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Friday, September 15, 2017

Shrimp Stacks

When we sat down to begin planning our honeymoon, we had a million ideas of where to go. If you've read my previous posts, you know I have been dying to go to Italy for years now! I'm a bit of a travel nerd, so I am constantly watching travel documentaries on Netflix. One of my favorite people to watch is Anthony Bourdain. He has an amazing series called Parts Unknown, where he travels to countries all over the world and dines out. 

One particular destination he travelled to that caught my eye was Japan. I've heard wonderful things about Japan from friends of mine that have been. I started researching places to go and things to do and fell in love. It is so unique and simply beautiful! The Japanese culture was particularly attractive in the food department to me. Most of their meals are very simple. Pickled vegetables, a bowl of rice and a fish or meat. As I was thinking about their culture and food, I felt my stomach grumble. I was all of the sudden starving and craving something simple like I had just watched.

This simple and delicious meal was born that night. The ingredients you find here are similar to what you'd find in a sushi roll. I've made homemade sushi before, and I can tell you, it's better to go out for sushi than to make it yourself. Trust me... I make my own breads and pastas from scratch! Sushi is very time consuming and doesn't keep for long in the fridge. 

Think of these shrimp stacks as an inside-out sushi roll without the seaweed. 

I decided to use brown rice for this meal, but I think white rice would work better. If you rinse your rice in a colander before you boil it, it will become sticky. I did this and then packed some rice into a ramekin, about halfway full. Turning it over onto the plate, I tapped the bottom of the ramekin until the rice loosened from the sides and stuck to my plate. If you don't have a ramekin, simply shape the rice with a round cookie cutter or your hands. 

Here's how to make this delicious meal:

Shrimp Stacks

Preparation:  10 min
                  Cook Time: 25 min  Total Time: 35 min                       

          1/2 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
          1-2 avocados, mashed
          1 tsp lemon juice
          1/2-1 cup rice (depending on portion - we used 1/2 cup for 2 people and 3 stacks each)
           Eel sauce (purchase from the grocery store)
           Salt & pepper
           Japanese cucumber salad*
           Chopped cilantro for garnish (about 2 tbsp)
           1 tsp sesame seeds
           (optional: top with Sriracha for a kick!)



         *make ahead - Japanese Cucumber Salad

         1. Cook rice according to manufacturer's instructions. Rinse rice before use.

         2. Marinate shrimp in a bowl with 1 tsp lemon juice, salt and pepper for 5 min.

         3. While rice is cooking and shrimp is marinating, cut your avocados and mash them in a bowl.

          4. Sautee shrimp over medium heat in a skillet with 1 tbsp olive oil or butter until pink
          (less than 5 minutes).

          5. Take cooked rice and form into discs on a plate. Top with mashed avocado, shrimp, cucumber salad,
           and lemon slice. Garnish with eel sauce, cilantro, and sesame seeds.

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