Sushi - Sushi Crustacean - Ebi

Shrimp (Ebi)

Paenus japonicus (Kuruma Shrimp)

Also see: Shrimp Sushi in Sushi Menu

The kuruma shrimp was the original shrimp used for Edo style sushi. They are in season all year long and are fished in northern Japan, and recently similar species are found in Southeast Asia, the western coasts of Africa, and the Red sea. The kuruma shrimp, or wheel shrimp gets its name for its resemblance of a wagon wheel when the shrimp curls up.

The Black Tiger shrimp (panaeus monodon) is widely circulated in the Japanese markets for their abundance. They are in the same genus, and are similar in taste, but the black tiger lacks a bit of sweetness, and meaty texture, compared to the kuruma shrimp. The black tiger is good when it is prepared as a sashimi in the yu arai method. It has a faint smell to it so instantly poaching it and shocking it in ice water refines the taste.

Shrimp is best when it is heated, and the favorite dish to enjoy shrimp in Japan more than sushi, is the tempura. It must be fried medium rare so the center portion of the shrimp is raw, but warm and juicy. Another popular dish is grilled shrimp with salt and citus.