Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Ebi Fry (Fried Shrimp)


I honestly think that Australia might have the highest consumption of laksa per capita compared to other countries. There's probably more laksa varieties in Sydney than there is in Singapore, and IMHO, they taste better too. But let's not go there. What fascinates me is that many Australians have come to embrace Asian food as part of their regular dining and grocery options. Take panko crumbs for example. The word panko doesn't sound the least like it's something edible, though it is an ingredient that is commonly available and used here. Why go for regular breadcrumbs when you can have super light and crunchy panko?

Don't these crunchy crumbed deep-fried prawns look lovely? That's the beauty of panko crumbs. Looks good, tastes great and sounds earth-shattering (okay, maybe that's a little too much). They are quite simple and easy to prepare, though I won't lie - I took a while to peel, devein and prep the prawns. But it's all worth it in the end, and I even saved some leftovers and popped them into the air-fryer the next day. My favourite way of serving these are with rice topped with a generous helping of thick Japanese curry. I will show you those in my next post. For now, have a go at making these Japanese fried shrimp (Ebi Fry) and serve them with tartare sauce or mayonnaise if you like. You can also use them as a topping for sushi, or in a sandwich. An Ebi Fry on a hot bread roll sounds good too, perhaps with some coleslaw and tartare sauce? Read on to get the recipe.

Ebi Fry (Fried Shrimp) Recipe
Adapted from Just One Cookbook


500g (1 lb) large whole prawns (about 15)
Salt and black pepper
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 eggs + 2 tbsp water
1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
Oil for deep frying
Tartare sauce and lemon wedge, to serve (optional)
  1. Rinse the prawns, remove the heads, and shell the prawns, leaving the tail intact. Devein the prawn. Rinse the prawns again and pat dry with paper towel. Using a pair of scissors, snip off part of the sharp end of the tail. Place the prawn on a chopping board, belly-side up. Use a sharp knife to make 3 diagonal scores on the belly where it's closer to the tail. Don't score the fat part close to the head so that it retains its shape. Turn the prawn over onto its belly and lightly press down on to flatten.  You should be able to feel it "crack" under pressure. Repeat this with the rest of the prawns.
  2. Season the prawns with salt and pepper.
  3. Prepare three small dishes. Place flour in one, panko in another, and in the third, beat the eggs lightly with 1 tbsp water.
  4. Dredge the prawns in the flour, followed by egg. Shake off excess, then dredge in flour again, followed by egg, and lastly coat in panko. Set aside on a plate and repeat with the other prawns.
  5. In a pan/wok, heat sufficient oil (about 2 inches or enough to cover the prawns). Deep fry the prawns in batches for 2 minutes or until golden brown. Drain on paper towel. Serve with lemon wedges and tartare sauce if desired.