This Spicy Salmon Crispy Sushi Rice is the ultimate summer appetizer made with the freshest sushi-grade salmon and tossed in a delicious Asian sauce. It is served chilled and pairs well with wonton crackers or tortilla chips.
The first time I tried crispy sushi rice was at Pubbelly in Miami and I was absolutely obsessed. I have seen it all around Instagram and Tiktok so I had to make it. You need to use day old rice and push it into a baking dish and freeze it. This will make it easier to cut into cubes and fry. Everything else is so easy and it sounds more intimidating than it is. I tried Crispy Rice Sushi and I was so in love with the combination of the soy sauce, sesame oil, and rice vinegar. What a treat!
What is Spicy Salmon Crispy Sushi Rice?
Spicy Salmon Crispy Sushi Rice is a popular Japanese-inspired dish that typically consists of a layer of crispy fried sushi rice topped with spicy salmon and other ingredients such as avocado, cucumber, or sesame seeds. The sushi rice is usually seasoned with vinegar, sugar, and salt, which gives it a tangy and slightly sweet taste. The spicy salmon is typically made by mixing diced raw salmon with mayonnaise, sriracha or other hot sauce, and sometimes other seasonings such as soy sauce or sesame oil. The dish is often served as an appetizer or as a small dish in a sushi restaurant, but it can also be made at home.
Salmon Crispy Sushi Rice Ingredients
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make this. The exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
- Sushi Rice
- Rice vinegar
- Sushi grade salmon
- Soy Sauce
- Sesame oil
- Sesame seeds
See recipe card for Spicy Salmon Crispy Sushi Rice quantities.
How to make Spicy Salmon Crispy Sushi Rice
For the crispy rice, make the sushi rice the night before which helps keep the rice stay intact when frying. Cook according to package instructions (usually it is 1 ½ cup water for 1 cup of rice but every package is different!) When you cook the rice, stir in the sugar, rice vinegar and salt. I added the rice to an 8 x 8 pyrex with parchment paper and pressed the rice down. Stick it in the freezer for an hour when you’re ready to use it. This will help cutting it easier. Cut the rice into 1 x 2 inch rectangles.
In a fry pan with avocado oil, fry for about 2 minutes per side or until golden brown and add to a drying rack over a baking sheet to cool while you make the salmon.
For the salmon, dice into small pieces and add to a bowl with the soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, and sesame seeds.
Top the crispy rice with avocado, salmon, mango, jalapeño and sesame seeds.
Salmon: This salmon must be sushi grade. I would go to your local fish market to get the freshest quality salmon.
Sesame seeds: I used everything but the bagel seasoning since I didn’t have sesame seeds, which works wonders.
Avocado: You will need one ripe avocado. Pick a dark green to nearly black avocado with a bumpy texture and firm but not mushy.
Soy Sauce: I used light soy sauce instead of dark soy sauce.
Sesame oil: You can buy sesame oil in the ethnic food section of your grocery store.
Crispy Sushi Rice Variations
- Tuna or Salmon Crispy Sushi Rice: Instead of using spicy salmon, you can top your crispy sushi rice with fresh tuna or salmon sashimi for a milder flavor.
- Vegetarian Crispy Sushi Rice: You can make a vegetarian version of crispy sushi rice by topping it with grilled or sautéed vegetables such as mushrooms, zucchini, or eggplant.
- Vegan Crispy Sushi Rice: For a vegan version, you can use a plant-based mayonnaise in the spicy salmon mixture, and top the crispy sushi rice with vegan-friendly toppings such as avocado, cucumber, or pickled vegetables.
- Spicy Tuna Crispy Sushi Rice: Instead of using salmon, you can mix diced raw tuna with mayonnaise and hot sauce for a spicy tuna topping.
- California Roll Crispy Sushi Rice: You can top your crispy sushi rice with the classic California roll ingredients such as imitation crab, avocado, and cucumber for a milder and more traditional flavor.
- Teriyaki Chicken Crispy Sushi Rice: For a non-seafood version, you can top your crispy sushi rice with teriyaki chicken or beef and other vegetables such as bell peppers and onions.
- Kimchi Crispy Sushi Rice: You can add some Korean-inspired flavor to your crispy sushi rice by topping it with spicy kimchi and sesame seeds.
These are just a few ideas for crispy sushi rice variations, but the possibilities are endless. Experiment with different ingredients and flavors to find your favorite combination.
Check out this Miso Tuna recipe.
Equipment can have a big impact on how a recipe turns out. Stone bakeware takes longer to heat up than metal pans, and also retain heat for longer, which could make the recipe more watery, or burnt on the outsides.
Here are the equipment you will need to make Spicy Salmon Crispy Sushi Rice:
- Rice cooker or pot: You can use this to cook the sushi rice before frying.
- Pan: You will need this to fry the rice. I love using my Caraway pots, pans and baking sheets for best quality. Get yourself a discount by clicking here.
- Measuring cups and spoons: This is helpful to measure what you need for the sauce for the salmon.
- Parchment paper: You will need this when freezing the rice.
- Knife: Knife is useful for cutting the ingredients like the jalapeño, salmon and mango.
- Cutting board
How to store Spicy Salmon Crispy Sushi Rice
To store leftover crispy sushi rice, let it cool completely and then transfer it to an airtight container. You can store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
If you want to reheat it, preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C). Place the rice on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 5-10 minutes, until heated through and crispy again. Avoid microwaving the rice as it will make it soggy.
The salmon will only last in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
Crispy Sushi Rice Top tips
- Use short-grain rice: Short-grain rice is ideal for sushi because it's sticky and holds its shape well. Look for sushi rice or Japanese rice at your local grocery store.
- Rinse the rice: Before cooking, rinse the rice several times until the water runs clear. This removes excess starch and helps prevent the rice from becoming mushy.
- Use the right amount of water: Follow the instructions on your rice cooker or package for the correct ratio of water to rice. As a general rule, you'll need about 1 ¼ cups of water for every cup of rice.
- Use a non-stick pan: A non-stick pan will help prevent the rice from sticking and burning. If you don't have a non-stick pan, you can also use a well-seasoned cast iron skillet.
- Press the rice firmly: After cooking the rice, transfer it to a shallow bowl or baking dish and press it down firmly with a spatula or rice paddle. This will help create a compact, even layer of rice.
- Chill the rice: Once the rice has been pressed, refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes (or up to overnight) before frying. This will help the rice hold its shape and develop a crispy crust.
- Cut with a sharp knife: Once the rice is crispy, use a sharp knife to cut it into squares or rectangles. Serve immediately as a base for sushi rolls or as a side dish.
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove