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I love sushi, but I’ve always been intimidated by the idea of making my own sushi rolls. Guess what? THERE IS A THING CALLED PAN SUSHI. It’s sushi in a pan, and it’s super easy to make. No scary sushi rolling involved. You just layer all of the ingredients that would be in a sushi roll into a pan, let it chill for an hour or two, then slice out spoonfuls and put them into a seaweed snack, like a taco. EASY! I first learned about this idea when I saw an article for Sushi Bake on Bon Appetit. I actually tried that first, but we really liked this non-baked version better. Hot sushi rice is messy!
One of my favorite sushi rolls is the dragon roll, which has tempura shrimp in it. That’s what inspired this Crispy Shrimp Pan Sushi. This recipe has a spicy shrimp layer and crispy panko on top to imitate that tempura vibe. It is sooooo good! I brought it up to a girls’ cabin weekend because my best friend is pregnant and loves sushi. Since there’s no raw fish in the recipe, she can eat it! Everyone devoured it and gushed over how good it was. Every time I’ve served this, people say “man, I’m full, but I can’t stop eating it!” so I promise you, it is good.
How to make Crispy Shrimp Pan Sushi
There are 3 components that need to be made before we can assemble the pan sushi. First is the sushi rice. Use short grain white rice, because that’s the stickiest and it’s what is traditionally used for sushi. We cook the rice, then add a mixture of rice vinegar, sugar, and salt. That’s what makes it taste like sushi rice! Transfer it into a 9×13 casserole dish and spread it out to let it cool. While the rice is cooking, we make the shrimp layer. We use cooked shrimp, peeled & tail off for this recipe. (If your shrimp is raw, I recommend boiling in very salty water for 3 minutes to cook it.) Chop up the shrimp, then transfer it to a bowl. Add mayo, sriracha, grated garlic, and salt, mix. Taste it and see what you think. Feel free to add more sriracha if you want more spice! Last, make the crispy panko. In a frying pan over medium heat, heat 2 tbsp sesame oil. Once hot, add panko and stir until coated. Continue stirring occasionally until crumbs are all looking toasty brown. Transfer to a bowl and add crispy fried onions, if using.
Now it’s assembly time! The sushi rice layer is on the bottom. Gently pack it in, but not too tight. We don’t want it to be like a smashed block of rice. Then, add sliced avocado from two avocados evenly over the rice. Next, add an even layer of chopped cucumber. Then, the shrimp layer, and finally, the crispy panko on top. Drizzle the top with unagi or hoisin sauce, cover with saran wrap, and let it chill in the fridge for an hour or two! (Or more if you’re making ahead.) Chilling it kind of “solidifies” the layers so that they don’t fall apart when you slice them.
Once the crispy shrimp pan sushi is ready, serve it with spoons for everyone to scoop up their own pieces. Wrap the pieces in a sheet of seaweed snack and enjoy! You can have soy sauce, ginger, and wasabi on the side if people wish to spoon that into their sushi slice as well, but it is very flavorful without so it wasn’t needed for us!
Q & A
Sure, but make sure it is sushi-grade and eat any leftovers within 24 hours.
Imitation crab (or real crab!) is a great substitute if you don’t like shrimp. Canned tuna could also work in a pinch. If you’re open to using raw fish, tuna or salmon are delicious choices.
These rices are long grain and they are dryer than short grain white rice. This means the rice won’t stick together and the pan sushi will be messier to eat. So I would not recommend it but if you don’t care about presentation I guess it would still taste fine?
Made as directed, you can make Crispy Shrimp Pan Sushi a day in advance. Leftovers should be eaten within 3 days of making.
Sushi… in a pan! No rolling required! This Crispy Shrimp Pan Sushi has layers of sushi rice, avocado, cucumber, spicy shrimp, and crispy panko. Use a spoon to scoop slices into seaweed snacks, then eat it like a taco! SO good.
- 9x13 pan
- 2 cups sushi rice
- 3 cups water
- 5 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 lb cooked shrimp, peeled & tail off
- 1 1/4 cup mayo
- 1/2 cup sriracha
- 2 cloves garlic, grated
- salt to taste
- 1 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 2 tbsp sesame oil
- 1/2 cup store-bought crispy fried onions (optional but v tasty)
- salt to taste
- prepared sushi rice, cooled
- 2 ripe avocados
- 1 cucumber, finely chopped
- spicy shrimp mixture
- crispy panko
- unagi sauce or hoisin sauce
- 6 (or more) packages seaweed snacks, at least 1 per person
- Make the sushi rice. Rinse rice well—cover rice with cold water in a pot and swish your fingers through it, drain. Do this at least 5 times until water runs clear. Combine 3 cups water and 2 cups rinsed rice in a pot with a tightly fitting lid. Bring to boil on high heat uncovered, then cover for 15 minutes on low heat. Turn off heat and let it sit for 10 more minutes, still covered. Meanwhile, combine 5 tbsp vinegar, 1 tbsp sugar, & 1 tsp salt in a small bowl. Microwave for 20 seconds and mix until all granules are fully dissolved. Mix gently with rice, being careful not to squish the grains. Loosely spread out into the 9×13 casserole dish to cool.
- Make the shrimp layer. Finely chop shrimp. In a large bowl, mix shrimp with 1 ¼ cups mayo, ½ cup sriracha, & 2 cloves grated garlic. Season with salt to taste.
- Make the crispy panko layer. Heat 2 tbsp sesame oil in a medium frying pan until hot. Add 1 ½ cups panko and toss until coated. Continue stirring occasionally, keeping an eye on the crumbs, until they’re all looking toasty brown. Transfer to a bowl to cool and add ½ cup crispy fried onions, if using. Season with salt to taste.
- Assemble the pan sushi in a 9×13 pan. Gently pack rice down until it’s an even layer in the pan. Next, add a layer of thinly sliced avocado, then the cucumber. Cover the cucumber layer with the shrimp mixture. Top with the crispy panko, then drizzle with unagi/hoisin.
- Chill for at least an hour or more.
- Serve! Serve the pan sushi family style in the middle of the table. Everyone should have a spoon so they can scoop their own pieces and wrap them in a seaweed snack like a taco. Enjoy!
- You can make the entire dish a day ahead, the panko won’t get soggy and the shrimp layer kind of seals the rest in so the avocado won’t get brown.
- If you’re cooking for 4 people, halve the recipe and use a 9×9 pan.
Keywords: sushi, japanese, chinese, hawaiian, shrimp, seafood