Ebi fry is a very popular Japanese deep-fried shrimp recipe. It is almost always a part of the Japanese Bento box. It looks similar to the Tempura shrimp but the batter is different. Traditionally it is served with tartar sauce or Tonkatsu sauce. This irresistibly delicious golden fried shrimp is crispy on the outside with succulent flavorful shrimp inside. It is a great appetizer and kids love it too!

The restaurant-style Ebi fry recipe can be easily replicated at home. This recipe is inspired from Chef Namiko Chen's Just One Cookbook. The most important task is to prepare the shrimp. I have used store-bought cleaned and de-veined large shrimps but if you are using fresh shrimps you have to remove the shells leaving the tails behind, de-vein, and then thoroughly wash the shrimps before proceeding further. As we know shrimps often curl when we fry them, to avoid this, we have to straighten the shrimps before frying. The best way to do this is to make small cuts on the inside edge of the shrimp and then gently bend it in the opposite direction to break the muscles, this will help to straighten out the shrimp. You may find this video useful.

The next important part of the recipe is the tartar sauce. You can either use store-bought tartar sauce or prepare it at home like I did. It is actually pretty simple, but if it is too much work for you, skip it!

Cuisine: Japanese
Category: Non-vegetarian, appetizer
Preparation time: 15 mins
Cooking time: 20 mins
Serves: 2

  • 6 large peeled de-veined shrimps
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper powder
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 1 raw beaten egg
  • 1 cup panko or breadcrumbs
  • Oil for frying
  • salt to taste 
  • lettuce for garnishing
  • lemon wedges for garnishing
Tartar Sauce:
  • 1 boiled egg
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped onion
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped cucumber
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 1 tbsp parsley finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper powder
  • 4 tbsp mayonnaise
  • salt to taste 
  1. For the tartar sauce soak the chopped onion and cucumber in the vinegar and keep aside for 20-30 minutes.
  2. Prepare the shrimp as instructed. Marinate the shrimp with lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Keep aside.
  3. Spread the flour on a small plate.
  4. Keep the raw beaten egg in a bowl.
  5. Spread the panko on another small plate.
  6. Heat oil in a pan.
  1. Start preparing the tartar sauce. Chop the boiled egg and keep in a bowl. Drain the onion and cucumber and add to it. Add the mayonnaise, salt, pepper, and chopped parsley. Mix everything together and put the bowl in the refrigerator.
  2. Dredge the shrimps in flour first. Then dip in the beaten egg and roll in the panko so that they are nicely coated.
  3. Deep fry the shrimps in hot oil at medium flame till golden.
  4. Serve the fried shrimps with tartar sauce, lettuce, and lemon wedges.
Chef's notes:
  • This works best with large-sized shrimp. If you are using frozen ones, thaw them completely before marinating.
  • The original recipe of tartar sauce uses pickled cucumber. Use them if you have them else you can follow my process.
  • You can use breadcrumbs instead of panko but panko absorbs far less oil and results in crispier shrimps.
  • Make sure not to fry more than 3 shrimps at a single time to avoid cluttering in the pan.
  • You can refrigerate the prepared shrimp in an airtight container for frying later for up to 2 days.
  • If you do not have store-bought tartar sauce and do not want to prepare it either, serve the Ebi fry with plain mayonnaise. That tastes good too!


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