RECIPES:
Oct 5, 2022

Crispy Rice with Spicy Shrimp Salad

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Fans of crispy rice, try this version using a spicy cooked shrimp salad!
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I’m currently 20 weeks pregnant and have been craving my beloved spicy tuna crispy rice! Unfortunately since raw fish during pregnancy is not advised, I haven’t been able to indulge. Instead I’ve come up with this pregnancy (or raw fish aversion friendly) version of the fan favorite using cooked shrimp salad. 

The shrimp is finely chopped into small pieces and combined with kewpie mayonnaise, sriracha, a touch of soy sauce, green onion, diced jalapeño and panko breadcrumbs for some added crunch. 

Crispy Rice with Spicy Shrimp Salad 

served Spicy Shrimp Salad

Key Ingredients in This Recipe 

  • Shrimp – I don’t season the shrimp before cooking it since the added sauces in the salad provide a fair amount of salt. I recommend cutting the shrimp into small pieces for the salad so it can easily be piled on top of the crispy rice. 
  • Panko – Panko, or Japanese breadcrumbs, are light and airy. Because the shrimp are much more firm than raw fish, I add panko for extra crunch and to help bind the salad. 
  • Mayonnaise – Kewpie is a type of Japanese mayonnaise that has added seasoning. If you cannot find Kewpie then substitute regular mayonnaise with a ½ teaspoon of mirin. 
  • Sriracha – Sriracha is great because it is so easy to find and adds a spicy, garlic flavor to the shrimp salad. 
  • Rice – Short-grain Japanese sushi rice is used to make this recipe. The plump grains stick together well, making it perfect for crispy rice. Long-grain rice won’t stick together enough to fry the pieces as the base. 
  • Green onion – In this recipe I use both the white, more pungent bottom parts of the stalk as well as the more mild green tops.
  • Jalapeño – I add chopped jalapeño to the salad as well as a small slice on top to garnish the crispy rice. Removing the seeds and membrane from the jalapeño before chopping it cuts down on the spice level. As a result the jalapeño flavor remains.
  • Mirin – I season the rice with mirin for extra flavor though this step can be skipped.

How to Make Crispy Rice with Spicy Shrimp Salad

raw rice for Spicy Shrimp Salad
Step 1: Rinse the rice. 

Place the rice in a fine mesh strainer and rinse until the water that runs out of the bottom is clear. This gets some of the starch out of the rice. In a medium saucepan, combine the rice and 2 cups (400g) of water.

Step 2: Cook the rice. 

Bring to a boil then cover and reduce heat to low. Cook until rice is tender and the water has been absorbed, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat, sprinkle with mirin and fluff the rice with a fork and let cool.

cooked rice for Spicy Shrimp Salad
shaped cooked rice for Spicy Shrimp Salad
Step 3: Shape the cooked rice.

Line a loaf pan with plastic wrap, then spread the sushi rice evenly, pressing it down so that it is tightly packed. Transfer to the refrigerator for at least an hour.

Step 4: Cut into squares.

Lift the plastic wrap from the pan, then use a knife to cut it into 8 even squares.

cut rice
fried rice Spicy Shrimp Salad
Step 5: Fry the rice 

Heat the vegetable oil in a skillet to 375°F (190ºC). Fry only a few squares of rice at a time in the pan. Cook, rotating so that the rice is golden brown on all sides, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the pan to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.

Step 6: Cut each in half. 

Cut each square of crispy rice in half.

fried rice
cooked shrimp for Spicy Shrimp Salad
Step 7: Cook the shrimp.

Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat, add the oil and heat through. Add the shrimp to the pan, cooking until pink and no longer translucent, about 1 minute. Flip and continue to cook until just cooked through. Remove to a cutting board and allow to cool completely.

Step 8: Make the shrimp salad.

Finely chop the shrimp then add to a bowl with the green onions, breadcrumbs, mayonnaise, sriracha, jalapeño and soy sauce. Stir to combine and set aside.

shrimp salad ingredients
Step 9: Assemble and serve. 

Top each piece of crispy rice with a slice of avocado and a scoop of the shrimp salad. Drizzle with the eel sauce and top with a slice of jalapeño. Serve immediately with soy sauce for dipping.

