Sushi Stacks
Yield: 4 servings
The components may be prepped in advance for easy (and fun!) assembly when ready to eat. The sushi stacks may also be made and refrigerated for several hours before serving. In that case, wait to add the toppings and drape with a damp paper towel followed by loosely wrapped plastic wrap so the rice doesn’t dry out.

For the sushi stacks:

  • 2 cups cooked sushi rice* or cooked short-grain white or brown rice (I often make the whole recipe, which is double this amount, and use leftovers for sushi bowls another day.)
  • 8 ounces cooked shrimp (peeled and tails removed; about 1 cup chopped)
  • 1 cup diced cucumber (about ¼ -inch pieces; I don’t peel but you may if preferred)
  • 1 thinly sliced scallion (or 1 tablespoon minced red onion or 1 teaspoon fresh chives)
  • 1 large ripe avocado, mashed
  • 4 teaspoons reduced-sodium soy sauce (or gluten-free tamari if needed)
  • Optional for sprinkling: sesame seeds, Furikake (such as Eden Shake), or Everything Bagel Seasoning

For the spicy mayo:

  • ¼ cup (52g) mayonnaise
  • 1-2 teaspoons sriracha (or to taste)


  1. Cook the rice according to package directions or follow this recipe, making a half batch unless you’d like leftovers (which are great for these easy Sushi Bowls). Set aside to cool. Prep ahead option: You may cook the rice an hour or two in advance and let it sit at room temperature with a damp towel or paper towel touching the surface. Or cover with the damp paper towel and plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
  • Cut the shrimp into ½-inch cubes. In a small bowl, combine the cucumber and scallions. In another small bowl, combine the mayonnaise and sriracha sauce.
  • Using a 1 cup dry measuring cup or ramekin, layer a quarter of the shrimp, followed by ¼ cup cucumber and scallion mix, a quarter of the mashed avocado (about 2 generous tablespoons), and finally ½ cup of rice. Gently press on the rice to compact it and help it to stick together.
  • Place a plate over the open side of the measuring cup, and carefully flip over. Lightly tap the bottom of the cup and gently remove the cup to reveal the sushi stack. (If it sticks, gently loosen the edges with the tip of a knife.)
  • Repeat with the remaining ingredients to make 4 stacks.
  • Drizzle each stack with 1 teaspoon soy sauce and 2 teaspoons (or to taste) of sriracha mayonnaise. If using, sprinkle the stacks with the sesame seeds or spice blend of choice.

  • Notes:

    Tips: Keeping the chopped pieces small will help the sushi stacks stick together better. If the first one falls apart when turning out, press the next one more firmly. A few pieces often stick to the cup, and you can simply place them back on the stacks. The mashed avocado makes a good glue.

    Mix up the vegetables: Besides or in combination with the cucumber, you could use shredded carrots, diced mushroom, cooked sweet potato or asparagus, pickled vegetables of choice, etc. Just make sure to chop the pieces to about ¼-inch cubes and maintain the same ratio of veggies to rice and avocado.

    Scaling the recipe: You can make any number of sushi stacks. For each stack, simply plan on 3 jumbo or 4 large, cooked shrimp (frozen and thawed from a pre-cooked bag is fine), ¼ cup cucumber (or mix of veggies), 2 to 3 tablespoons mashed avocado, and ½ cup cooked rice. Then drizzle each stack with 1 teaspoon soy sauce, 2 teaspoons sriracha mayo (or to taste), and a sprinkle of sesame seeds or seasoning blend of choice.

    What is sushi rice? Sushi rice is simply short grained rice to which a rice vinegar mixture is added as the rice is finished cooking. Short of that, you can achieve more flavorful rice by adding 1½ teaspoons of kosher salt to the pot when cooking the rice. Though it would taste fine, a long grain rice won’t work in the stacks because the grains don’t stick together sufficiently.

    One more thing: I often end up with a small amount of leftover ingredients, which are perfect for a mini sushi bowl snack.

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