Saturday, May 24, 2014

033 - Ebi Fry (See, Shrimp, Crunch!)

Time for some more Japanese food!

If I had to choose one type of cuisine to eat for the rest of my life, pretty sure Japanese cuisine will take place even before Indonesian food. To me, Japanese food is everything I ever want in a dish; when it’s easy, it tasted good, when it’s hard, it tasted even better. And for me, dish that can be whipped up in 15 minutes or less is always gold in my book.

This time, let’s cook the infamous EBI FRY!

Ebi Furai (that’s how Japanese pronounce it over there) was one of the dishes that appear during the Meiji Restoration era. It is Japanese take on western dishes. Safe to say, this dish is very popular, especially as either part of a Bento or Donburi! 

It is a perfect pairing with a cold Japanese beer. It's crunchy, savory, and have a nice 'zing' to it.

The dish itself is very, VERY simple. As long as you have a fresh large shrimp and panko, you’re halfway there! All that’s left is just some careful frying with tender care.

For 2 servings of 3 shrimp each, you will need:

- 6 Large Tiger prawns. Yeah, I know it’s not exactly cheap, but here’s the thing; large shrimp looked better. By having a nicer looking shrimp on the first place, who am I to kid that I’m not hungry just by looking at it?
- 250 grams of Panko breadcrumbs. And more as needed
- 2 Large eggs
- 4 tbsp All-purpose flour
- Salt to taste

For the tartar sauce

- 3 tbsp  Japanese mayonnaise. Read: Kewpie.
- ½ Lemon/Lime. We’re using the juice.
- 1 Whole egg, boiled.
- 1 tbsp of Parsley. Fresh one got chopped, dried ones simply got measured.

For the garnish

- 1 medium sized Cabbage, shredded finely
- Tomato
- Lemon/Lime wedges
- Fresh parsley

So ladies and gentleman, shall we begin?

Ready? Here We Go!

Step 1 – Clean your shrimp if you haven’t done so. Wash it under running water, pull the head off and peel the skin, leaving only the tail and one part of the skin adjacent to the tail, and wipe with paper towel to dry. Here comes the rather annoying part; grab a toothpick, and place it on the back of the shrimp, and pull the nasty black veins out.

Grab the head and gently twist it
POP! Goes the head
In goes the toothpick
Get a feel for it, and you should be able to pull the black veins
Like this!
This thing tasted...EW.

Step 2 – Grab a knife, and cut off the end part of the tail, and squeeze out any moisture left inside it. After that, proceed to make several shallow cuts on the underbelly of the shrimp. This will help prevent the shrimp from curling during frying. After that, press the shrimp gently on a flat surface. When you do this, you can feel (even hear!) a cracking sound! No, no, don’t press it as if you would to your Ex. Remember, the past is the past!

Cut a bit of the ends
Squeeze the tail to pull the moisture out
Cut the belly
Press it flat
A perfectly shaped shrimp ready for the batter!
..and he is not alone

Step 3 – Prepare your Tartar sauce; chop your boiled eggs finely, mix it with Mayonnaise and Parsley. Give it a good stir and taste. Add salt and pepper to taste (if necessary), and mix in the lemon/lime juice last. Set it aside in a fridge to chill.

Chop the eggs finely
Parsley, too
In goes the baby.
Just enough 'zing' added to the taste

Step 4 – Have 3 bowls ready; 1 for the eggs, 1 for the flour, and the last one for the Panko. Right before the breading process, season your shrimp with salt. Then, first, dust your shrimp with the flour, then dip it in the eggs, and finally it gets coated with Panko. While you’re coating, gently squeeze the shrimp and the Panko on the palm of your hands. This will create a tight and thick breading. Oh, and you can always double dunk if you want (i.e the Panko’ed shrimp went for another egg wash and yet another Panko breading). Let your shrimp rest for about 10 minutes to let the batter sets.

Dust with flour, shake off the excess
Egg bath
Panko coating!
Ain't that a beaut?

Step 5 – Heat your oil, high heat. Once it’s hot enough, dip the shrimps in gently. This will cook fast, approximately around 1-1.5 minute per side. After the surface turns golden brown, pull it from the oil and let the excess drip on the paper towel.

I cook this 2 at a time to prevent the temperature from dropping drastically
When the sides turn golden, it's time to turn
Ah, what a sight
I love this. So much.

Step 6 – Serve!

Okay, i don't drink beer, alright? But legend has it, this goes very well with an ice cold one!

Give this recipe a go, kids and adults alike will love it.



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