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Sweet Shrimp Sushi

Botan Sweet Shrimp
Botan Shrimp

Amaebi Sushi

There is a little confusion when referring to sweet shrimp in sushi restaurants (even in Japan) since there are many types of shrimp that are using the same name though they are distinctly different species.  

One is the botanebi, or botan shrimp. The other one is the Alaskan Pink Shrimp or hokkoku akaebi. For some reason the true names are ignored and nobody has correctly distinguished them. Though they are both in the same genus (Alaskan Pink Shrimp; Pandalus eous Makarov & Botan Shrimp; Pandalus nipponensis),  they are two different species, and the most obvious difference is their size. The botan shrimp is about 2 to 3 times the size of the male Alaskan pink shrimp which are used for sushi. 

Amaebi Sushi
Amaebi (Alaskan Pink Shrimp)

Sweet shrimp is a direct translation of amaebi (ama meaning sweet) and not it’s true given name. For similarities in taste and texture, the more abundant botan shrimp in the west coast of the U.S. took place the of amaebi and was called sweet shrimp from then on. Recently, the original amaebi, or Alaskan pink shrimp are becomming available in small circulation. The Alaskan sweet shrimp, although smaller, has a more concentrated taste than the botan shrimp, and because of its smaller size, two shrimp are used for a sushi.  Nevertheless, sweet shrimp in general is praised for is clear and sweet aftertaste unlike the regular raw shrimpWasabi is the main condiment for sweet shrimp, but sometimes grated ginger is preferred.

As a compliment, when the larger botan shrimp is prepared, the head is deep fried after it is lightly coated with potato starch. The shell becomes very crispy and the brain of the botan shrimp is a delicacy of its own. The whole head can be consumed when it is deep fried. Salt is only needed for fried sweet shrimp head.

Complete Tutorial on: How to Make Sushi

Also see: Sweet Shrimp in Sushi Crustacean

Popular style for sweet shrimp sushi: Nigiri

Popular condiments for sweet shrimp sushi: Wasabi, Shoga.
Specialty: Fried head
Category: Shrimp (Ebi)