This crispy Japanese Prawn Katsu is made with jumbo prawns, coated with crispy panko, and fried to golden perfection. Perfectly goes well with Japanese curry, plain rice, and shredded crisp vegetables. So easy to make at home and incredibly delicious!
If you love recreating classic Japanese restaurant dishes at home, you might also like to try out our family's favourite Beef Udon Stir Fry ( Yaki Beef Udon ) and Yakisoba ( Stir Fried Japanese Noodles ) recipes.
What is Prawn Katsu Curry?
Prawn Katsu is also called Ebi Katsu, Ebi Fry, or Panko Prawn. It can be served on its own with dipping sauce or served together with curry and rice. Other than curry, you can also find it served in udon noodle soup.
Katsu curry is a well-known Japanese-style curry dish loved by both Asian and Western countries. Katsu simply means meat or seafood cutlet. It is a Japanese-style fried cutlet and most of you would have already tried pork or chicken katsu curry.
King prawn katsu curry over a bed of rice is a very comforting dish for my whole family love. Perfectly fried crispy coating and succulent shrimp inside with a scoop of curry rice are so addictive. Make sure you cook extra rice!
Why you would love this dish
You can cook restaurant-quality katsu prawn curry at home with simple pantry-friendly ingredients. Taste way better than regular takeaway Ebi Katsu Curry. Homemade Ebi Katsu Curry is budget-friendly and when you make it at home you can cook the curry sauce to your liking. If you like Wagamama prawn katsu curry and Yo Sushi crispy prawn katsu, I am sure that you will definitely enjoy this recipe.
Ingredients you will need
- Prawns - Use large king prawns, tiger prawns, or shrimp of your choice. Prawns should be peeled and deveined with the tail-on.
- Plain Flour - Any brand of white plain flour or all-purpose flour is good to go.
- Panko breadcrumbs - These are Japanese-style white breadcrumbs. They are flakier in texture and crispier than regular breadcrumbs when fried. The crispiness of the fries last longer too. You can find panko in supermarket Asian aisle or in Oriental Asian grocery stores like Chinese, Korean, or Japanese grocery stores.
- Butter - Add unsalted butter for the rich creamy buttery curry taste.
- Curry blocks – You can make katsu curry from scratch but in this recipe, I’m using a ready-made curry roux S&B Brand. You can find this kind of Japanese curry roux at most supermarkets or Asian grocery stores in the UK. If you want to make curry from scratch, the detailed recipe can be found in my “ Chicken Katsu Curry ” recipe.
- Onions - Large sweet onion, brown onion, or shallot is required to add sweetness to the curry.
- Chicken Stock ( broth ) - Add chicken stock/broth instead of water for an extra rich umami flavour. If you don't have homemade chicken stock, you can use store-bought chicken broth or add water together with one cube of chicken bouillon.
- Salad vegetables -Fresh crisp shredded carrot, cabbage, lettuce, or mixed salad leaves are ideal to pair with the dish. Sprinkle thin slices of spring onions as a garnish.
How to make it
Cook the curry sauce : Heat the pan to medium heat and add butter. Once the butter is melted, stir in the sliced onions. Once the onions are soft and turn slightly brown, add the roughly chopped curry roux and stir continuously.
Next, add chicken stock and bring it to simmer. Continue to cook for another 3-4 minutes, until the curry sauce starts to get thickened. Then remove from heat and set it aside. Keep it warm.
Prepare the prawns: Peel the prawn shell and left the tail part. Devein the prawns and straighten the prawns by scoring crisscross along the underside of the prawn. Straighten the prawn with your hands by gently pressing it. Season the prawns with salt and black pepper.
Dredge the prawn in the plain flour by holding it from the tail part. Then, dip it into the whisked egg. Next, coat in the panko breadcrumbs. Shake the excess crumbs out before frying.
Fry the prawns: Fry the coated prawns in the pre-heated vegetable oil 350ºF (180ºC) for about 2-3 minutes or until crispy golden brown. Remove from oil and place it over the wire rack .
How to serve this dish
Serve with curry sauce: Serve the prawn katsu with a bowl of cooked rice, pour in the curry at the side of the rice and place the fried prawns on top. Add salad or steam vegetables on the side. Garnish with chopped spring onions. It tastes best when served immediately after frying.
Serve with dipping sauce: This crispy fried prawns really goes well with sweet chilli sauce, spicy mayo, or tartar sauce. You can also serve it with tonkatsu sauce, tomato ketchup, wasabi mayonnaise, soy sauce, tempura sauce, or dipping sauce of your choice.
