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Sushi bake is the casserole version of a sushi roll. Perfect for potlucks, this easy and oh-so-creamy baked sushi recipe is a trend you shouldn’t miss!
A super popular deconstructed sushi roll recipe is taking over TikTok. It’s called the sushi bake, which has some components of a California roll but is presented like a casserole.
While the California roll tastes fresh with some crunch from carrots and cucumbers, baked sushi is savory and creamy with just the right kick.
The best part, however, is how you eat it. Since it’s like a sushi roll laid out in a pan, you just scoop out a portion as big as you want, then wrap it in a nori sheet for the perfect bite!
What Is Sushi Bake?
Viral TikTok recipes range from clever twists on classic favorites to wild food trends that are just…questionable. However, baked sushi is something you’ll want to try.
Imagine deconstructing a sushi roll and baking it like a casserole; that’s the sushi bake!
You won’t need a bamboo rolling mat for this take on our favorite sushi roll: the California roll.
I compare sushi bake to the California roll because they both feature crab sticks and sushi rice. But to eat this amazing sushi casserole, you’ll scoop out a portion and place it inside a nori sheet for one big satisfying mouthful.🤤
No wonder this is a popular potluck dish!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Whether you’re unsure of what to bring to the potluck or want to change the minds of people who, according to them, “could just never eat sushi,” this is a viral dish you can’t miss out on!
Here are the best things about sushi bake:
- Easy: If you hate rolling your own sushi at home, you can keep the bamboo mat in the kitchen cabinet because you won’t need it for this version of sushi. Just layer the sushi rice, furikake seasoning, and creamy imitation crab, then let the oven do the work!
- Crowd-pleasing: Sushi bake has similar components to a sushi roll, but it’s richer and packed with more seasonings, making it an easy, crowd-pleasing dish. You will surely enjoy the highly-shareable and comforting baked sushi.
- Versatile: This basic sushi bake recipe is already delicious, but you can modify it to suit every taste. Mix in other types of seafood, add your favorite sushi ingredients, switch up the seasonings, or adjust the spices to taste!
What Does Baked Sushi Taste Like?
Sushi bake tastes rich, creamy, and savory, with just the right kick from sriracha.
The sticky sushi rice mixture is a joy to eat with one nori sheet at a time. It’s also seasoned with furikake, a Japanese condiment, which gives it a boost of umami.
As for the indulgent and addictive melty topping, it’s composed of shredded imitation crab, cream cheese, kewpie mayo, and sriracha. You can season this mixture to taste, but you don’t need to worry that the sushi bake will taste overwhelmingly rich from the mayo and cream cheese.
The paper-like texture and saltiness of seaweed sheets perfectly balance the creamy sushi bake.
And as someone who munches on nori sheets as a snack, I also sometimes eat an extra piece or two after each mouthful of sushi bake, haha.
Is The Viral Baked Sushi Recipe Healthy?
Looking at each component of the sushi bake, this dish is not exactly the healthiest.
Imitation crab is not real crab meat but finely shredded fish with binding agents and processed ingredients for flavor and to extend its shelf life.
Cream cheese and kewpie mayo are also high in calories, and we all know it’s important to be mindful of our portions when eating rice.
Finally, it’s worth mentioning that furikake rice seasoning, like all seasonings, should be enjoyed in moderation because of its salt content.
Overall, this viral recipe is meant to be a comfort dish that is especially delicious when shared with loved ones. Enjoy it mindfully on special occasions and gatherings like you would with any comforting casserole recipe.
What Are The Benefits Of TikTok Sushi Bake?
Sushi bake has everything that makes a dish perfect for potluck and large gatherings. It’s easy, comforting, and best for sharing.
You only need to layer the ingredients in a baking dish, and it’s finished in just 40 minutes!
Everyone can share the warm baked sushi by taking a portion themselves, so prepare a lot of nori seaweed sheets!
I also love how you can modify this baked sushi recipe with your favorite seafood, vegetables, or seasonings. I’ve shared some delicious ideas on what you can add to this recipe below.
Ingredients For Sushi Bake Recipe
- Imitation crab – You can use any seafood you like, but imitation crab is the easiest to prepare for sushi bake.
