Easy Sushi Casserole / Sushi Bake!
The other day, I was scrolling Facebook. You know, as usual these days.
Anyway, Facebook did the thing where it showed me about 2 seconds of a post, then refreshed the page and made it impossible to find again.
This is always annoying, but in this case ... at least it resulted in a new recipe on the blog!
You see, the thing I managed to get a glimpse of something that looked like a sushi casserole. I didn’t catch the name of the dish, see who had shared it, or have time to read literally anything about it.
But hey, the idea was implanted, and obviously I was going to have to make something in that vein!
With our grocery day still several days away, an intense need *right then*, and no patience at all, I made this from items we already had on hand: short grain rice, imitation crab, mayo, furikake.
The recipe is based with a scaled-down version of my Sushi Rice Recipe, with toasted sesame seeds added for some texture and crunch.
Then I made a layer that was a modified version of my Spicy Tuna Maki filling.
I added an egg, as this is a casserole and I wanted it a bit more coherent than it would be without it... without adding a TON more mayo.
It comes together SUPER quickly - Maybe 10 minutes of actual work time, the rest is just waiting for the rice to cook, and the dish to bake.
... and this is FAR tastier than something so frugal, quick, and easy to make has any right to be.
It’s basically just a heated, deconstructed version of a spicy crab / spicy California roll - super basic! We were shocked at how GOOD this was!
It actually reminded me a bit of one of my favourite sushi rolls ever, one I haven’t had in 15 years - the Baked Tilapia Roll at Sun Sushi in St John's. Augh, so good!
Anyway, yeah - quick and easy to make, super budget-friendly, and very satisfying! This will definitely become a go-to easy weeknight dinner in our house!
... Is this a Sushi Hotdish?
I've mentioned the whole hotdish thing in my Southwest Hotdish.
With a Minnesotan husband, "is this hotdish?" (cue anime dude releasing a butterfly?) has become a bit of a joke in this household.
I would have to say no, this is not sushi hotdish. There are no vegetables in it, and I'm not convinced that mayo, Sriracha, and egg counts as "binder" in the same way that cream sauces are used in MN hotdishes.
I'm not Minnesotan, though, so my 2 cents may not count, LOL!
... It’s a “Sushi Bake”!
After I made my recipe, baked and served the dish, I decided to Google to see if I could figure out what I had caught a glimpse of, on Facebook.
As it turns out, this is a “Sushi Bake”, and it’s become a quarantine cooking trend!
... I always seem to miss out on these things. Much like a tomato/feta/pasta TikTok trend that a friend mentioned the other day, I’d not heard a thing about this one, either!
Mine seems to differ from the others in a few ways: the rice isn’t always sushi-seasoned, I use a LOT less mayo, and the addition of the egg, mostly.
Some add cucumber or mango, but I’m happy with the way I went with ours.
I’d considered chopping a cucumber into it, but baked cucumber didn’t interest me, and I’d worried it would give it an unpleasant texture. I wanted cucumber involved, though, so that’s why I served it on the side!
This is a super customizable dish in general, so let’s discuss that before getting to the recipe!
Sushi Bake Variations and Garnishes
We went super basic with this - just using what we had on hand. If planning ahead, though, there are other items you could add, either in or on the side of, to customize it to your tastes.
A few ideas:
I really enjoyed having fresh cucumber slices on the side of ours. As previously mentioned, though, chopping some up and adding it to the crab layer is something that some people do! (If you try that, let me know how it goes!)
I liked having the cold, crunch as a contrast to the warm casserole, so I’ll be sticking with that, myself.
I love green onions in general, and I liked the bit of bright, oniony flavour it brought as a garnish.
Some time, I may throw some in the food processor with the imitation crab - that would also be great.
We used nori (seaweed) sheets as a garnish / side / stand in for cutlery, but you could make a layer of it in the casserole, if you like.
It will change texture, between the heat and moisture in the dish, though. I like my nori dry and crisp, so didn’t add it to ours.
I usually love a ton of wasabi with my sushi, but was feeling a bit lazy when making this... so I didn’t mix up any wasabi.
Truthfully, I’m not sure wasabi would have added much to the dish, it worked really well without it!
I don’t think the addition of wasabi would hurt anything, though, so feel free to add it.
Next time, I may mix some prepared wasabi with mayo and make a second drizzle with that! That would be a pretty AND tasty way of incorporating it.
We used Kewpie Mayonnaise, a Japanese mayonnaise.
It’s richer and a bit more... umami... than traditional North American mayo.
That said, you can totally use whatever mayo you have on hand for this.
Masago / Tobiko / Roe
I didn’t happen to have any kind of roe on hand, so I didn’t use it.
If I DID have some on hand, it would have gotten sprinkled on each serving as a garnish.
Avocado would be great, either as a side / garnish, or in the actual dish.
If I had some avocado on hand, I would have chopped it really small, tossed it with a bit of lime or calamansi juice, and spread it over the rice layer.
Baked avocado has such a nice texture and flavour, I could definitely see it having worked well in this.
