Plate of cooked shrimp
What Are The Different Types Of Shrimp Used In Japanese Cuisine?
From tempura to sushi, shrimp are ubiquitous in Japanese cuisine. However, many fans of the country’s food remain unaware of the diverse array of shrimp (ebi in Japanese) utilized.
Species vary by size, texture, taste, and seasonality. One of the most prized is kuruma-ebi, or Japanese tiger prawns, a high-end delicacy known for its aroma and sweetness.
Ama-ebi is a fall and winter favorite whose name means “sweet shrimp.” Sakura-ebi, with its vibrant pink hue, is harvested for its color and can be used dried or fresh in dishes.
Shiro-ebi, or broad velvet shrimp, is a sushi favorite found on Japan’s west coast. Botan-ebi, or spot prawn, is cherished for its sweetness and often served raw on sushi rice.
Chefs may also use imported shrimp. Varieties like Argentinian red shrimp, whiteleg, and black tiger prawns offer cost-effective alternatives to the traditional species.