If you enjoy eating sushi, chances are high that you’ll love this homemade Sushi Bake recipe just as much as we do! It’s got a lot of the same ingredients used in spicy kani salad, but with the added bonus that it’s baked until warm in a casserole dish on top of seasoned sushi rice, making it perfect for parties and group entertaining!
What Is A Sushi Bake?
Think of a sushi bake as a sushi roll in casserole form. Ours is made with a crab mixture of kani (imitiation crab), spicy mayo, tobiko, and scallions. We are not fans of cream cheese in sushi rolls, but if you love it, feel free to add it in. A lot of the viral versions on TikTok have cream cheese.
As far as prepping, you can certainly make the rice ahead of time, which cuts the prep time down to a mere 15 minutes! Not only is this easy to make, but it’s completely customizable to the sushi ingredients you love most.
What’s In This Sushi Bake Recipe?
- Seasoned sushi rice: you’ll need about 5½ cups of cooked vinegared rice total. But you can absolutely use plain old cooked sushi rice, without the vinegar mixture too.
- Toasted sesame seeds: For that nutty sesame flavor!
- Furikake: This is a Japanese seasoning blend that typically contains sesame dried seaweed, bonito, sesame seeds, sugar, soy sauce, and some type of dried fish. It definitely has a strong flavor, but used in moderation we love it!
- Roasted Seaweed (nori): Dried edible seaweed, used both to season the sushi bake recipe, but also for eating it once baked!
- Kani: Also known as imitation crab, imitation krab, or surimi. Kani looks like real crab legs, but instead is made from white fish, like pollock, that has been processed and mixed with starch to appear both in shape and texture like crab.
- Kewpie: This is a Japanese mayo that has a tangy, rich flavor.
- Sriracha: This thick, tangy hot sauce is made from a paste of chili peppers, garlic, vinegar, garlic, sugar, and salt. It’s mixed with the kewpie to make spicy mayo.
- Scallions: Mixed into the kani salad mixture as well as for a garnish.
- Tobiko or masago: A few tablespoons goes a long way! Tobiko is flying fish roe, which adds a bit more of a seafood taste to the baked sushi. The eggs are small, bright orange, and pop a little when you eat them!
You’ll want to serve this with seaweed snacks (those little Korean nori squares), thin slices of cucumbers, avocado, and a drizzle of Kewpie mayo and Sriracha (either on their own or combined to make spicy mayo).
How To Make A Sushi Bake Casserole
- Make the sushi rice. Again, you can use plain cooked sushi rice (we love to make ours in this rice cooker, always) or you can make seasoned sushi rice made with seasoned rice vinegar. Press into a flat even layer in a large baking dish.
- Season the rice. This is where you’ll add furikake (the Asian rice seasoning blend), sesame seeds, and crumbled nori sheets.
- Make the kani salad. Toss shredded or cubed kani (imitation crab meat) with spicy mayo (combine Kewpie mayo with a few tablespoons Sriracha), tobiko, and lots of thinly sliced scallions. Press into a flat even layer on top of the cooked rice.
- Bake at 400F for 15 minutes.
- Garnish, then serve! This is where you add all your favorite toppings: We like avocado, cucumber, green onions, tobiko, and spicy mayonnaise. Essentially more of the ingredients that are already inside the sushi baked recipe!
How To Serve Sushi Bake
Wrapped in little squares of roasted nori (seaweed). We always buy the green tea nori squares, they’re our favorite!
- Rinse your rice before cooking! This removes excess start, which more easily allows the grains to separate when cooked.
- Don’t want to shred the kani by hand? Throw it into a food processor then pulse to finely chop! We rarely do this because it’s just one more dish to wash…
- Sushi tacos! Use the little seaweed squares to serve the sushi bake on top of, then fold upwards to make little sushi tacos.
- Sushi rolls! If you prefer something like a hand roll, use larger seaweed sheets for serving.
- Serving a large crowd? Leave the garnishes and toppings on the side, and allow guests to build their own sushi bowls with their favorite add-ons!
Variations and Substitutions
This is by no means a traditional Japanese or Hawaiian recipe. Feel free to play with the flavors and ingredients, loosely following the same set of instructions for assembling and cooking. Here are a few ideas to work off of:
- Sauce: In addition to (or as a substitute for) spicy mayo, try topping this with eel sauce (also called unagi sauce).
- Seafood: This classic baked sushi recipe is made with kani (imitation crab or krab), but you could easily used cooked shrimp, our miso salmon, fresh tuna, canned tuna, or any of your favorite sushi ingredients. The nice thing about kani is that it doesn’t require cooking in advance, unlike salmon or shrimp or scallops. But use whatever you like, even real crab meat!
