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


Ebi-iri tanuki donburi / shrimp and tempura pearls over steamed rice

At our house, we call this "fake tendon." Tempura pearls perform the wonderful trick of transforming this sober combination into a rich, filling dish. Add the pearls right before the egg to enjoy some crunch in the final dish as below, or add them at the same time as shrimp for mellower results.

1/2 of recipe above when served with 150 g steamed rice:
379 calories; 15.1 g protein; 4.6 g fat; 65.0 g carbohydrate;
63.6 g net carbs; 301 mg sodium (with homemade tempura pearls and 50% reduced-sodium soy sauce; 497 mg with regular soy sauce); 157 mg cholesterol; 1.4 g fiber

2 large or 4 small shiitake mushrooms (32 g in photo)
6 shrimp (shelled, 66 g in photo)
5-6 tbsp tenkasu/agetama tempura pearls (6 tbsp, 27 g in photo)
1 egg
Small handful mitsuba (12g in photo)

For broth
7 tbsp dashi
1 tbsp sake + mirin (equal parts)
2 & 1/2 tsp soy sauce
2 bowls of steamed rice (not in photo)


Remove stems of shiitake, trim discolored ends, and tear into thinner pieces. Slice umbrella  3-4 mm thick.
Chop mitsuba.
Sogigiri slice shrimp at a slant into 2-3 sections.
Lightly beat egg.


In a frying pan, heat dashi, sake and mirin, add shiitake, and cook on medium low heat until somewhat soft, 3-4 minutes.


Add soy sauce, and continue cooking until shiitake is soft.


Add mitsuba stems and shrimp.
Flip shrimp when bottom starts to turn pink.


Add tempura pearls.
Swirl in egg, and top with mitsuba leaves.

Cover and remove from heat.


Serve on top of steamed rice.

  • Do not wait for shrimp to cook through after adding them to broth. Since shrimp continues to cook while adding tempura pearls and egg, it would become rubbery at the end.
  • Using more mirin than sake makes the broth taste similar to tentsuyu (for tendon/tentojidon).
  • If you have tentsuyu tempura dipping sauce at hand, you can use 3 tbsp tentsuyu and 4 tbsp dashi for the broth.
  • "Tanuki" in the name of the dish refers to tempura pearls. Tanuki literally means raccoon dog (an animal found in the Japanese countryside), but when the expression is used for food, the implication is tane nuki, or  (tempura) "without goodies," in which "ne" is dropped and the expression became "ta nuki."  There are also endless variations on what tanuki means with food or how tempura pearls are called by region.
  • 150 g steamed rice is an average figure for adults. The amount per serving ranges between 110-180 g, depending on age, gender, exercise level, etc. One rice cooker cup (180 cc) of dry rice yields about 340 g steamed rice.

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