Easy Japanese Recipes

Ebi Chili エビチリ

Ebi Chili (Shrimp with Chili Sauce) | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.comEbi Chili (エビチリ / エビのチリソース) or Shrimp in Chili Sauce is a popular Japan dish with Chinese origins. These succulent shrimp glazed in a sweet and spicy sauce was derived from Szechuan-style Kan Shao Shrimp (乾焼蝦仁) but adapted to less-spicy and sweet flavor suited for the Japanese taste.

Ebi Chili was made popular in Japan by Chen Kenmin (陳建民) through his restaurant Shisen Hanten and his appearances on the national TV NHK’s cooking show – きょうの料理 (Today’s Cuisine). Does his name sound a bit familiar? That’s because he is also the father of the Iron Chef Chinese – Chen Kenichi.

Kan Shao Shrimp uses spicy chili bean paste (Doubanjiang), but when this dish was introduced to Japan in the late 1950’s, Japanese people were not used to spicy food so ketchup and soup (broth) were incorporated into the dish to make it more mild and adjusted for Japanese taste in Chinese restaurants. Now Ebi Chili is one of most popular Chinese dishes in Japan along with Mapo Tofu. Due to their popularity, both of these sauces are available pre-packaged in Asian supermarkets for those who do not want to make them from scratch.

Ebi Chili (Shrimp with Chili Sauce) | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com

Speaking of ebi chili, I remember my mom used to make this dish for us growing up in Japan. I recall the spicy and aromatic scent of garlic and ginger as they are being stir fry with doubanjan filling up the kitchen meant dinner is almost ready and I know what’s on the menu. :)

As for my own family, we loves shrimp recipes so I try to make quick shrimps recipe for weeknight meals. Because of this I always have a bag of frozen shrimp in my freezer in case I don’t have time to stop by a grocery store. Shrimps defrost quickly and cook quickly! Once shrimp is defrosted and cleaned (and devein if you need to), this dish is done in less than 10 minutes! Serve with steamed rice and some healthy vegetables. Quick, delicious, and very satisfying! :)

Ebi Chili (Shrimp with Chili Sauce) | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com

Here’s the video to show you How To Make Ebi Chili. My mouth is watering just thinking about this dish, shrimps in sweet and spicy sauce over rice, yummy!

For the Iron Chef fans, here is the episode where Chef Chen Kenichi battles his mentor Takashi Saito (his father’s apprentice) and they both made ebi chili. You can skip ahead to 23:40 to see how they made their versions! Which one did you like better?

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Ebi Chili
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 2
  • 10 (9 oz., 250 g) large shrimps
  • 1 Tbsp. potato starch/corn starch for cleaning shrimp
  • Vegetable oil for cooking, separated
Marinade for shrimp
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 2 dashes of white pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. sake
  • 1 Tbsp. potato starch/corn starch
    Ebi Chili Ingredients 1
Chili Sauce
  • 1 inch ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 white part of scallion/green onion
  • 2 tsp. fermented chili bean paste (La Doubanjiang)
  • 2 Tbsp. ketchup
  • ½ cup (120 ml) chicken stock/water
  • 1 Tbsp. sake
  • 1 ½ tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil
  • 2 Tbsp. water
  • 1 Tbsp. potato starch/corn starch
    Ebi Chili Ingredients 2
  1. Peel the shell, devein, and cut the back of shrimps so that it absorbs more flavors being marinated.
    Ebi Chili 1
  2. Clean shrimps with potato starch and rinse under cold running water.
    Ebi Chili 2
  3. Pat dry the shrimps with paper towel and place them in a medium bowl. Add all the ingredients for marinade into the bowl rub well with shrimps.
    Ebi Chili 3
  4. Cut white part of scallion into small pieces and keep it aside (use it later). Mince the ginger and garlic and put them together in a small bowl.
    Ebi Chili 4
  5. Heat oil on a large non-stick frying pan on medium high heat. When the pan is hot, cook shrimps until both sides change color (inside doesn’t have to be cooked through at this point). Turn off the heat and transfer the shrimp to a plate. Quickly rinse the pan.
    Ebi Chili 5
  6. In the same frying pan, heat oil over medium heat and sauté the scallion, ginger, and garlic until fragrant. Lower the heat and add the chili bean paste and ketchup.
    Ebi Chili 6
  7. Then add chicken broth (water), sake, and sugar to the pan.
    Ebi Chili 7
  8. Continue cooking for a few minutes on simmer. Then return the shrimp to the pan and add the scallion. Cook until shrimp is cooked through, stirring occasionally.
    Ebi Chili 8
  9. Add the sesame oil and then pour the potato starch/water mixture to thicken the sauce. Stir well and remove from heat. Transfer the shrimp to a serving dish.
    Ebi Chili 9
Recipe by Namiko Chen of Just One Cookbook. All images and content on this site are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission. If you’d like to share this recipe on your site, please re-write the recipe and link to this post as the original source. Thank you.


