The City Magazine Since 1975

Shrimp Nigri

September 2020
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For the steamed rice:

2 cups medium-grain rice, Nishiki brand preferred
2 cups cold water
1/2 cup seasoned rice vinegar (Note: this is plain rice vinegar seasoned with salt and sugar, not avored rice vinegar.)

For the shrimp:

1 lb. 21/25-count local shrimp, shells on
30 six-inch skewers
Kosher salt
Soy sauce



Chef’s Notes - “Shelling and deveining the shrimp after cooking helps hold its shape.” —Dung Vo

For the steamed rice:

Place the rice in a bowl and rinse it with cold water three to four times, or until the water is clear. Transfer it to a colander and let it rest for 20 minutes. Combine the rice and water in a saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook the rice for about 20 minutes, or until it is tender. All the water should have been absorbed. Remove the saucepan from the heat and let the rice set, covered, for an additional 20 minutes. Transfer it to a bowl, sprinkle with the seasoned rice vinegar, and gently fold it in so that all grains are covered. Let set at room temperature.

For the shrimp:

Placing the shrimp belly-side up, insert a skewer from the tail to the head end. Put enough salt in a large pot of water to make it seawater salty and bring it to a boil over high heat. Make an ice bath in a large bowl with equal parts ice and water. Working in batches, drop the shrimp into the boiling water and let them cook for about 3½ minutes. Transfer them to the ice bath to cool. Transfer to paper towels. Remove the skewers. The shrimp should be flat. Peel the shrimp, leaving the tails on, and turn them on their back, belly-side up. Using a sharp paring knife, run the blade down the center of the belly until you see the vein. Remove the vein. Keep the shrimp butterflied and flat, and pat them dry. To form the nigiri, lightly wet your hands with water or the rice vinegar and form rectangles of rice about one inch long by one half inch wide and one half inch high. Lay the shrimp on top and use your hands to lightly press the shrimp on and over the sides. Serve immediately with soy sauce and wasabi.