All recipes are for 2 servings unless noted. Oil is canola oil and salt is kosher salt.


Ebi fureeku / shrimp flakes

I much prefer head-on shrimp over headless shrimp for taste and texture. They take a bit more time to devein and whatnot, but then you have shells and heads that make superb stock for any cuisine. They also add a stronger shrimp aroma and flavor when sauteed before the main ingredients. And when you end up having too many shells and heads, you can turn them into shrimp flakes, which are a great substitute for sakura ebi and other dried shrimp in a number of dishes.


Lay shrimp heads, shells, legs and tails in a single layer, and bake at 300 F (150 C) for 30-40 minutes.
If they have not totally dried, keep them in the oven for another 10-20 minutes after turning it off. 


Remove eyes, and grind.
If flakes seem moist or stick to the grinder's blades too much, microwave for 1-2 minutes to further dry them.

Grind to the degree you like, and completely cool.


Keep in an airtight container.

  • When made with the heads, shells, legs and tails of unsalted white shrimp as above, the sodium content is approx. 150 mg per tablespoon (6 g). For a quick comparison, one tablespoon (5 g) of sakura ebi contains 240 mg of sodium.
  • How to use the flakes? Add to tamagoyaki omelet, iri tamago scrambled eggs, okonomiyaki or chijimi savory pancakes, takoyaki octopus balls, ganmodoki tofu patties, surimi ground fish for satsumaage deep-fried fishcake or fish balls for soups and nabe hot pot, steamed/fried rice dishes, any stir fry and simmered dish; steep and strain to make an instant stock for soups and dressings; mix with salt to make ebi-shio shrimp salt (served with grilled/deep-fried dishes), and on and on and on... . 
  • Frozen or thawed head-on shrimp are widely available at Asian grocery stores in the US. Live spot shrimp are available at some grocery stores in late spring to early summer in the Pacific Northwest.


Anonymous said...

Hi Neco,

What an amazing blog you have! Just discovered :)
For sure I will be an often guest here if you don't mind. I am Polish but love Japanese cuisine and culture so your blog is "a mine of knowledge" for me :) Thank you very much for sharing.

Could you please tell me what about the smell while drying the shrimps?
I am afraid that my neighbors wouldn't be happy (already frying is a problem, open kitchen) but the recipe is a great idea of the shrimps' shells and heads usage. I also usually buy them still before their preparation phase ;)

Would it be possible for you and your concept of your blog to change it a little bit?
I mean in a way that not the whole posts are shown at once in each categories but only the first parts of them (title, main photo and those few sentences you are writing before ingredients)? At the moment, taking into account the huuuuge job you have done, it is a bit difficult or time consuming to scroll through all the photos, recipes to have some overview or maybe you could include a recipes index (with photos?). How do you think?

All the best,

neco said...

Hi Wiola,

Thank you for finding this blog and your great suggestion. I hope you continue to find something interesting here.

As for the shrimp shells and heads, they smell just like when you grill or saute shrimp. Because they are the only ingredients, some people might find their smell stronger than usual. To me, they smell much less than when we use them to make marinara sauce with tomatoes and other veggies. You could simply microwave everything to minimize the smell, or sun dry them your weather is dry.

I took up your suggestion and have started to change the format of posts – it looks good! Now I realized how many more recipes I have not converted to be sodium friendly …