- Cream cheese – The creaminess and richness of cream cheese set sushi bake apart from a regular sushi roll. It perfectly accompanies the savory flavors of the dish.
- Kewpie mayo – Kewpie mayo tastes umami, tangy, and sweet. It helps create a well-rounded flavor on the creamy crab mixture, so don’t replace it with regular mayonnaise!
- Sriracha – Feel free to adjust the amount of sriracha on your sushi bake according to personal preference.
- Sushi rice – Even though sushi bake is not rolled, you still want to use sticky rice so it will hold its shape after baking.
- Rice vinegar – The acidity of rice vinegar helps with the balance of flavors in the baked sushi. Make a slicing and lifting motion (not stirring!) when folding it into the rice!
- Furikake seasoning – The umami seasonings, seaweed, sesame seeds, and fish flakes of furikake add dimension to the richness of your sushi bake. It should be easy to find in Asian grocery stores.
- Green onions – Chopped green onions are optional for garnish.
- Nori sheets – The perfect vessels for the creamy and addictive sushi bake bites. Nori is also a tasty seaweed snack on its own.
Tools Needed To Prepare Baked Sushi Recipe
- Oven for baking the sushi bake
- Mixing bowls for mixing the ingredients
- Spatula for combining the rice and vinegar
- Baking dish for the baked sushi
Ingredient Additions & Substitutions For Sushi Bake
It’s up to you if you want to just add salmon to this baked sushi recipe or use it to replace the imitation crab meat altogether. TikTok user @gaming_foodie, who is behind the sushi bake video with almost a million likes, recommends air frying the salmon for 9 minutes at 400°F.
We love adding some sweetness to balance rich and savory dishes in our household. And for sushi bake, I recommend adding some strips of ripe mangoes to your imitation crab mixture for a sweet-tangy contrast. 😋
Shredded cheddar cheese
Want to make your baked sushi cheesy? Just add shredded cheddar cheese to the crab layer before baking, and I guarantee even kids will love this comforting casserole dish!
How to Make Sushi Bake
- 1 lb imitation crab
- 4 oz cream cheese, softened
- ½ cup kewpie mayo
- 2 tbsp sriracha
- 4 cups sushi rice, cooked
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 3 tbsp furikake seasoning
- Additional kewpie mayo for topping
- Additional sriracha for topping
- Green onions, chopped for garnish
- Nori sheets for serving
Tools you need:
STEP 1: Gather the ingredients for your baked sushi.
STEP 2: Preheat the oven to 400°F.
STEP 3: Shred the imitation crab over a bowl, then add the softened cream cheese, kewpie mayo, and sriracha. Mix everything well and set aside.
STEP 4: Toss the sushi rice with rice vinegar. Transfer and flatten evenly at the bottom of the baking dish.
STEP 5: Press the rice layer down and top with half of the furikake seasoning. Add the crab mixture and sprinkle the remaining furikake seasoning.
STEP 6: Drizzle the sushi bake with more kewpie mayo and sriracha.
STEP 7: Bake for 25 minutes, then garnish with chopped green onions.
STEP 8: Serve with nori sheets. Enjoy!
What To Serve With Baked Sushi
Baked sushi is the ultimate potluck dish because it’s comforting, filling, and shareable.
You don’t need heavy side dishes for the viral recipe, so I recommend just serving your sushi bake with avocado slices, fresh cucumber slices, or simple grilled prawns.
If you can get your hands on quality Tobiko or flying fish roe, you can add them as toppings to your baked sushi. These red-orange fish eggs are not just visually pleasing, but their saltiness and crunchy texture are also perfect with the decadent sushi bake.
You can also browse our collection of the best viral TikTok recipes for your next family dinner.
Tips About Making Baked Sushi Recipe
Want to make sushi bake even easier? Here are some helpful tips:
- It’s up to you to decide how to shred the crab sticks. Some swear it’s quicker to use a knife, but you can just roll the imitation crab between your hands and pull the strands apart.
- It’s recommended to fold the vinegar into the cooked sushi rice while it’s still warm. Hot rice absorbs the vinegar better, and the acidity of the vinegar breaks down the starches of the rice for flavorful sushi rice that won’t fall apart.