Posted in: 30 Minutes Or Less, Easy Dinner Ideas, Seafood

Leave a Comment

+ 2 = eight

  • A_Boleyn May 28, 2014, 3:50 pm

    What a delicious looking dish with plump shrimp and a flavourful sauce.

  • Maureen | Orgasmic Chef May 28, 2014, 4:23 pm

    Who would have guessed ketchup? I think I’ll love serving these!

  • Peachy @ The Peach Kitchen May 28, 2014, 4:43 pm

    I love anything spicy! No doubtI’m gonna like this.

  • Jocelyn (Grandbaby Cakes) May 28, 2014, 4:50 pm

    That shrimp looks absolutely amazing!!

  • Belinda @zomppa May 28, 2014, 6:35 pm

    These flavors are popping!! I love love love this.

  • Baby Sumo May 28, 2014, 7:39 pm

    Hi Nami, just by looking at photos, I can tell that I would love it. Looks mouthwatering!

  • Laura (Tutti Dolci) May 28, 2014, 7:45 pm

    Your shrimp look incredible, Nami! (Love your Anthropologie napkin too ;))

  • John@Kitchen Riffs May 28, 2014, 8:06 pm

    Oh, wow, this is so great! I love shrimp and I love spicy — you posted this recipe just for me, right? :D Really nice — thanks.

  • Lisa H. | from My Lemony Kitchen... May 28, 2014, 8:49 pm

    Gorgeous delicious plump prawns :D

  • Monet May 28, 2014, 9:10 pm

    Oh my. These shrimp look so good! Thank you for sharing another gorgeous recipe, my friend!

  • Sean May 28, 2014, 9:12 pm

    Good Dish! By the way, can i replace ketchup with tomato sauce?

    • Nami June 2, 2014, 1:03 am

      Thank you Sean! Yes, you can! Adjust the flavor accordingly. Maybe tiny bit more sugar…

  • Eha May 28, 2014, 9:52 pm

    Roaring with laughter at ‘The Iron Chef’ ’cause for years that was a ‘must see’!!!!!! Always kind’of felt a wee bit sorry for Chen Kenichi as he seemed to be picked as the ‘chef of the night’ as if he knew the least!! Well, if he ‘got lost’ he would smile and produce mapo tofu – remember ? Lovely prawn recipe I’ll do it ‘your way’ as soon as I can ;) !

    • Nami June 2, 2014, 1:04 am

      Happy to know I found another Iron Chef fan. :)

  • Victoria Bakes May 28, 2014, 10:33 pm

    sounds like a very lovely and flavourful dish!

  • The Ninja Baker May 29, 2014, 2:06 am


  • Jeanette | Jeanette's Healthy Living May 29, 2014, 5:51 am

    I used to love watching Chef Kenmin – he was one of my favorite original iron chefs! I can’t wait to try this recipe Nami.

  • Mi Vida en un Dulce May 29, 2014, 8:57 am

    You know something? Ii’s like I’m smelling the shrimps being cooked in the spicy souce.

