Have you heard of sushi bake? It’s a super popular potluck dish inspired by sushi. Essentially it’s a deconstructed California roll, layered and baked in a casserole. Everything gets warm and creamy and you scoop it up into crispy sheets of roasted seaweed and top it off with cucumber and avocado. It’s SO good. If you love California rolls, you’ll love sushi bake. It’s savory, creamy, and super satisfying.
What is sushi bake?
Sushi bake came around as an alternative to sushi rolls: all the flavors of creative sushi rolls layered and baked into a warm and comforting delicious casserole, meant to be scooped into little sheets of roasted seaweed.
Like most casseroles, it’s a home style dish meant to be shared with friends and family. It’s easier than rolling lots of rolls and the scooping and sharing makes it fun and interactive. It’s infinitely customizable meaning there’s a sushi bake out there for everyone!
How to make sushi bake
- Make: Take the time to make sushi rice. You can just use plain cooked short grain rice, but taking the time to add vinegar, sugar, and salt to make sushi rice will take your sushi bake to a whole other level.
- Spread: Spread the sushi rice into a oven safe dish and sprinkle with some furikake.
- Mix: In a bowl, mix up some shredded chopped crab with cream cheese and Kewpie mayo and then spread it on top of the rice layer. Sprinkle on a bit more furikake.
- Bake: Pop the sushi bake into the oven and bake until it starts to brown and bubble and is heated through.
- Enjoy: Remove from the oven and if desired, drizzle with extra kewpie mayo and sriracha. Enjoy scooped on to roasted seaweed snacks with cucumber and avocado.
- Sushi rice – Koshihikari is the standard variety of rice used for sushi and is very easily found online and in grocery stores. It’s a short and stubby rice that is that is naturally sticky. It cooks up beautifully and is perfect for sushi bake.
- Crab or seafood – You can go with either imitation crab (which is not crab at all but fish!), canned crab, or fresh crab. Since the crab is baked, I suggest just going with whatever is easiest. For me, that means either canned or imitation crab. If you’re not a fan of crab, you can definitely used any sort of seafood that you love – like salmon or tuna or prawns!
- Kewpie mayo and cream cheese – the cream cheese mixed up with the crab gets melty and creamy and is so decadent and addictive. Kewpie mayo adds a subtle rich and sweet mayo flavor that is tangy from the rice vinegar.
- Furikake – Furikake, if you haven’t heard of it, is rice seasoning. Think of it as a mix of seaweed and sesame seeds and other tasty bits that people sprinkle onto bowls of rice to dress them up a bit. It’s super addictive and tastes amazing on everything: rice, noodles, pasta, popcorn, eggs, you name it, furikake makes it better. You can find furikake at Asian grocery stores or online.
How to serve sushi bake
Sushi bakes are eaten kind of like a little taco with roasted seaweed snack being the tortilla and the sushi bake being the filling. Just scoop a bit of sushi bake onto a piece of roasted seaweed snack and pop it in your mouth for the perfect bite.
Typically you just put a dish of warm sushi bake in the center of the table and everyone can scoop a bit onto their plate, wrap it in seaweed and eat it. You can also slice it into little pre-portioned slices that you can easily move onto roasted seaweed.
What kind of seaweed do I need?
Seasoned roasted Korean laver seaweed snacks is the best seaweed to eat with sushi bake. You’ll see them in little foil packs sold in the snack section. They sell them at Asian grocery stores, Costco, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, online, essentially everywhere! Roasted seaweed snacks look a little bit different than the typical seaweed used for sushi – slightly more translucent with a looser weave. You can also just use regular toasted seaweed cut into rectangular strips but I love the crispy crunch of roasted seaweed snacks.
Sushi bake variations
Sushi bake variations are endless! Try these:
- Miso salmon – instead of crab, use the equal amount of drained canned salmon. Mix in 1-2 tablespoons of miso.
- Tuna salad – instead of crab, use the equal amount of drained canned tuna. Mix in some sliced scallions.
- Spicy – mix in 1-2 tablespoons of sriracha into the crab mix and top with an extra drizzle of sriracha when eating.
- Cheesy – add an extra layer of shredded cheddar cheese on top before baking.
Spicy salmon roll sushi bake
To make a spicy salmon roll sushi bake, prepare the rice base as below. For the topping, combine 1 lb cooked and flaked salmon with 1 cup kewpie mayo, and 2 tbsp sriracha. Spread the spicy salmon mixture on top of the rice and top with the furikake and bake as directed below. Enjoy warm with seaweed!
What to serve with sushi bake
Truthfully sushi bake is a full meal within itself but if you’re looking for some extras, try these:
A savory, creamy, and super satisfying deconstructed California roll, layered and baked in a casserole.
- 1 cup rice Koshihikari or other short grain rice preferred
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 1/2 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 8 oz imitation crab shredded and chopped
- 1/2 cup cream cheese room temp
- 1/2 cup mayo kewpie mayo preferred
- 1/4 cup furikake
- 1/2 cucumber sliced, to serve
- 1 avocado cubed, to serve
- 3 packages roasted laver aka Korean seaweed snacks, to serve
Heat the oven to 425°F. Place the sushi rice in a colander, rinse throughly and let drain for 15 minutes. Cook rice according to the package instructions or your preference. While the rice is cooking, combine the rice vinegar, sugar, and salt in a small sauce pan and warm over low heat until the sugar dissolves. Alternatively, microwave briefly, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Set aside.
- In a bowl, mix the shredded crab with the cream cheese and mayo until smooth. Set aside.
- When the rice is done, transfer to a very large bowl. Sprinkle on the vinegar mixture and use a rice paddle or spatula to mix the vinegar into the rice while using a slicing motion. Fan the rice while mixing to dry it out slightly.
- Spread the sushi rice into an oven safe baking dish and top with 1/2 of the furikake.
- Top with the cream cheese mayo crab mix. Sprinkle on the remaining furikake.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes or until the top just begins to brown and bubble and the casserole is warmed through.
- Enjoy warm with roasted seaweed snack, sliced cucumbers, and sliced avocados.
To reheat: warm in a 325°F oven for 10-15 minutes until heated through or in the microwave for 30s – 1 min.
Amount Per Serving
Calories 476 Calories from Fat 264
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat 7.7g48%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.