Japanese Fried Shrimp Balls (with video)

These delicate Japanese Fried Shrimp Balls are flavored with horseradish and fish sauce, formed with rice flour, quick fried and dipped in sake flavored soy sauce. 

Izakaya style Japanese shrimp balls
Izakaya Style Japanese Shrimp Balls

Japanese Tapas

Izakaya is the Japanese style of eating a Tapas meal, and gather with friends over drinks.

With lots of small plates filled with big flavors, Izakaya is also a way to nibble on healthy ingredients, making it great for an appetizer spread for any gathering. 

Certainly it makes for an easy and impressive dinner party or small gathering.

Offering a variety of proteins and veggies, cold or hot, steamed, grilled or fried, provides something for nearly every unique dietary requirement.

Delicate Fried Shrimp Balls For Japanese Dining At Home

These Japanese shrimp balls are simple ingredients, probably already in your fridge, with a few Asian ingredients from your pantry.

However, they are sure to make you think you are dining out!

Japanese style shrimp balls are easy to assemble ahead, easy to cook and perfect to serve as a small plate dish.

Often, when I dine at a restaurant and want a side dish of fish cakes, they are a deep-fried version of these delicate fried shrimp balls. 

While they are delicious, I find them too heavy as a side, and can detract from other items I want to try. 

Izakaya - Japanese Tapas Style Dining
Izakaya – Japanese Tapas Style Dining

Shrimp Balls

Shrimp is such an affordable, and delicious appetizer that can be whipped up last minute.

Something easy to keep tucked in the freezer and fast to thaw. 

It’s nice to know that shrimp is loaded with protein, yet slim on calories. While they are scrumptious quickly sautéed and served, these shrimp balls bring more flavor to a rather delicate tasting seafood. 

How to Make Japanese Fried Shrimp Balls

First, we need to thaw the shrimp, if frozen.

Run them under cold water and allow to drain in a colander.

Thawing will happen rather quickly. 

Secondly, pull out the trusty food processor or blender and place the ingredients for the balls in. Puree until thick and sticky, like a fish paste. 

After the shrimp paste is pureed, simply form small balls, and place on a plate.

Chill until ready to cook or cook right away. 

shrimp balls formed
Shrimp Balls Formed

Finally, a little oil goes a long way, so let’s just quickly sauté the shrimp balls and not immerse them in a sea of oil. 

We aren’t deep frying these delicate shrimp balls, we merely was them sauted to golden perfection. 

Once sautéed on all sides, place on a paper towel to blot excess oil, whisk the dipping sauce and serve.

This delicious recipe makes for the perfect appetizer simply because they tease the taste buds for more. 

Other Shrimp Dishes To Love

Ever since I became a working mom of four, and wanted to serve all our meals, home cooked, I stashed shrimp in the freezer.

Certainly it was a good source of protein, not heavy in seafood taste for the kids, and easy for me to thaw and cook lots of different ways, in a flash!

These are just a few of the favored dishes that have stood the test of time in my large family kitchen.

More Shrimp Recipes To Love
More Shrimp Recipes To Love

Equipment Needed

  • Food processor or blender
  • Heavy saute pan – this pan reigns supreme in my kitchen because it holds high heat and can go from stovetop fire to hot oven.
  • Measuring spoons
  • Cutting board
  • Chopping knife
  • Slotted spatula – easy lift and drain at the same time, this one is most used in my kitchen.
  • Small whisk
  • Stovetop or burner

Ingredients Needed

  • Shrimp
  • Garlic
  • Fish sauce
  • Toasted sesame oil
  • Horseradish
  • Egg white
  • Rice flour
  • Tapioca
  • Oil – for frying
  • Soy sauce
  • Sake
  • Chives
shrimp ball ingredients
Shrimp Ball Ingredients
Japanese Fried Shrimp Balls

Japanese Fried Shrimp Balls

Shrimp with horseradish and fish sauce, formed into balls with rice flour, quick fried and dipped in sake flavored soy sauce.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Seafood
Cuisine: Japanese Fusion
Keyword: Japanese Fried Shrimp Balls
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 2 servings


  • Saute pan
  • Food processor or blender


  • 25 Shrimp shelled and deveined
  • 1 Garlic clove
  • 1/2 tsp Fish sauce
  • 1/2 tsp Toasted sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp Prepared Horseradish
  • 1 Egg white
  • 1 tbsp Rice flour
  • 1 tsp Tapioca flour
  • pinch Salt
  • pinch White pepper
  • 1/3 cup Cooking Oil canola or sunflower
  • Dipping Sauce
  • 2 tbsp Soy sauce
  • 2 tsp Sake
  • 1 tbsp Chives or green onion finely chopped


  • Thaw the shrimp (if frozen), shells and tails removed and deveined.
    Rough chop into small pieces.
    Place the shrimp, garlic, fish sauce, sesame oil, horseradish, egg white, rice flour and tapioca flour into a food processor or blender. Puree.
  • Shape the shrimp mixture into about 8 small or 4 large balls.
    Place in the fridge until ready to cook.
  • In a frying pan, heat the oil on medium-high heat.
    Layer the shrimp balls in a single layer in the hot oil and fry the shrimp balls until golden brown on all sides, 3-5 minutes.
    Remove with a slotted spoon or slotted spatula and set on paper towels to drain off excess oil.
  • Whisk the soy sauce and sake together.
    Place in a small dipping bowls with finely chopped chives on top.
  • Place the shrimp balls and dipping sauce onto a plate and serve.


Japanese Fried Shrimp Balls
Japanese Fried Shrimp Balls
5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)
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