Tips and Tricks for This Recipe 

Tips for shaping the rice
  • Make sure the rice is packed tightly into patties so it does not fall apart when it is fried. It helps to use a piece of cling wrap to mold it into a ball.
  • Once the rice is cooked you can shape it by hand or use the pan method below. 
How to Make This Recipe Gluten Free

This dish can easily be made gluten free! Rice is naturally gluten free so just make sure there is no cross-contamination in the oil when frying. Check the label of the mirin if using because some can be made with wheat. Substitute the eel sauce and soy sauce with a gluten free Tamari or liquid aminos. I like to add the butter lettuce as a cup filled with the rice like it’s served at Nobu.

Other Recipes to Try 

If you enjoy this crispy rice with spicy shrimp salad recipe, give these a try and follow me on Instagram for more updates: 

Crispy Rice with Spicy Shrimp Salad

Crispy Rice with Spicy Shrimp Salad on platter dipping piece in soy sauce
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Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Serves 4

Ingredients:

For the crispy rice:

  • cups short grain sushi rice
  • 2 teaspoons mirin
  • 1 cup Vegetable oil

For the spicy shrimp salad:

  • ¾ pound large (21-30 count) shrimp, peeled, deveined and tails removed
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup diced green onions
  • ¼ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 3 tablespoons kewpie mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons sriracha
  • 1 tablespoon diced jalapeño
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce

For serving:

  • 1 medium Hass avocado, pitted, peeled and sliced
  • 1 small jalapeño, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons eel sauce, optional
  • Soy sauce, as needed

Instructions:

For the crispy rice:

  • Place the rice in a fine mesh strainer and rinse until the water that runs out of the bottom is clear. This gets some of the starch out of the rice. In a medium saucepan, combine the rice and 2 cups (400g) of water.
  • Bring to a boil then cover and reduce heat to low. Cook until rice is tender and the water has been absorbed, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat, sprinkle with mirin and fluff the rice with a fork and let cool.
  • Line a loaf pan with plastic wrap, then spread the sushi rice evenly, pressing it down so that it is tightly packed. Transfer to the refrigerator for at least an hour.
  • Lift the plastic wrap from the pan, then use a knife to cut it into 8 even squares.
  • Heat the vegetable oil in a skillet to 375°F (190ºC). Fry only a few squares of rice at a time in the pan. Cook, rotating so that the rice is golden brown on all sides, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the pan to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
  • Cut each square of crispy rice in half.

For the spicy shrimp salad:

  • Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat, add the oil and heat through. Add the shrimp to the pan, cooking until pink and no longer translucent, about 1 minute. Flip and continue to cook until just cooked through. Remove to a cutting board and allow to cool.
  • Finely chop the shrimp then add to a bowl with the green onions, breadcrumbs, mayonnaise, sriracha, jalapeño and soy sauce. Stir to combine and set aside.

For serving:

  • Top each piece of crispy rice with a slice of avocado and a scoop of the shrimp salad. Drizzle with the eel sauce and top with a slice of jalapeño. Serve immediately with soy sauce for dipping.

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Recipe Rating




  1. I saw in another comment you recommended frying the rice just before serving so how do you recommend preparing the rice to serve for a few nights? Also, how many pieces (topped with the avocado & shrimp salad) is enough for each serving?

  2. 5 stars
    Just made this exactly as the recipe and it is delicious and easy! My boyfriend and I loved it! I was worried it would be too spicy with the jalapeños, but it was not, it was perfect. Something like this would easily cost ~$40 in a restaurant. Can’t wait to make it again! 5 stars and highly recommended. You won’t regret it making this!

  3. This was amazing! I tried it twice (the first time was with a tuna recipe) both times the rice burned, I had the oil pretty hot but I can’t figure out how to get it that golden color! Also…I have leftover shrimp salad (but no rice), what else can I do with it?

    • I’m so sorry to hear your rice burned! I recommend the oil is very hot and tightly packed so it cooks quickly and more evenly. For leftover shrimp mixture I like eating it over some butter lettuce leaves with a little eel sauce and avocado. You can also add it to some toasted milk bread for a little spicy shrimp salad sandwich.

