When I first saw cucumber shrimp boats on TikTok, I thought they'd make a good snack. And while they most certainly do, I ended up making a whole other batch and eating it all as an early dinner instead. For a recipe that can technically come together with only four ingredients — cucumber, rice, shrimp, and spicy mayo — it really hit the spot. It's not just the complementary flavors that make this snack-turned-meal so satisfying, it's also the contrasting textures. The cold crunchy cucumber balances out the warm sticky rice, while the natural saltiness of the shrimp cuts the richness of the spicy mayo. And because it's all contained within a hollowed-out cucumber, every bite is the perfect bite, with just the right proportions of every ingredient.
In her viral TikTok, creator @themodernnonna also seasons her shrimp with salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, and cayenne, but many other TikTokers have done it without any extra spices, relying on only sriracha and mayonnaise. To give my cucumber shrimp boats a sushi-like flavor, I went with Trader Joe's Nori Komi Furikake Japanese Multi-Purpose Seasoning, but any furikake will do. (Even everything-bagel seasoning would work here!)
After seasoning the shrimp with your choice of seasoning, @themodernnonna cooks them in a pan with avocado oil for just a few minutes. However, creator @faithsfresh, who also posted a version of the recipe, recommends giving them a quick toss in the air fryer. This gives the shrimp a bit of caramelization and a nice toasted flavor, but it isn't entirely necessary, because she starts off with precooked shrimp. You could just as easily give them a one-minute broil in the oven if you don't have an air fryer and achieve similar-tasting results.
As for assembly, it doesn't get much harder. To make the boats, you simply slice a cucumber in half, scoop out the seeds with a spoonful, and pat it dry. Pack in the white rice (I used some left over from an Emily Mariko bowl), and top it with shrimp. A drizzle of spicy mayo is the last step, and if you want to go the extra mile, you can also sprinkle on different toppings like scallions, sesame seeds, or more furikake.
Whether you keep it simple or pile on the flavor, the results will be just as delicious. If you need a go-to snack (or meal) that's as quick and easy to make as it is flavorful, you'll definitely want to keep the ingredients for these cucumber shrimp boats on hand. Here's how to make them.
- 2 cucumbers
1 cup cooked white rice
24-pack baby shrimp
1 teaspoon furikake
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
Mayonnaise and sriracha to taste
Chopped scallions, sesame seeds, and more furikake for garnishing
- Chop off the ends of each cucumber, then slice in half lengthwise and crosswise. Scoop out the seeds, and pat dry with a paper towel.
- Stuff rice into each cucumber boat.
- Season the shrimp and coat with oil, then fry in an air fryer for 10 minutes at 400°F or in a pan on medium-high heat.
- Place shrimp on top of each cucumber boat.
- Mix together the sriracha and mayonnaise, or, if you prefer, squeeze them on individually.
- Add toppings of your choice such as scallions, sesame seeds, and furikake. Enjoy!
- Main Dishes
- 8 cucumber boats