Suddenly there is this silence at home! A new academic year has started and my son went ‘back’ to school today.
Though this is a going back, I experienced the same anxiety, excitement, silent nervousness that I felt last year when he started school for the very first time. It’s going to be a new class, new teacher, many new friends….hope he won’t miss his old teacher much, hope he will make new friends fast, hope he likes his new teacher……the list goes on.
Feelings that every mother goes through, especially paranoid ones like me. No, that’s not true. All mothers are paranoid. Period.
Personally, the best way for me to handle this inner turmoil is to engage myself in activities that I enjoy. And what more than cooking…..
Today, I am stepping out totally from my comfort zone and trying my hand at a Japanese dish – Ebi/Shrimp fry with Katsu sauce. I am a newborn to this cuisine, yet to understand or experience its foundations. Japanese cuisine is a highly refined one and still remains an enigma to most except for sushi and sashimi and the occasional don.
I am doing an easy one today, a classic that is totally befitting a beginner. Japanese ebi/shrimp fry with katsu sauce. Also known as Ebi Furai, this is a classic Western style Yoshoku dish.
Japanese always use Panko breadcrumbs as opposed to ordinary bread crumbs which provide a crispier texture. Panko is made from crustless bread and hence has large, airy granules which absorb less grease and thereby give more crunch to the finished product. Panko crumbs are commonly available these days at all mainstream supermarkets and also in Asian stores.
Use it next time you want to deep fry something and you will be amazed at the texture.
Traditionally, the Ebi fry is made with straight shrimp. First the shrimp has to be deveined, then a few slits are made on the underside. The shrimp is then bent backward (belly side up) using both hands to make it as straight as possible. Here is a more detailed post if you wish to try out this technique.
Making Ebi fry with straight shrimp makes great presentation but I haven’t done this. I find that it doesn’t affect the taste at all so you can decide how you would like to serve it.
These fried shrimps can be paired with any dip but to make it more Japanese, I am going with the katsu sauce. A traditional katsu sauce is more complex to prepare, the recipe I am sharing today is a simpler version with similar flavours to the original.
An extremely easy dish that appeals to all palates, this Japanese style ebi/shrimp fry with katsu sauce is an excellent starter to any meal.
Japanese Ebi/Shrimp fry with Katsu Sauce
- 15 large shrimps peeled and deveined leaving the tails intact
- 1 – 1 ½ cup Panko breadcrumbs
- ½ cup plain flour potato/corn starch can also be used
- 1 egg beaten
- Salt to season
- Freshly milled black pepper to season
- Shredded cabbage to serve with the shrimp
- Vegetable oil to deep fry the shrimp
For the Katsu sauce:
- ½ cup tomato ketchup
- 2 tsp mustard use powder or paste
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- To prepare the katsu sauce, mix all the ingredients, cover and refrigerate for at least one hour for the flavours to develop.
- Heat oil in a pan to fry the shrimps.
- Beat the egg well and season with salt.
- Season the shrimps with salt and pepper.
- Flour the shrimps lightly, dip in beaten egg and cover well with the Panko crumbs.
- Deep fry till golden brown.
- Serve hot on a bed of shredded cabbage with katsu.