  4. Can the crispy rice with spicy shrimp salad be served cold? Meaning can I make ahead of time and refrigerate? Or does that change the texture of the crispy rice? Thnx, Denise

    • Hi Denise! Unfortunately if the crispy rice is fried ahead of time and served cold it won’t be as crispy! I recommend frying the rice just before serving!

  5. 5 stars
    Holy cow! This was SO good. I did my rice in the air fryer which made clean up easier (came out perfectly crispy outside and tender inside…16 minutes at 380, flipped halfway through), but otherwise followed the recipe exactly. I couldn’t find eel sauce at the store so I made my own. Seriously as good as restaurant sushi. And all three of my kids loved it. Even the one that doesn’t like shrimp! They asked for Sushi Sundays so we can have it each week. 😁 Thanks so much for sharing!

    • That makes me SO happy Dawn! Thank you so much for sharing! And great note on the air fryer instructions!

  6. Do you want the sushi rice warm
    or room temperature for serving? Thinking about preparation and timing for guest arriving at a dinner party; shrimp salad can be made ahead?

    • warm but room temperature works fine and will definitely be enjoyable! The shrimp salad can be made ahead of time! I recommend stirring the panko breadcrumbs in just before serving if making it in advance! That way they will still be crunchy.

  7. 5 stars
    Added scallops to the shrimp salad, it works out well. Used sushi rice instead of the crispy-fried rice and layer it in a small container. Love this recipe.

  8. 5 stars
    Just made this. Absolutely delicious and much easier than I anticipated. I subbed premade Sriracha mayo and added chopped mango. Thank you for this winning dish!

  9. I am making this now as an appetizer for a friends birthday! Looking at the rice instructions and I wonder if you left off “bring to a boil and reduce heat” before you cover and cook for 20 minutes? This might be why some have gotten rock-hard rice.

    • Yes, bring to a boil then reduce heat to low! I think the issue people have had with the rice is actually because they have been trying to fry it at too low of a heat! That dries it out throughly making it pretty hard! I hope you enjoy the recipe and thank you for the note!

  10. Amazing!! My husband and I both are obsessed. New staple dinner for us. We had left over salmon and tried it in replace of the shrimp one night and it was great as well!

  11. How would you store leftovers for work lunch the next day? Would you just reheat everything in a microwave?

    • I recommend storing the rice separately from the shrimp salad. Store the shrimp salad refrigerated in an airtight container and rice in a plastic bag at room temperature. To reheat the rice I’d pan fry it in a little oil to get more of a crunch (I realize this is probably not possible for work) or microwave it quickly and assemble the salad on top!

  12. You can also put the salad inside (with extra on the side). Reminds me of yaki (grilled) onigiri, where they use filling instead too. May be easier to manage in terms of keeping the shrimp and rice together! Thanks for the recipe!

  13. I loved it! I’ve made this a few times and it’s delicious. I’m wondering if I’m out of prawns what would you substitute with?

  14. 5 stars
    I was expecting it to be good, just not THIS good. Seriously, this was great and easy on top of it all! Well done.

  15. 5 stars
    This recipe was absolutely delicious! From
    the crispiness of the rice to the flavours in the shrimp. Such an easy quick recipe. I actually mixed the shrimp concoction up before work and let it sit all day. So good 10/10 recommend!

  16. I haven’t made the shrimp salad yet, but the crisp rice is fantastic! I’m still perfecting my technique and mine don’t look as delightful as the crispy rice here but it sure did taste good. Elevated the teriyaki shrimp I made!

  17. I’ve tried this twice and although it’s tricky to make, it’s definitely worth it. I find that the rice falls apart so easily while and before frying. I was wondering, would placing the divided squares of rice in the freezer for 10 minutes help make the process easier?

  18. 5 stars
    Absolutely loved this!! I swapped the shrimps for sushi grade salmon and it came out great. Served this as an appetizer and everyone wanted more. Will make again for sure!

  19. 5 stars
    I can’t stop saying wow. This is so good…like I was in a sushi restaurant. I’ll be making this OFTEN!

