A couple of weekends ago, I made Eric and I something I saw off Pinterest (as per usual) and it was amazing! Although they took a lot of time and some serious craftsmanship, I am pretty proud of my little creations. They are the perfect amuse-bouche to welcome spring- or at least try to pretend Canada will have spring at some point. And, now that I know what can be done ahead of time and how to work with the rice/toppings, I think I can whip them up as a quick appetizer for the next family visit!
*Adapted from Closet Cooking*
Makes 12 stacks
- 2 cups sushi rice (this will make more than you need, but I didn’t want to be short)
- 2 bags (340g x2) pacific white shrimp (I bought the pre-cooked Irresistibles brand from Food Basics)
- 3 avocados (chopped into cubes)
- 1/3 cup matchstick carrots (chopped into finer pieces)
- 1/3 cup matchstick cucumbers (I hand cut mine)
- 2 tbsp black sesame seeds
- 2 tbsp white sesame seeds
- 1/3 cup soy sauce per person
- Cook the sushi rice in a rice cooker or according to directions on package/bag (make sure the rice is very soft and sticky) (you can make ahead of time and place in the fridge to make it easier for fabricating the stacks)
- Place the pre-cooked shrimp into a colander and run cold water over them until they are thawed out
- Chop the matchstick carrots and cucumbers to fit on top of the stacks
- Once rice is cooked and if you didn’t cook it ahead of time and place it in the fridge, place the rice in a colander and run cold water over it until all the rice is completely cool
- Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, scoop some rice and level it. Place a scoop on a board, plate or tray (whatever you have) by turning the measuring cup upside down (you may have to shake the cup a little for the stack to fall out)
- Cut avocados into small chunks
- Top the rice stacks with the carrots, cucumbers, avocados and shrimp
- Top the final stacks with white and black sesame seeds
- Serve with soy sauce for dipping
- You can use whatever ingredients to top the stacks (ex: crab, lobster, unagi, different vegetables, etc).
- You can add a sauce overtop (some places top their sushi with spicy mayo sauce).
- You can most likely use a different kind of rice, although the sushi rice is naturally sticky and holds together well.
Tips & Tricks:
- Make sure to cut the avocado right before you top your stacks (also right before serving them) because they go brown pretty quickly.
- Use a stainless steel measuring cup (I used the 1/4 cup size) to form the stacks in a perfect round shape.
- Have bowls ready to serve the stacks in (they are very messy and the toppings aren’t stable on the top). They are easiest to eat by tossing a few stacks into a bowl and topping them with soy sauce.
- I ran warm water over the shrimp (in a colander) to thaw them (they were straight from the freezer), then cold water to refresh them
- I ran cold water over the rice in a separate colander to cool it down after the rice cooker. Otherwise, you can make the rice ahead of time and place it in the fridge so it’s chilled when you go to make the stacks.
- I had trouble finding black sesame seeds and sushi rice at several grocery stores, so I went to the T&T Asian supermarket in Ottawa. If you have an Asian market of any sort, there are a few specialty items that you will only find there.
- I made way too much sushi rice, but if you make or cut any extra ingredients, you can take this for lunch the next day and it’s delicious!