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  • Writer's pictureSasha

Prawn "Tempura" Sushi Stacks (GF, DF)

These Prawn "Tempura" Sushi Stacks are a quick and super easy way to satisfy your sushi cravings. They also happen to be gluten-free and dairy-free!

Okay, so these sushi stacks are basically the lazy, cheat version of sushi rolls. They're far quicker and easier, and they're pretty much hassle-free. Once all of the ingredients are prepared, they only require stacking and then you're done!

They're also well-balanced - protein, carbs and plenty of fibre from the veggies and sesame seeds - it's all in there, making them great to consume as a meal.

And if the above wasn't convincing enough, let me break down the layers for you:

Sushi rice





And a healthier prawn "tempura"

- All stacked on top of each other and generously drizzled in homemade spicy sriracha mayo. Yum!

Rewind, what do you mean by healthier "tempura"?

Well, prawn tempura sushi rolls are my go-to when it comes to sushi but I wanted to create a healthier, gluten-free version to top these stacks. So, instead of deep frying them (which is how tempura is usually made), I simply coated the prawns in some cornflour and spices and fried them in a little avocado oil, which was enough to give them their golden hue and the perfect amount of crunch.

Cooking the sushi rice

If you haven't cooked sushi rice before, don't worry, it's pretty straightforward!

1. Rinse the rice

Place the rice in a large bowl, rinse it, discard the water and repeat the process 4-5 times, or until the water is almost clear. Then transfer it to a sieve to drain.

2. Cook the rice

To cook the rice, I added 250g sushi rice to a saucepan, followed by 330ml cold water and left to cook over a medium-low heat for ~20 minutes.

3. Sushi vinegar

The sushi vinegar is what is used to season the rice once it's cooked. For this, heat up 4 tbsp rice vinegar, 1 tbsp sugar and 1/2 tsp salt in a saucepan until it starts boiling. Once it has cooled down, pour the sushi vinegar over the cooked rice and fold in gently using a spatula. Be careful not to overmix as the rice will get mushy.

For a fantastic, more detailed guide to cooking sushi rice, check out Namiko's article here.

Assembling the sushi stacks

There are a few ways of doing this.

I used cooking rings but if you don't own any, you can use a 1 or 2 cup measuring cup, depending on how big you want the sushi stacks to be. For the latter, you'll want to add the ingredients in reverse order from what I did so it'll be the avocado first, followed by the cucumber, carrots, nori and sushi rice. You can then use a butter knife to run along the edge of the measuring cup and flip onto a plate, then top with the tempura prawns and remaining ingredients.

Alternatively, you can use a tall cookie cutter. If you don't have a tall one, you can stack up 2-3 of the same sized ones until you're happy with the height.

Personalising the stacks

The beauty of these sushi stacks is that they can be personalised.

Don't like prawns? Substitute it for a fish or meat of your choice.

Vegetarian? Swap the prawns for tofu or more veg!

It's super easy to adapt the recipe to your taste and dietary needs.

And every sushi lover will know that sushi is not complete without a side of soy sauce. As soy sauce contains gluten, I used coconut aminos to make them completely gluten-free. Coconut aminos can be purchased on Amazon or in most health food stores. They have a less intense umami taste than soy sauce but they are a great alternative if you're sensitive to soy. Tamari sauce can also be used as a gluten-free alternative.


Prawn "Tempura" Sushi Stacks (GF, DF)

Makes: 6

Prep time: 20 minutes

Total time: 35 minutes


For the sushi rice:

250g sushi rice

330ml water

4 tbsp rice vinegar

1 tbsp sugar

1/2 tsp salt

For the "tempura" prawns:

100g organic raw king prawns, peeled and deveined

1 tbsp cornflour

1 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp chilli powder

1/4 tsp ground turmeric



1-2 tbsp avocado oil

For the sriracha mayo:

2 tbsp mayonnaise

1 tbsp sriracha

For the layers:

1-2 sheets nori

1 medium-sized carrot, Julienne cut

1/4 English cucumber, deseeded and Julienne cut

1 avocado, cut into cubes


Black sesame seeds

Spring onions, sliced finely

Sriracha mayo

Nori, shredded

Coconut aminos, tamari or soy sauce

Shichimi togarashi, aka seven spice (optional)


For the sushi rice:

1. Cook the sushi rice and sushi vinegar as per the instructions above.

For the prawns:

1. Whilst the rice is cooking, make the prawns by adding cornflour along with the rest of the spices into a small bowl and mix. Add the prawns and toss until well coated.

2. Heat 1-2 tbsp avocado oil in a frying pan or skillet over a medium heat. Add the prawns one at a time and cook until golden brown on both sides, around 3-5 minutes. Slice each prawn into 3 pieces and leave to cool.

For the sriracha mayo:

1. Simply mix the ingredients together.

Assembling the sushi stacks:

1. Use the cooking rings (or the piece of equipment you are using as a mould) to cut out 6 pieces of the nori sheets.

2. To assemble, place the cooking ring on a chopping board. Add 2 tbsp of the cooked sushi rice (or the required amount until you've reached your desired size) to the ring and press down evenly using your fingers or the back of a spoon. Next, place the nori sheet on top (this will stick to the rice), followed by the carrot, cucumber and avocado. Again, press down evenly. Top with the "tempura" prawns and the remaining toppings, then drizzle with sriracha mayo and serve with coconut aminos.

3. Eat immediately or store in the fridge and consume within 24 hours.

I hope you love this recipe!





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