  • Liz May 29, 2014, 9:51 am

    Your homemade version sounds delectable!!! The aroma of ginger and garlic gets me every time, too!!!

  • Preetha May 29, 2014, 10:20 am

    drooling here…love the sauce..

  • Kathy@ Olives & Garlic May 29, 2014, 10:22 am

    I am seriously looking forward to trying some recipes from your blog. My mouth is watering, scrumptious!

  • Sissi May 29, 2014, 10:49 am

    What a gorgeous plate, Nami! I also keep shrimp in the freezer almost all the time, so I must do Ebi Chilli one day. Somehow I have heard about this dish so many times, but never tasted it… I would definitely add some tobanjan ;-) I have brought 10 tubs from my last trip to Japan because we are addicted (I have never seen the Sichuan produced original stuff here though, but I’m sure the Japanese do it perfectly: it’s very hot!).

  • rika@vm May 29, 2014, 6:39 pm

    What a beautiful cooking video, Nami. I also love the spicy and aromatic scent of garlic and ginger from a stir-fried dish, anything spicy and aromatic fits my palate. Your chili sauce looks absolutely delicious and worth to try it, I would like to experiment it with something else such as tempeh or tofu or king trumpets. Fermented chili bean paste is my favorite, too and I’ve been using potato starch a lot lately.

  • Gourmet Getaways May 29, 2014, 11:55 pm

    Such a methodical way of cooking, which I really admire! The de-veining pic looks so careful and precise. I love it!

    Gourmet Getaways

  • Hotly Spiced May 30, 2014, 1:50 am

    There’s so much flavour in your chilli sauce! I do love the look of your shrimp dish. Visiting your blog is always inspiring as I see so many dishes that are new to me that I’d absolutely love to try. It would be a treat to sit at your table, Nami xx

  • Muna Kenny May 30, 2014, 4:31 am

    Now you got me jumping between your Youtube channel and blog :) … Love the video and the pictures are awesome. I can’t have shrimps :( but I’d love to make it for my family! Thanks for another great recipe Nami!

  • Cooking Gallery May 30, 2014, 12:45 pm

    This looks so yum!! I feel like devouring the shrimps with a bowl of hot piping rice :)! I miss Iron chef, I used to follow the show every week :D)!!

  • Amira May 31, 2014, 7:01 am

    I’ve tried ketchup before with salmon and nobody ever guessed what is that!!! it was delicious. Delicious recipe Nami.

  • cristina May 31, 2014, 9:34 am

    Those shrimps in that dish look so plump and tasty! Perfection. Love all the indepth step images, Nami. BTW – really like the layout and gradual blog aesthetics – so professional, clean and well executed!! :)

  • cquek May 31, 2014, 9:55 am

    I definitely like that for dinner .

  • Jess @ whatjessicabakednext May 31, 2014, 10:02 am

    This looks divine, Nami! Love the flavours!

  • Christine | No Gojis No Glory May 31, 2014, 11:15 am

    Oh-em-gee…these look amazing. My husband isn’t crazy about shrimp, but I might just have to try these. Is fermented chili bean paste hard to find? I can’t say that I’ve ever run across it in the grocery store.

  • Evelyne@cheapethniceatz June 1, 2014, 8:02 am

    Oh love these shrimp and the sauce. I may add a bit of spice to it lol. If you have mentioned cleaning shrimps with potato starch before I missed that one. How does it work? Great dish!

  • Lucy @ Lucyeats June 1, 2014, 4:43 pm

    That looks absolutely delicious, Nami! The only problem with that picture is that there isn’t enough!

  • Maggie June 1, 2014, 7:46 pm

    OMG, the shrimps look fabulous! Really like the sauce, looks so yummy. Pinned to save and will make those soon. :)

  • Ilan | IronWhisk June 2, 2014, 12:29 pm

    Oh, that’s neat! I didn’t know that Japan isn’t very spice-tolerant. I love everything with shrimp, so this is right up my alley :)

  • Asmita June 3, 2014, 3:24 am

    Been wanting to try this for so long. Looks so good and since everyone at home is big on shrimp, this is surely going to be a hit!

