Published by Harvard Common Press
When I was a child, ebifurai was my favorite dish at restaurants called yoshoku-ya, which specialize in “Japanized” Western dishes. The menus at these restaurants include such adopted dishes as croquettes, beef stew, curry, fried shrimp, fried oysters, and steak. Yoshoku-ya originated at the end of the nineteenth century, when Japan opened the country to foreign trade after almost three hundred years of isolation. During this period, new ideas, science, technology, and cuisine flooded into Japan from Western countries.
Fried shrimp came along with the tide. It is a dish in which impressively large, fresh shrimp are cooked crisp with a panko breadcrumb coating. The dish is served with ample shredded cabbage and a mayonnaise sauce.
Total Timeunder 30 minutes
OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Cooking for a date
Recipe Coursehot appetizer, main course
Dietary Considerationhot appetizer, main course
Taste and Texturecrisp, crunchy, savory
- 8 large shrimp, in their shells, with heads attached, each about 5 ounces in weight and 7 inches from head to tail
- Ground black pepper
- 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 eggs thoroughly beaten
- 2 cups panko breadcrumbs
- Vegetable oil, for deep-frying
- 4 cups finely shredded head cabbage
- 1 tomato, cut into wedges
- 1 Japanese or salad cucumber, sliced thin crosswise
- Mayonnaise sauce
Peel the shrimp, leaving their heads and tails attached. Cut off the very ends of the tails, about 1/8 inch, since this part contains water. Briefly rinse the shrimp in cold water. Drain the shrimp, and wipe them dry with a paper towel. Make a very shallow lengthwise cut on the back of each shrimp, and devein it. Make several shallow diagonal transverse cuts on the belly side, and bend the head and tail back to stretch the belly side. This prevents the shrimp from curling during cooking. Lightly salt and pepper the shrimp. Put the flour, eggs, and breadcrumbs into three separate bowls. Dust each shrimp with flour, and coat it with egg. Return the shrimp to the flour, dip it into the egg again, and then coat it with the breadcrumbs.
In a deep skillet, heat 3 inches oil to 330 degrees F. Cook the shrimp one or two at a time for about 3 to 4 minutes. At the end of the cooking, increase the heat to 355 degrees F to achieve a light golden color and crisp texture. Drain the shrimp on a rack.
Serve the shrimp hot, with cabbage, tomato, and cucumber, with mayonnaise sauce in a saucer on the side.
2000 Hiroko Shimbo