Ebi Chili

Ebi Chili Recipe

Ebi Chili (エビチリ) is a Chinese-style Japanese dish created by Chen Kenmin in the 1950′s. Chen, originally from the Sichuan province in China emigrated to Japan, opening Shisen Hanten (Sichuan Restaurant) in 1958. He later went on to introduce Chinese dishes to households all over Japan through TV appearances on NHK.

While there were many Chinese restaurants in Japan before Shisen Hanten, Chen abandoned traditional recipes in favor of new interpretations suited to Japanese tastes. Some might call his actions traitorous, but he’s widely regarded as the father of Japanese style Sichuan cuisine, popularizing such favorites as Mapo Tofu and Ebi Chili.

While Ebi Chili is usually made using doubanjiang (tobanjan), I prefer using a combination of sriracha and Thai sweet chili sauce. The heat comes from the sriracha, the sweetness comes from the Thai chili sauce and both sauces contain garlic which adds complexity to the dish without complicating the preparation.

Fried shrimp for ebi chili

Soaking the shrimp in an alkali solution gives the shrimp a firm, almost crunchy texture. It’s then lightly coated in potato starch and blanched in hot oil to quickly cook it before being tossed in a sweet and spicy sauce. Because it’s a Japanese dish, it’s pretty mild, so if you want to make it spicier, just add more sriracha.

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    Ebi Chili
  • Ebi Chili (エビチリ), or chili shrimp is a Chinese style Japanese dish consisting of fried shrimp glazed in a sweet spicy sauce.
ServingsPrep TimeCook TimePassive Time
4 10 minutes 20 minutes 30 minutes


  • 570 grams large shrimp peeled and deveined
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • vegetable oil for frying
  • 2 teaspoons potato starch
  • 2 tablespoons scallions white parts only minced
  • 1 tablespoon ginger - fresh peeled and finely minced
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons Thai sweet chili sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha or other Asian hot sauce


  1. Add the shrimp to the bowl along with the salt and baking soda. Cover with ice water so that all the shrimp are submerged. Let this rest for at least 30 minutes. This gives the shrimp a nice firm texture.
  2. Dry the shrimp off with paper towels, then lay them out in a single layer. Put the potato starch in a fine mesh sieve such as a tea strainer and sprinkle a thin coating of starch on the shrimp, flip the shrimp over and repeat.
  3. Prepare a paper towel lined rack, then add about 1" of oil to pot and heat over medium high heat. When the oil reaches 350 degrees F, fry the shrimp a handful at a time. You don't want to add too much shrimp at once or the temperature of the oil will fall too much. Remove the shrimp as soon as they've turned reddish in color and have gone from translucent to opaque. This should not take more than a minute. Transfer the fried shrimp to the paper towel lined rack to drain and continue frying.
  4. To make the sauce, add a bit of oil to a frying pan and saute the scallions and ginger until very fragrant. Add the water, ketchup, Thai chili sauce, and sriracha. Stir to combine and bring to a boil.
  5. Add the fried shrimp and toss to coat with the sauce. The Ebi Chili is done when the sauce has thickened up and coats each shrimp.
  • Noneofurbznss

    I don’t see the recipe 

  • Phillyfoodie

    Can you recommend a brand of Thai sweet chili sauce?  Looks great!

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      I can’t say I’m much of an expert on Thai chili sauce, but I have a bottle of May Ploy in my fridge right now.

  • Dorothy

    I can’t wait to try this. Maybe tonight! I think it would go well with my cold!

  • http://operagirlcooks.com/ Coco a.k.a. Opera Girl

    Wow, this looks so easy and doable. And I had no idea about the alkali solution trick for firming up the shrimp — will have to try!

  • http://www.italianinthemidwest.com/ PolaM

    I can only say: wow! This must be really good shrimp!

  • http://twitter.com/j3nndotnet j3nn.net

    That looks so delicious!! A bed of white rice and this would make me very happy. :)

  • beetBroccoli

    love the detailed pictures~~~!!! beautiful

  • http://www.thefoodpirates.com/ Darren Tran


  • http://foodjaunts.com/ Foodjaunts

    This looks awesome.  I’ve been seeing a lot of chili crab and chili shrimp recipes recently – definitely need to give it a shot soon

  • http://www.everydaymaven.com/ Alyssa (Everyday Maven)

    This looks fantastic!!! Adding to my must make list :)

  • Ping

    This looks good! I love spicy food so I will give it a go :) 

  • theblackpeppercorn

    oh my! This looks absolutely delicious! I could see myself adding more sriracha to make it hotter!

  • Darren

    I just saw you on Chopped the other day. What a bunch of BS.

  • Michael Silverstein

    Chen Kenmin is the father of Iron Chef’s Chen Kenichi, right? I know I’ve seen Kenichi make this on Iron Chef more than once.

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto


  • http://www.facebook.com/HarusamiSoul2Soul Harusami Is

    My mom made a Ebi Chili dish similar to this, but she used de-veined shell-on shrimp, plus sesame oil and onions. Served cold, sucking the sauce off was part of the deliciousness!

  • Crerar

    I made this last night and wow, is it ever good! I’ll be making this again. A real plus is that it took no time whatsoever to make. In reading the comments below, we’re you on Chopped?

  • An

    Best Ebi Chilli receipe I know. Using TSCC+ sriracha was a great idea, thank you.

  • ash

    could i use cornstarch instead

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      Yes, but the texture of the sauce will be more gloppy.

  • Young

    Would combination of Gochujang (korean pepper paste) and Sriracha be a good combination?

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      It will work, but Gochujang is more spicy, more earthy and less sweet, so it will have a different taste.


I'm Marc, and I want to teach you some basic techniques and give you the confidence and inspiration so that you can cook without recipes too!