  • Lynna June 3, 2014, 7:05 pm

    East Asian history can be very controversial, between the countries…but at least we got delicious food exchanges through it all. I would love this, since I adore shrimp dishes, of any kind!

  • Raymund June 4, 2014, 2:37 am

    This would be hit with Filipinos as we have a nearly similar dish called Gambas but instead of it being sweet and spicy its more of savoury spicy. Goes well with beer!

  • Sandra June 5, 2014, 3:02 pm

    Your knife skills are amazing! Love how quickly this dish comes together.

  • Ju June 6, 2014, 5:09 am

    If I want to make a non spicy version, do I just omit the chilli bean paste? Tks.

    • Nami June 9, 2014, 1:51 am

      Hi Ju! Doubanjian (chili bean paste) has one that is not spicy (not red) and I use it often. It may contain some chili bean paste (since it says chili) but it’s not spicy so kids can enjoy. La Doubanjiang is very spicy (la stands for “spicy”). If it’s red, avoid… Chili bean paste however plays very important role in this dish. I wouldn’t omit it…. :)


  • TheKitchenLioness June 8, 2014, 12:10 am

    Dear Nami, the combination of fresh giner, garlic and chili bean paste sound shighly aromatic – I think I can almost smell this all the way here…seriously, this sounds like such a great recipe. You are so right about shrimp being a rather convenient weekday meal, they do defrost rather quickly and are extremly versatile. I love your pitures of the wonderful shrimp, all glistening with that fragrant sauce.
    Thank you for another amazing recipe, dear friend.
    Hope all is well – are the kids on holidays yet – here we have another four weeks to go.

  • Bam's Kitchen June 11, 2014, 4:24 pm

    Nami-san, this is a great way to combine both your and your husbands culture together in one lovely ebi dish. I do not like things too spicy but a little kick so this is a perfect recipe for my family as well. Take Care, BAM

  • Stephanie June 29, 2014, 12:28 am

    Just wanted to mention that I love the origami crane chopstick stand. =)

  • JP December 17, 2014, 9:24 am

    Hi Nami!

    I cooked this recipe for Thanksgiving, and it was a hit. I’ve been asked to cook it again for Christmas! ^_^

    I was wondering if I doubled the shrimp used would I have to double everything else in the recipe as well? I’ll be serving four people, so I’ll defiintely need more than ten shrimp, but I’m afraid doubling the chili paste might cause the recipe to be too spicy for my family.

    • Nami December 18, 2014, 2:44 pm

      Hi JP! Yes for doubling. If your pan can fit all the shrimp, you don’t need to double the oil. And you can get non spicy “doubanjiang”. I usually mix it with la doubanjiang (with chili) for kids. :) Hope this helps!


      • JP December 22, 2014, 2:43 pm

        Thank you! I really appreciate your help! :-) Now I’m ready to cook. “Allez cuisine!”

        • Nami December 22, 2014, 3:13 pm

          Enjoy! :)

  • Poca March 30, 2015, 11:13 pm

    A sunny good morning from Southern Germany!
    I cooked your Ebi shrimp this morning for my husband’s bento and – as always – ate the leftover right away with cold rice for my
    breakfast! It tastes was wonderful and now definitely in my list of “quick delicious food”. The taste reminds me a bit of chili crab/chili shrimp I once had in Singapore and loved a lot, I thought I will never have this taste again. Now thanks to you, I can cook a similiar thing at home and this is very comforting! Thanks a million for this wonderful juicy tomatoey delicious recipe! Am a fan of your blog! Cheers, Poca ;)

    • Nami April 1, 2015, 11:18 am

      Hi Poca! Thank you so much for your kind feedback, and I’m happy to hear your Ebi Chili came out well! Thank you for reading my blog and for your support! :)