Shrimp Wafers: Ebi Senbei

Soup with crackers is a classic combination, so I thought the rice consommé would be well matched with ebi senbei. The shrimp wafers are made with just that: shrimp! The shrimp are cut, flattened, then rolled thin, and deep-fried. An uncomplicated recipe, but the result depends on the quality of the shrimp. My shrimp were frozen, perhaps a bit on the small side of medium, and as soon as I began to pound them (gently), they turned to mush. This explains why my crackers are dumplings.
Should you have access to good quality shrimp, you might find this recipe worth trying. 

Shrimp Wafers
Ebi Senbei

from: Japanese Cooking
A Simple Art
by Shizuo Tsuji

page 408
serves 6

  • 12 medium shrimp
  • cornstarch (or potato starch)
  • oil for deep-frying
  • salt

Shell and devein the shrimp, cut off tails. Press the shrimp down on a cutting board, back facing up. With a sharp knife, open the shrimp with a butterfly cut (kannon-biraki).
Dust the cutting board and shrimp with cornstarch. Pound each shrimp lightly with a rolling pin to spread it. Sprinkle with cornstarch occasionally. Turn frequently. When the shrimp has spread a great deal and is about ⅛ inch thick. Roll it out like pastry dough as thin as possible. A few holes or tears do not matter. (but if the shrimp turns to mush, make dumplings!)
Heat 2 inches of oil in a medium-sized heavy-bottomed pot to 300°F (150°C), low temperature. Deep-fry one by one until crisp, about 1 minute. Drain and salt lightly.

To make dumplings, bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Form the shrimps into balls and drop them into the boiling water. Remove and drain when they turn pink. Cool. I decorated mine with strips of brined shiso.

Click on the pictures for other
shrimp dumpling recipes.
Ebi-shinjo: Shrimp Dumplingsshinjo_5984 Shinjo:
Shrimp Dumplings

pan-fried, boiled shrimp dumpling

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