Spicy Shrimp Bowl with Crispy Rice and Kale
These bowls are similar to poké, and since they include cooked crispy shrimp, they are the perfect alternative if you don’t have access to high-quality sushi-grade fish. These bowls are served with a bed of both kale and crispy rice for a filling and healthy meal with varying textures.
The shrimp are pan-fried in cornstarch until they are crispy. Then they are topped with a drizzle of spicy mayonnaise for a creamy kick. Kale can be tough if served immediately so I toss the kale in a sesame dressing that is then “massaged in” so that as the kale sits it becomes tender.
Crispy rice is my new obsession, as it’s so easy to make and the texture adds so much to dishes. I advise making the rice a day ahead of time, because if it is still hot when you add it to the hot pan, it will steam rather than crisp up. If you don’t have any leftover or day-old rice and you want to make this recipe the same day, then make the rice, spread it on a single layer baking sheet or plate and freeze it for an hour or so. This shortcut will draw the moisture out while saving time.
For the spicy mayo:
½ cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons sambal oleak
1 tablespoon togarashi shichimi *
1 tablespoon finely diced green onion
1 tablespoon soy sauce
For the kale:
4 cups roughly chopped curly kale
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
3 cups cooked day old long-grain white rice
1¼ pound (26/30) jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
Kosher salt, as needed
Freshly ground black pepper, as needed
¼ cup cornstarch
5 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
2 medium Haas avocados, pitted, peeled and sliced
1 teaspoon white and black sesame seeds
3 green onions, thinly sliced
For the spicy mayo:
In a small mixing bowl whisk together the mayonnaise, lime juice, sambal oleak, togarashi, green onion, and soy sauce until thoroughly combined. Add a tablespoon of water to thin the sauce and whisk until completely combined. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
For the kale:
Add the kale to a large mixing bowl. In another small mixing bowl, whisk together the sesame oil, rice vinegar, soy sauce and grated ginger. Pour the dressing over the kale, and massage the dressing into the kale. Set aside.
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the rice into the pan in an even layer and cook, untouched, until the bottom is crispy and golden brown, about 3 minutes. Stir and cook for an additional 3 minutes. Remove the pan from heat and set aside.
Season the shrimp with salt and pepper then add to a bowl and toss with the cornstarch. Heat a large skillet over medium heat, add half of the vegetable oil and heat through. Working in two batches, add the shrimp and sauté until they crispy and the outside is golden brown, about 2 minutes. Flip the shrimp and continue to cook until just cooked through and golden brown, about an additional 2 minutes. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate and add the remaining oil to the pan and cook the remaining shrimp.
To serve, divide the kale among bowls. Top with the crispy rice followed by avocado and shrimp. Top with the spicy mayo, sesame seeds and green onions.
*Note: Togarashi shichimi is a Japanese seasoning mix typically made up of a blend of seven spices: ground red chili pepper, ground Japanese pepper, roasted orange peel, black sesame seeds, white sesame seeds, hemp seed and ground ginger.