- Instead of stirring, use your spatula to “lift and slice” when incorporating the vinegar into the rice. You can also use a fan to cool the rice while mixing to remove moisture and help the grains hold their shape better for the baked sushi.
- Compress the cooled rice into the bottom of the baking dish to keep the sushi bake from falling apart when scooped out.
How To Store Sushi Bake
If you plan on making this baked sushi recipe ahead of time or you have some leftovers, here are some storage guidelines:
- Fridge: Transfer the cooled sushi bake to an airtight container and refrigerate. Consume within 2 to 3 days for the best experience.
- Freezer: I don’t recommend freezing sushi bake because the textures and flavors may be off after defrosting. It’s ridiculously easy to make anyway, so treat yourself and your loved ones to a fresh batch instead! 😉
- Reheating: You can refrigerate the sushi casserole and then reheat it in the oven at 325°F for 10 minutes. Just adjust the time as needed until heated through.
Can You Use Normal Rice For Baked Sushi?
I recommend using actual short-grain rice instead of normal rice for baked sushi. Even though you won’t roll the sushi, you still want starchy and sticky sushi rice for the best texture that won’t fall apart when your sushi bake is portioned.
Can You Make Sushi Bake With No Crab Sticks?
Absolutely! You can customize this baked sushi rice with any seafood. For example, make a quick and easy salmon sushi bake by mashing air-fried salmon with cream cheese, mayo, and sriracha as your topping instead of imitation crab mix.
FAQ About Sushi Bake
How did sushi bake become popular?
Sushi bake quickly became popular during the pandemic, but there is still a debate about its roots. Some believe it can be credited to Mimi Qiu Reyes, a Filipino celebrity nail artist, while other sources compare it to Hawaii’s poke bowls and Spam musubi.
Is baked sushi eaten hot or cold?
You can eat baked sushi hot or cold, but it’s best served warm, so the crab topping is still melty, and the rice is nicely chewy and sticky. But honestly, I sometimes just eat my leftover sushi bake straight out of the fridge when I’m feeling lazy to reheat the casserole dish. 😂
- Gather the ingredients for your baked sushi.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Shred the imitation crab over a bowl, then add the softened cream cheese, kewpie mayo, and sriracha. Mix everything well and set aside.
- Toss the sushi rice with rice vinegar. Transfer and flatten evenly at the bottom of the baking dish.
- Press the rice layer down and top with half of the furikake seasoning. Add the crab mixture and sprinkle the remaining furikake seasoning.
- Drizzle the sushi bake with more kewpie mayo and sriracha.
- Bake for 25 minutes, then garnish with chopped green onions.
- Serve with nori sheets. Enjoy!
- Want a quick and easy way to shred imitation crab? Roll the crab sticks between your hands, then pull the strands apart!
- Use a spatula to make a lifting and slicing motion when mixing the vinegar into the rice. Hot rice will also absorb the vinegar better for tastier sushi rice that won't fall apart.
- Don’t forget to compress the cooled rice into the bottom of the baking dish to keep the sushi bake from falling apart after cooking.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 86Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 6mgSodium: 134mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 0gSugar: 2gProtein: 1g
* Please note that all nutrition information are just estimates. Values will vary among brands, so we encourage you to calculate these on your own for the most accurate results.
Sushi bake is essentially a deconstructed sushi roll where its components are layered, similar to a casserole.
You’ll still have the classic sushi rice and imitation crab, but sushi bake takes California roll to the next level by making it creamier and melty through baking with cream cheese and kewpie mayo.
There is also no shortage of flavors in this easy alternative to sushi rolls because it has sriracha for some kick and furikake seasoning on the rice for a boost of umami.
Scoop from the baking dish yourself and wrap the addictive sushi bake in nori for the perfect bite!
Give in to the sushi bake trend because it deserves its recognition as much as other pandemic recipes that took the Internet by storm. (Remember coffee dalgona and pancake cereal?)
Here are more recipes that are worth the hype:
- 4-Ingredient Dalgona Matcha Latte Recipe
- TikTok Mini Pancake Cereal
- Viral TikTok Pasta Chips But Better
- TikTok Juicy Chicken 101
- Sushi Bake Cups (Baked Salmon Sushi Cups)
Or just browse through the best viral TikTok recipes!
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