If you asked me what my favorite foods were, one of them would most definitely be sushi. One item on my bucket list is to one day travel to Japan, admiring the coast and eating copious amounts of delicious fresh fish. What a dream. These shrimp bowls may not exactly be fresh sushi in Japan, but they're a great way to enjoy some of the flavors at home right in your own kitchen. This is also a great way to introduce the flavors of sushi to your kids if you're feeling hesitant about serving them raw fish. My twelve-year-old son loves sushi, and he loves when I make these bowls.
Gluten-free sushi can be a tough dish to find. Most soy sauces contain wheat, making them off-limits for anyone with celiac disease or someone avoiding gluten. I use tamari in this recipe to keep it gluten-free, and it's a simple swap with minimal difference in flavor. If you aren't familiar with tamari, this is a wheat-free fermented soybean sauce from Japan, typically a byproduct of miso paste. Soy sauce is traditionally of Chinese origin, and it's usually fermented with grains like wheat. The flavors are very similar, and you can usually use tamari and soy sauce interchangeably.
Fresh Ingredients For Sushi Bowls
You'll want to use nice fresh ingredients to make these sushi bowls. The shrimp should be cooked, not raw. You can buy it precooked if you like, and cocktail shrimp works great here. Just be sure that if you buy shrimp that's already cooked it doesn't have any flavor on it. This isn't the place to use grilled shrimp, the flavors just won't work well together. Look for plain cooked cocktail shrimp, or boil your own. Pick through your shrimp to ensure that they're free from shells, and be sure the shrimp is chilled. No need to heat it up.
I find that the spicy mayo in this recipe really adds a nice pop. I like a lot of heat, so the more mayo the better for me. If you're serving this to kids or someone with a sensitive palate, feel free to serve the mayo on the side for dipping. And if you're nervous about it being too spicy you can try just adding a little sriracha add a time, tasting it as you go along to find your personal sweet spot.
Make Ahead Ideas & Leftovers
These sushi bowls are best enjoyed immediately after they're freshly made. However, I have a few tricks if you'd like to make these ahead of time or have leftovers. You can prepare your rice according to the instructions, and store the leftovers covered in the refrigerator. I mix my spicy mayo and the tamari sauce and store them in separate airtight containers in the refrigerator as well. You can prepare the shrimp salad ahead of time, but I suggest waiting to add the avocado until right before you plan on eating it. If you cut the avocado ahead of time, it will be brown and unappealing by the time you get to eat it. Store your shrimp salad separate from the spicy mayo, sauce, and rice in an airtight container in the refrigerator. When you're ready to eat, just heat the rice in the microwave, add your avocado to the shrimp salad, and assemble your bowls.
A Soy-Free Option
If you're avoiding soy or on Whole30, you can substitute the tamari with coconut aminos.
A Note About Presentation
I like to play with my food, and to be totally transparent here I spent a fair amount of time styling these bowls to try to make them look pretty for you. So if you're wondering what they might look like in real life. here's a pic I snapped after one of my tests and very sloppy plating.
Not as pretty, but so, so delicious.
Shrimp Sushi Bowls
For the Rice
- 2 cups sushi rice cooked according to packaging directions
- 4 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 2 tbsp sugar
- ½ tsp salt
For The Spicy Mayo
- ¼ cup mayonaise
- 1 ½ tablespoon sriracha
For The Shrimp Salad
- 10 oz shrimp cooked, peeled, and chopped
- 1 ½ cup diced cucumber
- ¾ cup matchstick carrots
- 1 nori sheet
- 1 ½ tbsp pickled ginger sushi style, chopped
- 1 avocado peeled, pitted, diced
- black sesame seeds for garnish
For the Gluten-Free Soy Sauce
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- ¼ cup reduced sodium tamari can sub coconut aminos if avoiding soy
- Cook your sushi rice according to the packaging instructions and set it aside from the heat to let it cool. Keep it covered and let it rest while you work on the rest of the recipe.
- In a small saucepan combine 4 tablespoon of rice vinegar with the sugar and salt. Cook it over medium-low heat for about 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the sugar is dissolved. Remove the pan from the heat and set it aside to cool.
- Whisk together your tamari and 1 tablespoon rice vinegar in a small bowl until combined, then set the bowl aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, gently fold together the ingredients for your shrimp salad.
- Gently pour your mixture of vinegar, sugar, and salt over the rice. Give it a gentle toss, but don't over mix it.
- Distribute your rice evenly among four large bowls.
- Spoon your shrimp salad over the rice, dividing it into even portions.
- Drizzle the tamari mixture over the rice and shrimp, then drizzle the spicy mayo.
- Garnish the bowls with some sesame seeds and enjoy!
Did you make these shrimp sushi bowls?
Please let me know how they turned out for you! Leave a comment below and rate the recipe.