Sushi Bake (THE Viral TikTok Recipe)

5 from 3 votes
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I’m OBSESSED with this viral sushi bake recipe and I know you will be too. It’s all you’ve ever dreamed of with its creamy, umami-loaded sushi flavors atop easy seasoned sushi rice. 

Every succulent, seafood-filled bite is complemented by perfectly-seasoned sushi rice and a drizzle of caramelized mayo. I’m absolutely hooked on this and I know you will be, too.

It’s also the equivalent to a boatload of sushi at a fraction of the cost – let’s dive in!

Why You’ll Love This Sushi Bake Recipe

Want more reasons to make this recipe? Here they are:

  • All the flavor, within a budget: This sushi bake combines the essence of traditional sushi with creamy textures and savory notes without the premium-priced sushi price tag.
  • Customizable:  You can absolutely customize this recipe. Pop in your favorite sushi seafood like seared salmon or raw sushi-grade tuna.
  • Easy to make: Don’t be intimidated by the word sushi – there’s no rollin’ and foldin’ and slicin’ going on here. This Sushi Bake is so easy to make. 
  • Perfect for sharing: Whether you’re hosting a party with friends or simply enjoying feeding the family, this recipe is totally shareable. It’s also a great potluck dish. 
  • Kid-friendly: The familiar flavors of sushi, combined with the novelty of a baked dish, make it super appealing to my kids.

Sushi Bake Ingredients

Here’s What You Need

Grab these ingredients and items to get this dish in the oven:

Ingredients 

The ingredient list has three parts: the rice base, the sushi topping, and the nori sheets for serving and scooping.

For Rice

  • Sushi rice: Use Japanese sushi rice for its sticky texture, which is ideal for holding the layers of the sushi bake together. This short grain rice will give the authentic sushi experience we are after here. I don’t recommend using a different rice like arborio in this casserole dish – it just won’t be the same.
  • Sugar: Used to season the sushi rice, balancing its flavor profile.
  • Rice vinegar: Choose natural (unseasoned) rice vinegar, not the one labeled “Seasoned Rice Vinegar”, as we are adding sugar and salt to the recipe directly.
  • Kosher salt: Enhances the overall taste of the rice without overpowering other ingredients.
  • Furikake: Available in the Asian foods section of many mainstream grocery stores, in any Asian grocery store, or on Amazon.

For Sushi Topping

  • Imitation crab: Mimics the flavor and texture of real crab meat. This crab mixture is a classic sushi component. 
  • Cooked shrimp: This is a staple in sushi bakes for its convenience and mild flavor, but feel free to substitute with any flaky white fish or additional seafood.
  • Mayonnaise: I love the special umami flavor of Kewpie mayo for this, but any mayo will work. An extra drizzle before baking caramelizes deliciously in the oven. Yum.
  • Sriracha: Infuses the topping with a spicy kick, balancing the creaminess of the mayonnaise with its heat.
  • Soy Sauce: Used sparingly to season the topping mixture, providing a savory depth of flavor.

To Serve

  • Nori Seaweed Sheets: Traditionally used in sushi rolls, these sheets add a hint of brininess and texture to each bite. Cut them into smaller squares if desired, perfect for wrapping individual portions of the sushi bake for serving.
Take Rice in Sauce Pan for sushi

Substitutions and Variations 

Here are a few swaps to create sushi bake variations:

  • Seafood variations: Swap imitation crab meat with real crab meat, lobster, or diced sushi-grade fish like salmon, scallops, or tuna. 
  • Avocado or cucumber:  For freshness and additional texture.
  • Flavor boosters: Mix in chopped scallions, cilantro, or jalapeños.
  • Other sauces: Try alternative sauces like spicy mayo, eel sauce, unagi sauce, or ponzu.
  • Toasted seeds and nuts: Add toasted sesame seeds or slivered almonds – sprinkle over the top for added crunch.
  • Sliced radishes, carrots, or pickled ginger: For color and freshness.
  • Added briney flavor: Add a dollop of masago (fish roe) or tobiko (flying fish roe).

Tools to Grab

Here’s what you’ll need to get this sushi bake made up:

  • Sieve or colander: To rinse the rice in.
  • Large pot: To cook the rice in. Use a LARGE pot – this will give you enough room to stir the seasoning in without the grains flying around the kitchen.
  • Mixing bowl: To mix the topping in.
  • Baking dish:  Spray a 9×13″ baking dish with oil (or grease with 1 tsp sesame oil rubbed on with a paper towel).

