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Japanese Ama Ebi and Fried Shrimp Heads

Ama ebi is the Japanese word for "sweet shrimp." Some people enjoy these prawns super fresh. When the prawns are live and freshly peeled, they taste almost crunchy. When you let the prawns sit in the fridge overnight, peeled, the sugars in the prawns begin to develop and the prawns because more sweet and the texture becomes sort of "dewy". I wouldn't recommend this recipe for the squeamish.


  • 2 lbs spot prawns, live
  • 1/4 cup corn starch
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 1.5 tsp pepper


  • With a pair of rubber dishwashing gloves on, remove the head from the tails of the prawns.
  • Peel the prawns and throw them in some iced water (this gives the prawns a more "crunchy" texture, if that's what you like. If not, you can skip this step) Drain when ready to eat and server with wasabi and soy sauce.
  • Heat some canola oil to approximately 375 degrees. At the last minute, toss the shrimp heads into a mixture of corn starch, salt, and pepper.
  • Drop the shrimp heads carefully into the hot oil and fry for about 2 minutes. Remove the heads from the oil and drain briefly on some paper towels.
  • Serve the shrimp heads hot and crunchy. Pretty much the whole head except for the purple sack behind the "nose" of the shrimp can be eaten... even the legs!

Tags: Shrimp Ebi Sweet Shrimp


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