Prawn and crab

A photo of  Black tiger prawn nigiri
Black tiger prawn (Ushi ebi)

Black tiger prawn (Ushi ebi)

【Nigiri sushi: Ebi/Kani】
What is Ushi ebi?
Large prawn that weigh between 30 to 40 g each. Juveniles are found in estuarine environments, in mangrove inlets and in mangrove vegetate area. It turns a bright, pretty red when heated so it is popular as a sushi topping. Black tiger prawn imported to Japan is farmed in Thailand or Indonesia. Both freshwater and saltwater prawn are farmed, but the Black tiger prawn farmed in saltwater is more highly regarded for its taste, color, and beautiful pattern. The Japan Kuruma prawn prefers to live in clean sandy sea floors but the Black tiger prawn also lives in muddy sea floors and often contracts diseases from the bacteria generated in the mud. That means antibiotics must be administered to the prawn when farming. The residuals of that are a problem from a perspective of food safety and security, but environmental pollution in the farming facilities and surrounding areas is also an issue.

The appearance of the boiled shrimp used for Nigiri sushi is very important. Black tiger shrimp is used because of its beautiful red coloration. Black tiger shrimp is also used for sushi topping rather than Vannamei ebi because its taste and texture are as strong as sushi rice. Black tiger shrimp is also more expensive. However, sushi chefs are very careful when boiling shrimp. For example, conveyor-belt sushi restaurants use shrimp that have been processed into sushi topping overseas. Naturally, they lack texture and flavor when compared to those boiled by sushi chefs.

Recently, an effort has begun to release a very small number of shrimps into vast aquaculture ponds utilizing the natural terrain, without using artificial feed, and to grow shrimp in harmony with the surrounding environment and ecosystem. This results in a richer flavor and is safe and secure, without the concerns about antibiotics that are characteristic of farm-raised shrimp.

Also called Giant tiger prawn, Asian tiger shrimp (Scientific name: Penaeus monodon Fabricius, 1798)

【Related contents】
What is Meki? Substitute for Kuruma ebi?

List of Prawn (Ebi) and Crab (Kani)

(Revision date: June 8, 2024)

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