- Cheese: Some people like to add shredded Cheddar cheese on top, but this does not make sense or sound good to us. You do you, though!
- Serve with pickled ginger or wasabi, always great additions to sushi!
HMart or other Asian grocery stores. We recommend the HMart store packaged imitation crab, as it is the easiest to shred. You can also cube the kani, if preferred. They’re typically sold in 8oz packages, so grab two containers for this recipe. Luckily, kani is inexpensive!
This is a Japanese rice seasoning blend that typically contains sesame dried seaweed, bonito, sesame seeds, sugar, soy sauce, and some type of dried fish.
Tobiko is flying fish roe, which adds a bit more of a seafood taste to the baked sushi. The eggs are small, bright orange, and pop a little when you eat them!
You’ll want to check the packaging on the kani to ensure that’s it’s gluten-free. If so, then yes, this is completely gluten-free. If you want to add soy sauce, just be sure to use tamari as the former is not gluten-free.
We like it hot, as the rice is fluffier and easier to eat. You could let it sit at room temperature and then eat, but it’s not as good straight out of the fridge.
This is a complete meal on its own, but if you’re looking to add more Asian-inspired side dishes, consider our Soy Sauce Eggs (Shoyu Tamago), Blistered Shishito Peppers, Beef Negimaki, or Spicy Ramen Noodles. A quick cucumber salad would be delicious too!
Leftovers, Storage, and Reheating
- Leftovers: Wrap leftovers tightly with plastic wrap or place in an airtight container, then store in a fridge. Use within 3 days.
- Reheat: Place in an oven preheated to 325F for 10-15 minutes.
We do not recommend freezing baked sushi leftovers.
If you love the flavors in this sushi bake casserole, give our Spicy Tuna Crispy Rice a try next!
This is truly such a fun family dinner or entertaining dish for a party or potluck! I can totally see this becoming a regular in our meal rotation. I guess TikTok is good for something after all… we love this recipe!
If you make this easy Sushi Bake recipe, please let us know by leaving a review and rating below!
Viral Sushi Bake Recipe with Kani Salad
- 5½ cups cooked sushi rice this is about 2½ cups of uncooked rice
- 1 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds
- 1 Tbsp furikake plus 1 tsp
- 2 small squares of nori
- 1 lb kani imitation crab, shredded or chopped into small pieces about ¼" in size
- ⅓ cup Kewpie mayo plus more for serving
- 1 Tbsp Sriracha plus more for serving
- 3 scallions thinly sliced, both white and green parts, plus more for serving
- ¼ cup tobiko or masago, divided
- For serving: thinly sliced cucumbers, avocado, and seaweed squares
- Preheat an oven to 400F. Grease a 9×13 baking dish lightly with nonstick cooking spray.
- Make the sushi rice. Press the sushi rice into a flat, even layer in the baking dish. Sprinkle with 1 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds, 1 Tbsp furikake, and 2 small crumbled nori squares.
- Make the kani salad layer. In a medium bowl, mix together 1 lb shredded or chopped kani, ⅓ cup Kewpie, 1 Tbsp Sriracha, 3 thinly sliced scallions, and 2 Tbsp tobiko until well mixed. Pour this on top of the rice, then spread into a flat, even layer. Sprinkle with an additional 1 tsp of furikake.
- Bake until warm throughout. Place in a preheated oven, then bake for 15 minutes, or until warm throughout.
- Garnish, then serve. Drizzle the top of the baked sushi recipe with a little Kewpie mayo and sriracha (either separately or mixed together to make spicy mayo). Add another 1-2 Tbsp of tobiko (or masago) scattered on top, then finish with thinly sliced cucumbers and avocado. Serve immediately with nori squares.
- Nutrition facts do not include garnishes.
- You can use any size baking dish that is at least 9×9, but we like the layers a bit thinner — we’ve used a 9×13 dish here.
- Leftovers: Allow the sushi bake to cool completely, then wrap leftovers tightly with plastic wrap or place in an airtight container. Store in a fridge for up to 3 days. We do not recommend freezing.
- Reheat: Place in an oven preheated to 325F for 10-15 minutes, then serve with nori.
- Seafood: Instead of kani (imitation crab), consider trying cooked shrimp, our miso salmon, scallops, or real crab meat.
- Sauce: Instead of or in addition to spicy mayo, drizzle the baked sushi with eel sauce (unagi sauce).
- Serve with pickled ginger, always a great addition to sushi!