Sushi Stacks

By Ann Fulton

Layered with shrimp, cucumber, avocado, and rice, and then drizzled with spicy mayo, these easy sushi stacks are fun to make and will satisfy your sushi craving! 
Jump to Recipe

Layered with shrimp, cucumber, avocado, and rice, and then drizzled with spicy mayo, these easy sushi stacks are fun to make and will satisfy your sushi craving! 

 

To say I am excited about today’s recipe is an understatement. It’s a fun family favorite for sure, but it’s also the first in my new kids cooking video series starring a very special girl. I hope you will watch the video and then be inspired to try the recipe and share it with family and friends. And then let us know what you think! But without further ado, meet Stella!

The first time Stella and I cooked together, she was hoping to make sushi. Wanting to honor her wish in a way that was widely approachable (specifically, no special equipment needed, no raw fish, and easy to pull off), I suggested the idea of sushi “stacks.”

Stella was game!

The concept involves layering traditional ingredients—in addition to the rice, we chose cooked shrimp, cucumbers, and avocado—into a one cup measure or ramekin, pressing down to make everything stick together, and then turning the contents out onto a plate.

The colorful stacks are then drizzled with the two-ingredient spicy mayo and sprinkled with optional sesame seeds. We discovered Everything Bagel Seasoning works quite well too!

As Stella will tell you, they are really fun to make and taste “AMAZING!” The first time we prepared this streamlined version of the traditional sushi rolls, Stella proudly took a platter home to her family. They were equally enamored, and her six-year-old brother gave them a double thumbs up. 

With rice, vegetables, and shrimp, the sushi stacks stand as a complete meal. For a little something extra, we like to serve with Easiest Steamed Edamame. They take a few minutes to prepare and deliver added protein (and fun factor!) to the meal. 

 

 

Layered with shrimp, cucumber, avocado, and rice, and then drizzled with spicy mayo, these easy sushi stacks are fun to make and will satisfy your sushi craving! 

Do I have to use sushi rice?

Making the sushi rice recipe will add traditional seasoning to the rice, lending more flavor throughout. That said, I’ve skipped this step and the stacks are still delicious, just slightly less seasoned throughout. An extra drizzle of soy sauce and/or sriracha mayo may be used to compensate. 

If you can’t find rice labeled as sushi rice, any short-grained variety will do. (Note: Some grocery stores shelve it in the international aisle instead of the rice aisle.) And though rinsing long grained rice isn’t necessary, it’s important to do so here to reap the full benefit of the sticky quality, which will keep your stacks intact.

Looking for a shortcut? Some grocery stores like Wegmans (and many Japanese restaurants) sell prepared sushi rice.

A few more sushi making tips:

  • You may cook the rice an hour or two in advance and let it sit at room temperature with a damp tea towel or paper towel touching the surface. Or cover with the damp paper towel and plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
  • Wetting your fingers will make the rice less likely to stick to them when making the stacks.
  • Cutting the shrimp and veggies into small pieces 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 acts as glue!
  • The recipe may be scaled up or down as needed and you can vary some of the ingredients, like the shrimp and the veggies. Details are in the recipe notes.
Layered with shrimp, cucumber, avocado, and rice, and then drizzled with spicy mayo, these easy sushi stacks are fun to make and will satisfy your sushi craving! 

For an easy yet satisfying accompaniment to the sushi stacks, I purchase a bag of frozen edamame in the shell and steam it for about 3 minutes, stirring once or twice to encourage even cooking. (No need to thaw first.) After draining, I return the edamame to the pot, spritz ever so lightly with olive or avocado oil spray, and toss to evenly coat. Then sprinkle with kosher or sea salt and toss again. The oil spray works well because you want just enough oil to make the salt stick, and you want each pod to have some salt. Preparing this high-protein legume is so easy and it’s a wonderful complement to a meal and makes a great appetizer too. It always disappears fast!

Stella and I would love to know what you think! And if you make the sushi stacks, please come back to comment–and maybe even take a picture and share it! 

Sushi Stacks
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes (when using cooked rice and shrimp)
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)

Instructions:
  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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.)
  5. Repeat with the remaining ingredients to make 4 stacks.
  6. 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.

More On YouTube More on Instagram
Tried this recipe?Post a picture on instagram and we will repost it! Mention @fountainavenuekitchen or tag #fountainavenuekitchen!
The Fountain Avenue Kitchen https://fountainavenuekitchen.com/

A fun nutrition fact from our dietitian Emily:
As you may have suspected, avocado is not a traditional Japanese ingredient, and is not used in most sushi rolls in Japan. It was introduced in America, when sushi became popularized in California around the late 1960’s. The story is that the buttery, fatty portion of the tuna was not readily available in California, and so avocado was used instead! When adding to with these sushi stacks, especially with the cooked shrimp, the avocado provides a perfect complementary soft and luscious consistency.

For those who are curious…
The reason we don’t list nutritional breakdowns next to each recipe is because the numbers can change significantly depending on brands people buy and how exact the measuring is. In saying that, if you email me separately, I can provide you with my best estimations on the nutrients you would like to know more about in this recipe. I’m happy to help! 

 

Leave a Reply

Make it? Rate the recipe:

Your email address will not be published.