Ebi mayo is a popular traditional Japanese appetizer that you may have tried at an authentic izakaya bar. Now you can make them right in the comfort of your home kitchen with our easy-to-follow recipe and video.

Contributed by Naoko’s Kitchen

Rich and creamy Japanese mayo meets succulent fried prawns in this authentic Japanese food recipe. Ebi mayo is a popular appetizer in Japan, and is served on many different occasions. It also goes well with Japanese beers as well as sake, so it’s common at traditional Japanese izakaya (bars), too. Now you can make a delicious plate of ebi mayo right at home with our simple but authentic recipe and video. Let’s get started!

What Is an Izakaya?

Izakayas are an essential part of Japanese food culture. They are much like pubs in the West, although there is a strong focus on food as well as alcoholic beverages. But instead of ordering full meals or large plates, eating in izakayas is centered around small dishes. This is similar to the Spanish tapas bar, where diners enjoy light plates alongside wine and other drinks. In izakayas, you share these dishes just like at the tapas bars. As another round of drinks is ordered, whether beer, sake, or even Japanese whiskey, another round of small dishes is often requested as well. Typical dishes include raw bar items as well as flavor-rich fried plates, like this yummy ebi dish!

What Is Japanese Mayonnaise?

Thick and rich Japanese mayonnaise, also known as Kewpie Mayo, is a popular condiment in Japanese food culture. It is even creamier than the kinds of mayonnaise consumed in the West because in Japan we use only the yolk of the egg. If you do not have Kewpie Mayonnaise for this ebi mayo recipe, however, regular mayo will do. But notice that we add Greek-style yogurt to the mix, which is a secret ingredient from our home chef Naoko. This will give the dipping sauce an added creaminess that will have your party guests going back for immediate seconds. Japanese mayo is also a great dressing for fresh salads. Check out this enoki mushroom and spinach mayo salad recipe for a great example!

Get ultimate guide to Japanese whiskey here.

Plating Tips

  • If you want to impress your guests, try plating your food in a circle. Think about color and adding a healthy vegetable garnishment as ebi mayo can be high in calories.
  • Chives are a good garnishment when you want to add green to your plate. Soaking them in cold water makes the chives shrink a bit, which is perfect for garnishing.

Meet Naoko’s Kitchen

Naokos kitchen logoNaoko’s Kitchen is brought to you by Japanese cook and Culinary Artist Naoko Kashiwagi who is living in the UK. Naoko has been sharing her authentic taste, knowledge, and skills of Japanese food by hosting pop-ups and Japanese cooking classes in Cornwall, UK. More than a thousand foodies from all over the world have participated in her informative and hands-on classes. They all enjoyed the entertainment of her exquisite dishes!

Naoko’s Kitchen is the first authentic Japanese pop-ups in Cornwall. This style allows her to collaborate with a lot of local businesses aiming at supporting each other as well. Her mission is simple. To entertain the customers with authentic Japanese flavors by adding subtle European twists to create innovative dishes.

Its concept promises to create family favorites using the freshest local seafood and seasonal ingredients with Naoko’s imagination and creativity. She creates a dish mixing authenticity with innovation for your taste buds and eyes.

Fried Prawn with Yogurt Mayo Sauce (Ebi-Mayo)

Recipe by Naoko's Kitchen

Servings 4


  • 20 Raw Large King Prawn
  • 1 Tbsp Sake
  • 1 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1 Tbsp Corn Starch
  • 1 Tbsp Sun Flower Oil

Yogurt Mayo Sauce

  • 3 Tbsp Japanese Mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp Greek Yogurt
  • 1 clove Garlic, grated
  • 1 tsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 pinch Sea Salt

Garnish (optional)

  • 8 Mini Tomato
  • Chives
  • Lentil Beans
  • Salad Cress
  • Pea Shoots
  • Edamame Beans
  • Chive Flowers
  • Radish
  • Smoked Paprika Powder
  • Toasted Sesame Seeds
  • Black Salt or Black Sesame Seeds


Fry the prawns

  1. Make a cut on the back of prawn to remove guts if not cleaned (make sure not to cut through the prawn).
  2. Apply sea salt over the prawns and put them in a plastic bag. Add the sake and gently shake the bag.
  3. Add corn starch and evenly coat the prawns with corn starch.
  4. Apply the oil on frying pan and cook the prawns on medium heat until thoroughly cooked.

Make the sauce

  1. Meanwhile put all ingredients in a bowl and combine well.

Coat the prawn with the sauce

  1. Put the prawns in the bowl and marinate for about 5 minutes.

Prepare garnishment.

  1. Cut mini tomatoes into half.
  2. Slice the chives finely length-way and soak in cold water so they shrink.
  3. Boil water in a small pot, add a bit of salt and cook lentil beans until done.
  4. Defrost edamame and finely slice radish.

Make plate presentation

  1. Place the prawns in round shape on a plate.
  2. Next, place the boiled lentils filling up the gaps between prawns making a circle line.
  3. Once you make a circle shape with prawns and lentils, place other garnishes carefully along with the circle. For radish, make a radius length cut bend one end to give it a three-dimensional effect.
  4. Lastly sprinkle some paprika powder, toasted sesame seeds, and black salt (or black sesame seeds) as an accent of presentation.