Spread Boiled rice in plate

How to Make Sushi Bake: An Easy Guide

Let’s get into it, here’s exactly how to make this luscious, viral sushi bake:

Make the rice layer

First, place the rice in a sieve or colander and run it under cold water to wash it. Rinse it until the water runs clear. 

Next, Place the rice with 2 1/2 cups of water in a large pot. Bring the mixture to boil. Once it is boiling, turn down the heat and simmer the mixture for 18 minutes. After this time, turn off the heat and let it sit, covered for 10 minutes.

Season the rice with the sushi vinegar mixture

In a small bowl, combine the rice vinegar, sugar, and salt until dissolved. Gently fold into warm rice.

Season rice with sushi vinegar mixture

Make and assemble the sushi casserole topping 


In a large mixing bowl, combine the imitation crab, shrimp, mayonnaise, sriracha, and soy sauce.

Next, prepare a 9×13″ baking dish by spraying it with oil (or grease with 1 tsp sesame oil rubbed on with a paper towel).

Spread rice evenly in the bottom of the greased dish. if using, sprinkle furikake evenly over the rice. 

Bake the casserole


Spread the seafood mixture over the rice. Drizzle the top with more mayonnaise if you like.

Bake the dish at 375°F for about 20 minutes or until the top is bubbly and slightly golden.

Cutting nori sheets

Make Ahead and Storage

You can absolutely make this dish ahead. You can either prepare it, keep it in the fridge, and then bake it later, or bake and store leftovers. 

To store leftovers, pop them into an airtight container or make sure the baking dish is covered before refrigerating. It’s important to let the dish cool to room temperature before chilling it. Keep leftover sushi bake for 2-3 days in the fridge. 

Reheat leftovers in a microwave or oven. If oven-baking, cover with foil to prevent it from drying out.

Taking out Sushi Bake Rice with spoon

How to Serve this Sushi Bake Recipe

Serve family-style, like a warm dip, with nori sheets on the side for individuals to scoop their own.

Sushi Bake wrapped in Nori sheet

Final Notes, Pro Tips + Science-Based Secrets

Need a few inside tips and tricks? Here are a few:

  • Sushi rice secret #1: Use a larger-than-you-think-you-need-sized pot. This gives you loads of room to season without making a mess.
  • Sushi rice secret #2: Season with the rice vinegar while the rice is still warm to make sure the rice grains slurp up the mixture.
  • Sushi rice secret #3: Use a cutting motion with a spatula to gently fold the seasoning into the rice. This prevents the grains from breaking and ensures even distribution without making the rice mushy.
  • Sushi rice secret #4: If you can, fan the rice as you mix in the seasoning. This cools it down quickly, making the rice shiny and less sticky.
  • Sushi rice secret #5: Use unseasoned rice vinegar for the seasoning. It’s milder and sweeter compared to other vinegars, which complements the sushi rice perfectly. Seasoned rice vinegar has added sugar and salt.
  • Nori Sheets: If nori sheets are too brittle, lightly toast them over an open flame or in a dry pan for a few seconds to make them more pliable.

FAQs About Sushi Bake

Just whizzing through? Here are the key points you won’t want to miss:

What is sushi bake? 

Sushi bake is a viral dish that combines elements of sushi with a casserole-style presentation. It typically consists of a layer of seasoned sushi rice topped with a variety of ingredients such as seafood, vegetables, and sauces, all baked together until warm and gooey.

How do you eat sushi bake?

 Sushi bake is typically served by scooping a portion onto a plate or bowl. It can be enjoyed on its own or with seaweed sheets, cucumber slices, or crispy nori chips for added texture and flavor. Some people also like to drizzle additional sauces or toppings over their serving.

Can sushi bake be made in advance? 

Yup, sushi bake can be prepared in advance and stored in the refrigerator until ready to bake. You can assemble the dish, cover it tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil, and refrigerate it for up to a day before baking. Just be sure to adjust the baking time accordingly if the dish is chilled.

Is sushi bake gluten-free? 

Sushi bake can be made gluten-free by using gluten-free soy sauce and ensuring that all other ingredients are free from gluten contamination. However, it’s essential to check labels and verify the gluten-free status of individual ingredients, especially sauces and seasonings.

Can sushi bake be served cold? 

Sushi bake can be made gluten-free by using gluten-free soy sauce and ensuring that all other ingredients are free from gluten contamination. However, it’s essential to check labels and verify the gluten-free status of individual ingredients, especially sauces and seasonings.

How long does sushi bake last in the refrigerator? 

Sushi bake can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days. Beyond that, the quality and freshness of the dish may decline. It’s best to consume sushi bake within a few days of preparation for optimal taste and texture.

Can sushi bake be frozen? 

