Japanese Gastronomy: Ebi Furai/Deep-fried Prawns

The Japanese love to deep-fry their food to the point that many izakaya propose full deep-fried food sets and menus including vegetables and seafood, and the ubiquitous prawns.
The Japanese will usually utilize kuruma ebi/Imperial prawns or Black Tiger variety for the latter.
There is nothing complicated about preparing deep-fried prawns. The key is to use fresh ingredients and serve everything as soon as ready.


-Imperial Prawns/Black Tiger Prawns
-Salt and pepper: to taste
-All-purpose flour
-Egg (s)
-Breadcrumbs or panko (the rough style). Real fresh breadcrumbs are the best.
-Tartare sauce for serving. or tare/bulldog sauce and mustard.


If the prawn is absolutely fresh take the shell off leaving the head and tail on. Note that the shell can be deep-fried for a crunchy snack!
If not, take the head off but leave the point of the the tail on for “handling” when eating it.

Take off the innards with a toothpick by inserting it under the blackish thread and pulling it out. Don’t worry about “breaking the back” of the prawn. Actually this is the trick which prevents the prawn from bending upon frying!

Actually, continue with the trick by making a few shallow cuts acrosss the back of the prawn to make sure it will not bend at all!
Sprinkle with salt (a little only!) and pepper to taste.

Roll prawns in flour.

Then in the beaten eggs.

Apply plenty of breadcrumbs/panko all over the prawns, head and tail included. Pat them lightly between you palms to help breadcrumbs to adhere.

Heat the oil at 170 degrees (less is unsuitable, 180 degrees is the very maximum). Drop the prawns gently into the oil head first.
Avoid manipulating them while frying.
Don’t fry too many at one time as the temperature of the oil will suddenly decrease.
Take them out with chopsticks. Place them on a grill for a few seconds to get rid of excess oil.
Serve with sauce and eat at once!


Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, 47 Japanese Farms Through The Eyes of Its Rural Communities, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento,Adventures in Bento Making, American Bent, Beanbento, Bento No, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box,
Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Cooking Cute, Timeless Gourmet, Bento Bug, Ideal Meal, Bentosaurus, Mr. Foodie (London/UK), Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

4 thoughts on “Japanese Gastronomy: Ebi Furai/Deep-fried Prawns”

  1. I love deep-fried prawns so much – I made tempura prawns a while back… I think they didn’t turn out too curvy… mostly straight… so hopefully I did something right 😀


  2. Thanks for this practical post. I love deep-fried prawns, but I have never managed to keep them straight (those I buy are very short and thick). Thanks for the toothpick tip! I sometimes struggle with the innards taking them out with a knife…


    1. There is another secret that not many people, even in Japan, don’t know:
      Take the prawn between two fingers and press it little by little all the way down to break/crush the “fibers”.
      Then proceed as normal with flour, egg and breadcrumbs and then to the next step:
      instead of dropping the whole in the oil, hold the prawn by the tail and drop it in the oil by “pulling the tail”!
      This way it will stay straight!
      About taking the innards with a knife, there is an easy way: make a shallow cut along the back and take it out!


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