  20. 5 stars
    OBSESSED! I think I have made this about 5 times now. I live in a remote coastal area and we rarely have sushi rice in the store but I have done it with aborio – works okay. My favourite was with glutinous rice – amazing little cakes of deliciousness that I took to work the next day and popped tuna on.
    I have also made it with different fresh fish and crustaceans. Can’t go wrong!
    Adore your recipes, big love from Australia ❤️

  21. 2 stars
    I used sushi rice, waited an hour in the refrigerator like recipe calls for and fried in cast iron pan and the rice was hard as a rock where it was golden brown. I’d like to not break a tooth so I had to throw all of the rice away. Any suggestions?

    • Unfortunately, it seems like you may have fried the rice for too long at a low heat. I recommend making sure the oil is very hot (375ºF/ 190ºC) before you add the rice so it can fry quickly at a higher temperature to achieve the golden brown color. I also recommend packing the rice more tightly before frying it so the oil can’t get in between the individual grains of rice, making it hard.

  22. 5 stars
    Love this in restaurants BUT I’ll think twice about buying it again! This was easy and the MOST DELICIOUS ever! Wow sushi when the mood strikes! Bravo on such an incredibly wonderful recipe

  23. 5 stars
    I dare to say that it’s one of the best sushi type dishes I’ve ever eaten.
    So much better than any restaurant.Really delicious.
    And I did it myself just following this recipe!
    Thank you.
    Much love from Greece!!!

  24. 5 stars
    This was my first attempt at a recipe and it was amazing and tasty! Can’t wait to try the other recipes in this site!! ❤️❤️❤️

  25. Would I be able to make the rice the day before and keep in the fridge to fry the next day? Or would that mess with it

  26. 5 stars
    Made this tonight and thought it was delicious. Though I couldn’t keep the shrimp salad on top of the crispy rice. I like your idea of using butter lettuce to hold the rice. This would make it way less messy to eat. Thank you!

    • So happy to hear you enjoyed! Yes it can definitely be a bit messy! Finely chopping the shrimp it helps to stay on the rice a bit but I also love the crunch butter lettuce adds!

  27. 5 stars
    I love that recipe! It’s super easy to make and not obvious in the same time. Panko adds some extra crispyness 🍤🤤

    • I hope you enjoy! I recommend storing the crispy rice and spicy shrimp salad separately for leftovers. The rice can be left at room temperature in a resealable plastic bag. To reheat it either fry again so it crisps back up or air fry the rice!

  28. 5 stars
    So delicious and easy to make! The panko also gives it such a nice crunch. Will be making this often <3

  29. I’m making this recipe for a dinner party. Can I fry the rice a few hours before serving? If so, do I refrigerate the fried rice or leave at room temp?

    • For the best outcome I’d recommend frying the rice just before serving it. For best serving you want the shrimp salad to be chilled/ at room temp and the rice to be warm. To help cut down on prep you can partly fry the rice ahead of time (so it would just be pale golden/ not fully crispy) the leave it at room temp so it can be quickly fried to finish it and just heat it through before serving. Hope this helps!

  30. 5 stars
    My entire family LOVES sushi. I am not a fan of fish but I love shellfish, especially shrimp. This was a wonderful compromise. Such a delicious recipe. I modified it a bit. I fried the shrimp with my seasoned breadcrumbs! I think that helped add a little extra flavor. I also sauteed some red onions and added them into the shrimp salad.

    There is a lot more rice prep in this recipe and I recommend that you refrigerate the rice for a little longer in order to get the rice to stay in it’s squares. Mine did not and ended up falling apart. So it turned into a crispy rice bowl with spicy shrimp salad. Nonetheless … it is definitely kid and husband approved! I will make this over and over again.

  31. 5 stars
    So delicious! Will definitely be making again, thank you for this recipe! Now I can make this to fulfill some of my many sushi cravings!

  32. 5 stars
    Saw the recipe on IG and I had to know more, it looked so good. I loved this recipe. Super easy to follow and very delicious. All of the flavors work really well together. If you like spicy I would suggest to add more Sriracha. I was feeling sushi and this hit the spot.