Unfortunately, the “I have an idea and I’m making this tonight!” thing doesn’t work so well with the “not ripe, not ripe, not ripe, EAT ME NOW, whoops, too late!” nature of avocados!
Much like with the wasabi, soy sauce is such a common accompaniment for sushi. I had no idea how I’d incorporate it, aside from being a dip on the side.
... so I didn’t. I don’t think soy was “missing” from the dish at all. If you really want soy, I’m thinking a bit of a drizzle over the rice later might be the best way?
Shrimp or Other Seafood
While I wouldn’t bother baking sashimi-grade fish, other cooked seafood types could be really good in this, either with or instead of the imitation crab. Scallops, crab, shrimp, a mix... whatever!
Gluten-Free Sushi Casserole
As is, the only thing possibly standing between you and a gluten-free sushi bake is the imitation crab.
Be sure to check the ingredients when buying it - many varieties use wheat flour, some do not.
I find that brands in Asian grocery stores are more likely to use non-wheat binders, than the brands in mainstream grocery stores... I don’t know if that’s a general rule, or just what’s available local to me.
Aside from that, just make sure that any other ingredients you may add - such as soy sauce - is a gluten-free variety, if you’d like a gluten-free casserole.
How to Make Sushi CasseroleJump to Recipe
This is a super easy recipe to make, and it come together in 3 main parts. Before getting started, preheat your oven. Then...
Make the Sushi Rice
Rinse rice well. Add rice and water to rice cooker, and set to cook.
In a small saucepan, mix rice vinegar, sugar, and salt. Heat on low setting until sugar and salt dissolve. ALternately, you can do this in the microwave, in a microwave-safe bowl or measuring cup.
Once rice is cooked, dump the hot rice into a large mixing bowl. Fold the vinegar mixture into the rice carefully, being careful not to mush it.
Add the toasted sesame seeds, gently fold in.
Grease pan with sesame oil or pan spray. Spread rice mixture in pan, press to flatten a bit.
Sprinkle with a nice layer of furikake, set aside.
Make The Crab Layer
Remove packaging from imitation crab, if applicable.
Chop up or run through a food processor, like I did. Add mayo, stir well to combine. Season with sriracha, to taste.
Crack egg into the bowl, beat to break up, then mix well to fully combine. This will hold that layer together a bit, so it’s not so loose.
Spread crab mixture in pan...
Sprinkle with black sesame seeds.
... top with another thin layer of furikake.
Make the Topping, and Bake!
Mix together the remaining ⅓ cup of mayo and sriracha.
Drizzle over the sushi casserole - I used a pastry bag, but a spoon works fine.
Bake for 25 minutes, Serve hot!
More Sushi & "Sushi-Adjacent" Recipes
Here are a few more recipes that you may enjoy!
DIY Sushi Birthday Cake
Homemade Gyoza / Potstickers
How to Make Sushi Rice
Keto Spicy Salmon Poke Bowl
Low Carb / Keto Chirashi Bowl
Low Carb Tuna Mango Poke Bowl
Matcha Green Tea Pavlova
Pepper Crusted Tuna with Wasabi Cream Sauce
Potluck DIY Sushi Party
Spicy Tuna Maki
Sushi Sauce Recipes - Dynamite, Eel, and Mango
Tuna Avocado Mango Maki
Share the Love!
Well, the published nonsense, anyway!
Easy Sushi Casserole
- 2 cups Uncooked sushi rice
- 2 ¼ cups Water
- ¼ cup Seasoned rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoon Granulated Sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon Toasted sesame seeds
- Sesame oil or Pan spray
- 1 lb imitation crab meat
- ½ cup Kewpie mayo
- Sriracha to taste
- 1 egg
- Black sesame seeds
- ⅓ cup Kewpie Mayo
- 1 tablespoon Sriracha
- Green Onions
- Nori sheets
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Rinse rice well. Add rice and water to rice cooker, and set to cook.
- In a small sauce pan, mix rice vinegar, sugar, and salt. Heat on low setting until sugar and salt dissolve.
- Once rice is cooked, dump the hot rice into a large mixing bowl. Fold the vinegar mixture into the rice carefully, being careful not to mush it.
- Add the toasted sesame seeds, gently fold in.
- Grease pan with sesame oil or pan spray. Spread rice mixture in pan, press to flatten a bit. Sprinkle with a nice layer of furikake, set aside.
- Remove packaging from imitation crab, if applicable. Chop up or run through a food processor, like I did.
- Add mayo, stir well to combine. Season with sriracha, to taste.
- Crack egg into the bowl, beat to break up, then mix well to fully combine.
- Spread crab mixture in pan, top with another thin layer of furikake. Sprinkle with black sesame seeds.
- Mix together remaining ⅓ cup of mayo and sriracha. Drizzle over the sushi casserole - I used a pastry bag, but a spoon works fine.
- Bake for 25 minutes.Serve hot, garnished with cucumbers, nori, green onion, and anything else you'd like!