If crispy rice is on the menu at a restaurant, you can be sure I’m ordering it. I love the texture and the flavor combos atop the crunchy, chewy rice base. However, crispy rice is typically deep fried, making it super high in fat (and thus, WW points). Given how crafty I’ve been able to get with my air fryer, I figured, why not try to make an air fried version that has all of the texture without all of the oil? This Air Fryer Crispy Rice Sushi DELIVERS, y’all.
The base is a compressed rice patty that’s air fried until golden and crispy. Atop it, creamy avocado, fresh salmon dressed up in spicy mayo, and a drizzle of eel sauce. I finish them off with some chopped dried seaweed and chopped scallions for some more crunch. Not to be dramatic – but these are one of the best things I’ve ever made in my own kitchen. They’ve got every flavor going on – sweet, salty, tangy, spicy, creamy and all around amazing. I can’t wait for you to try them!
The best part? Since they’re made lighter, you can eat an entire plate of them. They’re WW friendly and lower in fat/calories than restaurant crispy rice but are just as good – promise!
Making air fryer crispy rice sushi
To make the crispy rice, you’ll first need to cook some rice (ideally sushi rice, which is more glutinous and has amazing texture), cool it, and then add a splash of rice vinegar while its still warm. Mix it all together and press it into an 8×8 baking pan that’s been sprayed well with cooking spray (or lined with plastic wrap for easy removal).
While that cools, cook your salmon (I air fry it at 390F for 14-18 min depending on the size of the fillets), and then let that cool as well.
Once the rice is cooled and formed, remove it from the pan and using a wet knife, cut into 15 even pieces (rectangles). Spray well with cooking spray and air fry at 400F for 12-15 minutes, until golden brown and crispy. While it cooks, use a fork to mash your salmon and mix with mayo and sriracha. Then, cut a ripe avocado and mash that up as well (I season mine with this).
Once your crispy rice is done, let it cool a bit and then top each one with some mashed avocado, then the salmon mixture. Finish it off with some crushed seaweed (I buy these), chopped green onion, and a dash of unagi (eel) sauce (which I get on Amazon). Enjoy!
Air Fryer Crispy Rice Sushi
- Air Fryer
- Mixing Bowls
- 8×8 Pan
- 2 cups cooked sushi rice cooled
- 2 tbsp seasoned rice vinegar
- 0.5 lb Atlantic Salmon cooked, cooled
- 2 tbsp light mayo use Kewpie Mayo if not following WW
- 1 tbsp sriracha up to 2 if you like spice
- 1.5 tbsp coconut aminos
- 1 medium avocado mashed
- 1 sheet seaweed chopped finely (or use seaweed snacks)
- 3 tbsp green onion chopped
- Eel sauce optional topping
- Cook your rice according to package instructions, and while it’s still warm, mix in the rice vinegar. Take you 8×8 pan, spray well with cooking spray (or line with parchment paper), and press your rice into the pan. You want to press it so that it’s flat and even on the top, and about 3/4 inch thick. Pop it in the freezer for an hour (you can also refrigerate over night if you want to make the rice the night before).
- Season salmon with salt and pepper and cook salmon using your preferred method (I air fry it at 390 F for ~14 min). Remove skin and mash up salmon. Let cool completely (I throw it in the fridge or freezer to cool, or again, you can do this beforehand and store in the fridge).
- Once salmon is cool, mix in mayo, sriracha, and coconut aminos and adjust seasonings to taste. Let sit in fridge.
- Remove rice from freezer or fridge, use a spatula to carefully remove the entire block and place it on a cutting board (you can wet the board so it won’t stick). Cut into 15 pieces (5 cuts one way, then 3 across), which should be little rectangles. Spray well with cooking spray and air fry at 400F for 12-15 min, until browned and crispy. You can also pan fry to achieve the same effect! If your air fryer is a basket type with air only flowing from the top, then air fry for 8 min, flip, spray again, and air fry for another 7-8 min. Let cool slightly.
- Top each piece with a bit of the mashed avocado, then top with salmon mixture. Garnish with flakes of seaweed and chopped green onion. Optional (but really makes it amazing) – add a drizzle of Unagi (Eel) Sauce! Enjoy!