  33. 5 stars
    My wife sent me the IG post and it looked delicious. I made it tonight and the entire family loved it. Really tasty and easy to make! It’s going on our regular meal rotation. Thank you!

  34. 5 stars
    These are SO good! I added a layer of seaweed and sprinkled some furikake to the shrimp salad mix. The crispy rice adds a great crunchy texture that takes it to another level of yum. I will be making these regularly. I may never need to buy sushi again. Thanks for sharing and congrats on your pregnancy!

  35. 1 star
    Was not loving this recipe. It looked so good in the photo, but I found it to have little flavor.

    • I’m sorry you found the recipe to have little flavor, did you try increasing the sriracha based on preference or using more eel sauce? It should be a fairly flavorful recipe with the jalapeños and sauces!

  36. I just made these for lunch today and the toast is fantastic ! I must have done something wrong because the rice fell apart while frying. I did make the rice the day before and pressed into a loaf pan. I fried them right out of the refrigerator today. Any ideas what I might have done differently? It was delicious though !!

    • Are you using sushi/ short grain rice? I recommend rinsing the rise before cooking it and making sure there aren’t any gaps between the grains of rice to make sure it’s tightly packed in the loaf pan. I also recommend making sure the oil is hot enough so it fries quickly! Hope this helps!!

  37. You wrote: “ Panko – Panko, or Japanese breadcrumbs, are light and airy. Because the shrimp are much **more firm**than raw fish, I add panko for extra crunch and to help bind the salad.”

    Want to do a website? Please use English.
    It’s “FIRMER”, not “more firm”.😖

  38. 5 stars
    I’m very much a cooking novice but this recipe is so easy to follow and turned out amazing. I’m celiac so I substituted a few items for gluten free options and it still turned out amazing. Highly recommend.

  39. Very delicious recipe. My husband said it was spectacular. Very easy to make. I bought already cooked rice. But next time will make it my own.

  40. Made this tonight for my birthday dinner! Didn’t quite get the crispy rice right but it was still so delicious looking forward to trying this again!

  41. Made this today. Omg, this was so easy to make and very delicious. I had to substitute a couple of item because of some food shortages but it still turned out really delicious. Thanks for sharing!!!

  42. 5 stars
    This recipe was a hit for my family and I. I always look for simple recipes with not a long list of ingredients and this was it. Skip the sushi restaurant and give this a try 1000/10 recommend. *Chef’s kiss. Best part is you can adjust the spicyness to your liking.

  43. 5 stars
    This is delicious!!! It reminds me of a crispy spicy tuna “roll” I tried while vacationing in Miami that I loved! It’s nice to be able to make something so delicious from the comfort of my own home. My girls (ages 13 and 14) loved it too. I didn’t have eel sauce but it had so much flavor anyway! Will definitely make again.

  44. 5 stars
    I have spent 6 years missing sushi due to food allergies and hyperthyroidism.
    Too many unsafe ingredients and far too high sodium levels.
    However- I came across a crispy rice w spicy shrimp salad recipe/reel on IG a few days ago and knew this was possible!
    She already included Gf options, there was no lactose to be found, and careful label reading insured it was black pepper free. Seaweed is the biggest sodium culprit and this was sans that!
    Omg. DELICIOUS.
    I was on crispy rice duty while my kitchen witch husband handled the shrimp salad which simplified things but you could easily make the salad ahead if you’re prepping solo.
    And although this presentation is LOVELY, it tastes the same layered in a bowl- easy peasy!
    Even the tweens in the house couldn’t get enough.
    Although easily adaptable for spice preference or allergies, there really is nothing that needs tweaked for taste anywhere! A+++++

    • I’m so glad you were able to enjoy sushi again!! I hope this helps others with allergies too!!

  45. 5 stars
    Made these for a sushi loving friend and they were a hit!! Couldn’t find sushi grade tuna so we were happy to have an alternative. Will definitely make this again!

    • I don’t recommend frying them in the air fryer, it doesn’t give them the same crispy exterior as frying them in the pan. The air fryer does work great for reheating and re-crisping up any leftovers though!! Hope you enjoy.