While sushi bake can technically be frozen, I don’t recommend freezing it. This may affect the texture and flavor of the dish. It’s best enjoyed fresh or stored in the refrigerator for short-term storage.

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5 from 3 votes

Viral Sushi Bake

Dive into this bubbly sushi bake, with creamy, savory sushi toppings over perfectly seasoned sushi rice. Serve with crisp nori sheets for scooping.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 6

Ingredients 
 

For rice:

  • 2 cups sushi rice
  • 2 ½ cups water
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp furikake optional

For Sushi Topping:

  • 1 cup imitation crab shredded (8 oz by weight)
  • 1 cup cooked shrimp chopped if large (8 oz by weight)
  • ½ cup mayonnaise plus more, if desired
  • 2 tbsp sriracha
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce

To serve:

  • Nori seaweed sheets cut into smaller squares if desired
  • Optional toppings: more sriracha Japanese BBQ sauce (Yakiniku), sliced avocado, green onion, serrano pepper, and/or cucumber
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Instructions 

For Rice Layer:

  • Start by rinsing the sushi rice under cold water until the water runs clear. Combine the rice and 2 1/2 cups water in pot. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Once it boils, cover the pot and reduce the heat to low, letting it simmer for 18 minutes. After turning off the heat, let it sit covered for 10 minutes.
  • Combine rice vinegar, sugar and salt until dissolved. Gently fold into warm rice.

For Sushi Topping:

  • In a bowl, mix together imitation crab, shrimp, mayonnaise, sriracha and soy sauce.

To Assemble:

  • Spray a 9×13″ baking dish with oil (or grease with 1 tsp sesame oil rubbed on with a paper towel).
  • Spread rice evenly in the bottom of greased dish. Sprinkle furikake evenly over rice (if using).
  • Spread the seafood mixture over the rice. Drizzle with more mayo, if desired.
  • Bake at 375°F for about 20 minutes, or until the top is bubbly and slightly golden.
  • Serve family-style, like a warm dip, with nori sheets on the side for individuals to scoop their own.

Video

Notes

Sushi Rice: Choose a bigger pot than you need so that you have room to stir the seasoning in without making a mess. Make sure it’s seasoned while still warm for the best flavor absorption.
Rice Vinegar: Choose natural (unseasoned) rice vinegar, not the one labeled “Seasoned Rice Vinegar”, as we are adding sugar and salt to the recipe directly.
Imitation Crab: This is a staple in sushi bakes for its convenience and mild flavor, but feel free to substitute with any flaky white fish or additional seafood.
Mayonnaise: I love the special umami flavor of Kewpie Japanese mayo for this, but any mayo will work. An extra drizzle before baking caramelizes deliciously in the oven. Yum.
Toppings: I like to allow my family/guests to add their own desired optional toppings (rather than adding toppings to the whole sushi bake).
Nori Sheets: If nori sheets are too brittle, lightly toast them over an open flame or in a dry pan for a few seconds to make them more pliable.
Furikake: Available in the Asian foods section of many mainstream grocery stores, in any Asian grocery store, or on Amazon.
Leftovers: If you have any leftovers, they can be refrigerated and reheated in a microwave or oven. If oven-baking, cover with foil to prevent drying out.

Nutrition

Calories: 447kcal | Carbohydrates: 60g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 9g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.04g | Cholesterol: 62mg | Sodium: 1585mg | Potassium: 123mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 92IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 61mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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Recipe Rating




14 Comments

  1. Tom_E says:

    My grandkids love sushi. This looks like something even I can make. Excited to surprise them.

  2. Vicki T. says:

    This sushi bake recipe is innovative and perfect for my blog’s upcoming fusion cuisine section. Will definitely try and feature it.

  3. Pete Z. says:

    is it ok if i just toss everything together and bake, not good with layers and stuff

  4. Ron S. says:

    Finally a sushi recipe that doesn’t need rolling. Can’t wait to try this weekend.

  5. Jo_K says:

    not sure if this really tastes like sushi. sushi’s supposed to be cold and this is baked. anyone tried it, does it really taste good?

  6. Lauren says:

    5 stars
    Loved this sushi bake! Such like a fun and tasty way to do sushi at home.

  7. Lizzy Q. says:

    any1 tried making it with tofu instead of fish?

  8. Bobby K. says:

    Protein packed sushi bake is perfect after gym meal. Love seafood, gonna make this.

  9. Sally-Jean P. says:

    can i use microwave rice for this?

    1. Mica T. says:

      Sure, microwave rice should work fine, just may not be as sticky.

  10. Tim R. says:

    love this sushi bake idea cuz its quick. gotta try it on weekend when kids screaming for something different.