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Make Sushi at Home Recipe: Shrimp (Ebi) Nigiri Sushi

Shrimp Ebi Nigiri


Total: 35 - 40 minutes

Sushi Rice: 30 - 40 minutes

Prep: 10 minutes

Shrimp is the most consumed seafood in America. In 2021, Americans consumed 5.9 pounds of shrimp per person, 1.75 times more than Salmon.


While cooked shrimp nigiri may not look as “sexy” as raw fish like tuna or salmon, when done right, shrimp nigiri is a fantastic piece.


For the catering of Breakthrough Sushi, I use 16/20 size because it is larger than most of other sushi shrimp I’ve seen. I think (without officially confirming) 21/26 is probably more common size of shrimp used for sushi.


Typically served cold, if you can, I would recommend serving warm – make nigiri right after you boil the shrimp. If you have seen Jiro Dreams of Sushi, Jiro Ono serves his shrimp in this way: Shrimp is slightly warm, and still has “freshly” cooked aroma and taste. If you try it, you will find out it’s almost a different nigiri.


You can also cook spot prawns, aka Amaegi for nigiri instead of raw. Though, this is more expensive, it sure does taste better than the regular white shrimp.

Ingredients (for one Nigiri)

  • 30g (1 oz.) Sushi rice

  • Shrimp, 16/20 (if unavailable, 21/26), frozen or fresh

  • Wasabi

  • Salt

  • Ice


  • Cutting board

  • Knife

  • Pot

  • Bamboo stick

  • Bowl

  • Paper towel



Prep shrimp

  1. Pierce through the bamboo stick on the back side of the shrimp, between the shell and the flesh. Make sure the bamboo is pierced all the way to the tail.

  2. In the pot, bring water to boil, add some salt and place the bamboo pierced shrimp into the boiling water.

  3. When the color of the shrimp turns from gray to orange, or the shrimp starts to flow to the surface, remove it from the water.

  4. Place the shrimp in ice water to cool down quickly.

  5. Remove the bamboo stick.

  6. Deshell the shrimp.

  7. With a knife, cut half way, then turn the shrimp back side facing the cutting board, and then, press the knife down gently to butterfly the shrimp.

  8. Rise off the veins in salt water. Tap dry with paper towel.

Prep for Shrimp Ebi Nigiri

Shrimp Ebi Nigiri prep

Shrimp Ebi Nigiri prep


  1. Place the fish on the palm of the left hand, and hold the top part with thumb.

  2. Using your left index finger, grab small portion of wasabi.

  3. Place the wasabi on the center of the fish.

  4. Grab about 15g of sushi rice, squeeze lightly in your left hand to form a small ball.

  5. Place the rice in the middle of the fish over the wasabi.

  6. Press your left thumb on the rice, to create a void.

  7. With your left index finger and thumb, press the top and bottom part of sushi rice, then, press the left and right side of the rice. At this stage, the rice should form rectangular shape.

  8. Rotate your left hand slightly and with your left finger, pick up the fish and turn so the fish is now facing up.

  9. Place your left thumb over the fish, as you squeeze the sides of the fish with left index finger and thumb.

  10. Squeeze the fish and rice with left fingers, placing the left index finger over the fish to adjust the final shape.


Make sushi at home recipe

Breakthrough Sushi offers sushi classes and sushi catering in the San Francisco Bay Area using sustainable seafood.

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