Ama Ebi – The Spot Prawn
One of the fascinating points about the prawn industry in BC is that as much as 90% of the prawns caught in BC are shipped to Japan and eaten in Japanese sushi restaurants. In Japan, spot prawn sushi is called “Ama Ebi (sometimes written Amaebi)“. Ama translated is “sweet” and Ebi is the Japanese word applied to a vareity of prawns and shrimp, so the name translated boils down to “The Sweet Shrimp”. Ama Ebi does not specify a specific species of prawn or shrimp so while BC spot prawns are generally used for Ama Ebi, you can’t be certain that you’ll be getting spot prawns when you order Ama Ebi unless you ask. That said, Ama Ebi is the primary reason that the spot prawn market is strong in Japan. The firm texture, sweet flavor and clean deep water habitat of BC spot prawns makes them a great choice for Ama Ebi. Not only that, but because they have a relatively short lifespan, less than 4 years, there is little opportunity for the build up Moneygram online of heavy metals in the meat as there is in other seafood.
Sustainable Sushi had this to say about the BC spot prawn:
“British Columbia spot prawns, known to be well-managed and caught with environmentally responsible traps, are an excellent option. They are commonly used in ama ebi dishes in the United States and are the best choice for sushi-going shrimp afficionados.”
Ama Ebi – The Sushi
The prawn/shrimp is served nigiri style, which means that the head and shell are removed, the meat is partially cut down the middle, the central vein is removed and the meat is laid across a small oblong portion of sushi rice. The prawn meat should be translucent.
The prawn head is deep fried and served with the prawn meat and sushi rice. As it is nigiri, the prawns should be served in pairs. The deep fried prawn head can be eaten shell and all, though, as you would imagine, it does require a fair bit of care.