe Measurements
How to Store
If you want to preserve the quality of shrimp mayo, it’s best not to store it after it has been battered, deep-fried, and tossed with sauce.
The crispy batter will lose its texture if stored. It’s recommended only to prepare the amount you can eat.
If you have leftover sauce, you can store it in the fridge in a sealed container for about 1 week.
I hope you enjoy this Ebi Mayo recipe! If you try it out, I’d really appreciate it if you could spare a moment to let me know what you thought by giving a review and star rating in the comments below. It’s also helpful to share any adjustments you made to the recipe with our other readers. Thank you!
More Japanese Shrimp Recipes
- Ebi Furai (Deep-fried Shrimp with Panko)
- Ebi Chili (Shrimp in Chili Sauce)
- Shrimp Yaki Udon (Shio Lemon Shrimp Udon Stir Fry)
- Crispy Japanese Shrimp Tempura (Ebiten)
Want more inspiration? Explore my Shrimp Recipe Roundup Post for a carefully selected collection of tasty recipe ideas to spark your next meal!
Ebi Mayo (Fried Shrimp in Mayonnaise Sauce)
- 70 g cake flour
- 1 tbsp rice flour or corn starch
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 1 pinch salt and pepper
- 100 ml lager beer or soda water, chilled
- 4 tbsp Japanese mayonnaise
- 1 tbsp condensed milk
- 1 tsp tomato ketchup
- 1 tsp rice vinegar
- ½ tsp soy sauce
- ½ tsp lemon juice or lime juice
- ½ tsp paprika powder
- 250 g king prawns (or tiger prawns) deshelled and deveined
- 1 tsp cornstarch for cleaning
- 2 pinches salt for cleaning
- 3 tbsp cornstarch or potato starch
- 2 cloves garlic
- cooking oil for deep frying
- dried parsley to garnish
- Start by mixing the dry ingredients for the batter (70 g cake flour, 1 tbsp rice flour, ½ tsp baking powder and 1 pinch salt and pepper) Mix well and place them in the freezer until just before using. (Don't add the beer yet.)
- Next, take a large bowl (or small bowl if you prefer dipping) and add all of the sauce ingredients. (4 tbsp Japanese mayonnaise, 1 tbsp condensed milk, 1 tsp tomato ketchup, 1 tsp rice vinegar, ½ tsp soy sauce, ½ tsp lemon juice, ½ tsp paprika powder) and mix well. Set aside for later.
- Next, place 250 g king prawns in a bowl and rub with 1 tsp cornstarch and 2 pinches salt. Once evenly coated, rinse with cold water and dry with kitchen paper.
- Heat your oil to 190 °C (374 °F) and drop 2 cloves garlic into the pot while it's heating up. This will add extra flavor to the shrimps, remove and discard once they turn dark brown.
- Add 3 tbsp cornstarch to the prawns and coat them. This will help the batter stick better.
- Take your dry batter from the freezer and add 100 ml lager beer (chilled). Mix well.
- Coat each prawn in the batter and drop them straight into the oil in batches, be careful not to overcrowd the pot. Fry for approximately 2-3 minutes or until golden brown.
- As each batch is complete, transfer the prawns to a wire rack to let any excess oil drain off.
- After a few minutes, place the prawns in the bowl of sauce and gently mix to coat.
- Dish up, sprinkle with dried parsley and enjoy!