Ebi furai (Fried prawn) (エビフライ)

Ebi furai is a kind of deep fried cuisine using shrimp. It is a typical Western-style food originated in Japan.


Although Kuruma Ebi (Japanese tiger prawn) has been commonly used for cooking Ebi furai, more and more restaurants and stores use black tiger shrimp because of the declining Kuruma Ebi catches. Ise Ebi (Japanese spiny lobster) is sometimes used in these days by naming the cuisine "high-grade Ebi furai."

There are various opinions on the origin of Ebi furai.

How to cook and how to eat

After stripping the shell off the prawn, remove the digestive tract from the back of the prawn and stretch the prawn in the reverse direction not to be rolled up.

Make several small incisions along the belly, push and stretch the prawn from its back as much as you like, and as you crush it, listen to the sound of the tearing muscle.

Then, coat the stretched prawn with flour, beaten egg and bread crumbs in that order, and deep-fry it in hot cooking oil. Coating the prawn twice is recommended in order to cook a fried prawn with a puffy and voluminous coating.

There are some restaurants and stores that cook the whole prawn without removing the head. In this cooking style, you do not need to coat the head.

Fried prawn is often eaten by putting something to flavor it, such as Worcester sauce, lemon juice, tartar sauce, soy sauce, or tomato ketchup. Ebi furai are usually eaten with a table knife and fork, or chopsticks. When you put it between two slices of bread, it is called "ebi furai sand" (fried prawns sandwich), and when you placed it on a bowl of hot rice after cooking it with beaten egg, it is called "ebi katsudon" (fried prawn and egg topped with rice).

Ebi furai and Nagoya

A Japanese entertainer Tamori once said in a series of materials making fun of Nagoya City, that "Ebi furai is called "ebi furya" in the Nagoya dialect." His remarks spread nationwide, leading to misunderstanding that "ebi furya " is a specialty of Nagoya City.

Actually, citizens of Nagoya City do not pronounce it "ebi furya", because they hardly pronounce the word 'furai' (fried), which originates in a foreign word, as "furya" in the Nagoya dialect.

However, taking advantage of this misunderstanding, a restaurant in Nagoya began serving "ebi furai" as its specialty, which has made "ebi furai" so popular that it is well qualified as a new specialty of Nagoya.

Some coffee shops serve "ebi sand" (fried prawns sandwich) or "ebi dog" (fried prawns hot dog) by putting fried prawn between two slices of bread or into a sliced hot dog bun. Meanwhile, "Kin-shachi Don" (a bowl of hot rice with two golden hoko (mythical carp with the head of a lion and the body of a fish)) is now designed by planting two Ebi furai, mimicking a pair of hoko, apart on a bowl of rice with hashed meat. Souvenirs of Nagoya include a stuffed Ebi furai and pastry named "ebi furai manju" (baked cake).

There is a story about the origin of Ebi furai that "Renga-tei" in Ginza Tokyo, a restaurant serving Western-style food, designed Ebi furai in 1900 as a kind of deep fried cuisine (cutlet) after getting an idea from the popularity of Tonkatsu (pork cutlet) and Menchi Katsu (minced meat cutlet).

[Original Japanese]