This Easy Sushi Bake is flavorful and delicious, with creamy crab topping, crunchy shrimp tempura, and spicy mayo. This dish is everything you love about sushi in a recipe you can easily follow at home.
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This recipe is so tasty and the perfect way to have homemade sushi whenever you want. A Sushi Bake is basically a deconstructed sushi roll, with all the elements you love: tangy sushi rice, seasoned crab filling, and spicy mayo to top it off.
- TASTE: Tangy, rich, umami, and spicy, this Sushi Bake has all the best flavors. The sweet Japanese mayonnaise is so good.
- TEXTURE: The crunchy cucumber, crisp shrimp tempura, and thick cream cheese give each bite of this dish so much texture. It’s addictively good.
- TIME: It takes just 35 minutes to make.
- EASE: This recipe is made in a baking dish, which makes it easier to serve to big groups. It’s super easy and a great way to enjoy sushi at home.
What You’ll Need
- Sushi rice– This is short-grain rice. The starch in the cooked rice holds the bake together.
- Rice vinegar- This is used in the sushi rice to give it a tangy flavor.
- Shrimp tempura- You can follow this recipe to make your own. Or you can buy it premade from Costco to save time
- Imitation crab flakes– This ingredient has the best texture for a sushi bake, flakey and full of crab flavor.
- Cream cheese– Use full-fat for extra creaminess.
- Unagi sauce- Also known as eel sauce, this thickened soy sauce has a sweet and savory flavor that is amazing with sushi.
- Japanese mayonnaise-Sweet, tangy, and custardy, this kewpie mayo is not like American mayo. It gives the dish authentic flavor and texture.
- Rice seasoning- This mixture of seaweed and sesame seeds adds great flavor.
Add-ins and Substitutions
- Make your own Japanese mayo- If you can’t find any Japanese mayonnaise, then make your own by whisking together 3 tablespoons of regular mayo with 1 1/2 tsp. rice vinegar and 1/3 tsp. sugar until combined.
- Substitute the cucumber- Try this recipe with other crunchy vegetables, like carrots or radish. You can also use other types of cucumber, like English or Persian, or add avocado.
- Use another protein- Besides crab and shrimp, this can be made with salmon, ahi tuna, or yellowtail. You can also substitute spicy crab or spicy tuna.
- Add sesame oil- This ingredient adds the perfect flavor to sushi. Its nutty, earthy flavor is potent, so just a little goes a long way.
How to Make Sushi Bake
- Clean the rice. To make the sushi rice, first clean the rice by placing it in a fine-mesh sieve. Then run it under cold water for about a minute, making sure to mix it around with a spoon.
- Cook the rice. Now place the rice in a rice cooker with the water and turn it on. Once it’s done cooking, transfer it to a 13×9-inch rimmed baking sheet that has been buttered (to avoid sticking).
- Cool. Pour the seasoned rice vinegar over the hot rice and fold it in gently with a rice paddle to avoid mashing it. Then set it aside to cool.
- Make the crab mixture. In a bowl, add the finely chopped imitation crab, chopped shrimp tempura, Japanese mayo, softened cream cheese, and Sriracha. Mix everything together until well combined.
Pro Tip: Soften the cream cheese so that it’s easier to mix with the other ingredients. Cold cream cheese will not mix smoothly. Just leave it on the counter until it’s soft.
- Assemble the sushi bake. Evenly spread and compress the cooled sushi rice into the baking sheet. Then sprinkle the top with furikake. Next, spread the crab mixture over the rice.
- Broil. Place the sushi bake in the oven and boil for 4 minutes.
- Make the spicy mayo. Now add the Japanese mayo to the Sriracha and stir.
- Garnish the sushi bake. When the sushi bake is done, drizzle it with the spicy mayo, unagi, and garnish it with chopped cucumber, furikake, and green onion (optional).
- Wash the rice- Before cooking the rice, you want to make sure to thoroughly wash it to remove surface starch, which can cause the rice to become gummy as it cooks.
- Add the rice vinegar to hot rice- When rice is hot, it is better able to absorb the vinegar. The acidity of the vinegar then breaks down the starch inside the rice, making it even more absorbent and fluffy when cooked.
- Compress the rice once cooled. After the rice has cooled, the grains will hold their shape better. Compressing it into the baking sheet helps the sushi bake hold together once cooked.
A sushi bake is basically a deconstructed California roll in a casserole dish. It’s layers of rice, imitation crab meat, and sauces like unagi and spicy mayo. You can add other seafood, sauces, and vegetables to change up the flavor and texture. There are lots of variations.
Sushi bake can be eaten cold or warm from the oven. Either way, it’s delicious!
This Sushi Bake is a versatile dish that combines tangy, spicy, and sweet flavors. It tastes great with salads, sushi rolls, and other Asian-inspired dishes.
- Sushi: Serve this Sushi Bake alongside a Salmon Skin Roll, Dynamite Roll, Spicy Salmon Roll, or California Roll Sushi Bowl.
- Salads: Pair this dish with a Spinach Salad, Cabbage Cucumber Salad, Salmon Potato Salad, or Broccoli Salad With Bacon and Cheese.
- Rice: Serve it with Wild Rice, Wild Brown Rice, Pork Fried Rice, or Hibachi Fried Rice.
- Asian-inspired dishes: Enjoy this recipe along with Mongolian Beef, Grilled Honey Soy Salmon (VIDEO), 30-Minute Shrimp Chow Mein, or Teriyaki Chicken Wings.
Make This Recipe in Advance
Make ahead: You can prepare the sushi rice in advance and keep it covered on the counter for a few hours before you make this sushi bake.
Storing: Store the Sushi Bake in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It should stay fresh for up to 3 days. Then reheat it in the microwave or in the oven until warmed through.
Freeze: This dish is best served fresh, so freezing is not advised. The mayo, shrimp tempura, and cream cheese will lose their texture when they thaw.
More Yummy Sushi!
Full Recipe Instructions
Easy Sushi Bake
- Start off by making the sushi rice first. To clean the rice, add the dry Calrose Sushi Rice into a fine-mesh sieve. Then run it under cold water for about 1 minute making sure to mix the rice around with a spoon.
- Then place the rice in your rice cooker and add the water and turn it on. Once the rice is cooked, transfer it to a rimmed baking sheet. Now pour 1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar over the rice and fold it in. You want to use a rice paddle to do this. Make sure to be gentle with the rice and not mash it up. Then set that aside and let it cool.
- Now for the crab mixture: In a bowl, add the chopped imitation crab, chopped tempura shrimp, Japanese mayonnaise, softened cream cheese, and 1 Tbsp sriracha.
- Mix everything together until all the ingredients are well combined.
- Now evenly spread and compress the cooled sushi rice into the baking sheet. Then add 3 Tbsp furikake of your choice over the rice.
- Then spread the spicy crab mixture over the rice and broil for 4 minutes in the oven.
- Once the sushi bake is done, drizzle some spicy mayonnaise and Ungai on top. Then garnish with chopped cucumber, furikake, and green onion (optional).