- You can be creative by adding the fried katsu prawn to the sushi and making it a prawn katsu avocado sushi roll or making prawn katsu sando ( Japanese sandwich ) with mayonnaise and tonkatsu sauce.
- If you have any leftover whisked egg, flour, and panko, you can make vegetable katsu by coating it with carrots, cauliflower, aubergine, or any vegetable that is left in the fridge.
- You can test if the oil is ready with a food thermometer or with a wooden chopstick. Dip the tip of a wooden chopstick or spatula in the hot oil, if the oil bubbles build around fast and steadily, the oil is ready to fry.
- Straightening the prawns is important if you want your prawn katsu in a nice straight shape. If you skip this step, you will get the curled circle shape prawns after frying.
Frequently Asked Questions
Katsu curry can be either made spicy, less spicy, or not spicy at all. Use your favourite curry roux mild or hot.
If you are serving prawn katsu with curry, rice is a must. You can either use Japanese short-grain rice or Thai jasmine rice.
Use vegetable or neutral flavour oil-like, like sunflower, canola, peanut, or rapeseed oil. Oil temperature should be maintained at around 350ºF (180ºC) to achieve the perfect crisp panko coating.
Yes, you can freeze the panko-coated prawns in the freezer. Place the prawns over the baking sheet on the tray. Freeze them for 2-3 hours, once they are set you can transfer them to the freezer-safe bag or container. Deep fry it just before serving, do not need to defrost.
More Delicious Crispy Prawns Dishes
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Prawn Katsu with Curry and Rice
- Deep frying pan
- Medium pot to cook curry
- 12 Large prawns King prawns, tiger prawns or shrimp, ( About 250 gram/8.8 oz ),
- 2 Egg Whisked
- 1 cup Panko breadcrumbs About 120 gram, Add more if needed
- ½ cup Plain flour About 68 gram, Add more if needed
- ¼ tsp Salt
- ¼ tsp Black pepper
- Vegetable oil for frying
For Curry Sauce
- ½ Onion Cut thin slices
- 2-3 Japanese curry block Or 4 serving curry block, Roughly chopped. See details in note
- 2 tbsp Butter
- 500 ml Chicken stock/broth Or water, About 2 cup ( ½ litre )
- Shredded Carrot
- Shredded Cabbage
- Lettuce Or choice of salad leaves
Make Curry Sauce
- Heat the pan to medium heat. Melt the butter, add onions and sautee for 2-3 minutes until soft and slightly brown. Then add the curry blocks and stir it well for a few seconds.
- Then pour the chicken stock in, continue cook for another 2-3 minutes, until the curry sauce starts to get thicken. Turn off the heat, set it aside and keep it warm.
Prepare Prawn Katsu
- Peel the prawns shell and left the tail part. With a sharp knife, slightly cut along the back of the prawns, remove the vein and discard.
- To straighten the prawns, use a sharp knife and score crisscross along underside of the prawn but leave the tail tip. Make sure not to cut right through. Straighten the prawn with hands by pressing it gently and set it aside.
- Season the prawns with salt and black pepper, then dip it into the plain flour first by holding it from the tail part.
- Next dip it into the beaten eggs and then dredge into the panko breadcrumbs. Press it gently with hands, then toss the excess crumbs out before frying.
- Fry the coated prawns in the pre-heated vegetable oil 350ºF (180ºC) for about 2-3 minutes or until crispy golden brown.
- Remove from oil and place it over the cooling rack ( wire rack ) .
- Serve it on it's own with choice of dipping sauce or serve together with curry and rice.
To Serve with Curry and Rice
- Fill the small bowl with rice, then flip it upside down on the plate. Pour the katsu curry sauce around the sauce. Place the fried prawn katsu over the rice and curry. Sprinkle chopped spring onions.
- Add shredded carrot, cabbage, or choice of salad leaves on the side. Serve immediately.
- Prawns - Use any large raw prawns or shrimps. We usually use large tiger prawns or king prawns for this recipe.
- Do not overcrowd the frying oil. Fry with batches if needed.
- Clear the frying oil with a mesh strainer between batches. Remove fried crumbs to prevent them from burning.
- Japanese curry sauce can be thicker if you leave it longer. Add a splash of water and reheat it just right before serving if the gravy is too thick.
- Curry blocks - I used S&B medium-hot curry blocks in this recipe and no extra salt or sugar is needed in the curry sauce. You can use your choice of Japanese curry roux blocks mild or hot to your preference. Flavour and taste can be varied according to the different brands you used. Recommend making a taste test and adjusting the salt, pepper, or sugar before serving.