Transform cold & boring leftover salmon into a fun interactive dinner - in under 30 minutes! This simple Salmon Sushi Bake is an epic crowd-pleaser for weeknight dinners & potlucks that'll have everyone (especially sushi lovers) begging you for the recipe!
For the next hangout with friends & family, create a meal you know EVERYONE will love - and without spending all day in the kitchen! This delicious and fun Salmon Sushi Bake is so easy, any beginner in the kitchen will feel like a pro.
Plus, it's a very budget-friendly way to feed a crowd (especially sushi lovers!) without breaking the bank 🙂 This sushi bake recipe makes dinner fun for guests to create & customize their own bite-size handrolls with no fancy rolling required.
❤️ Recipe Highlights
- Cheap & Easy Crowd-Pleaser: This delicious Salmon Sushi Bake is a super easy Easy Entertaining recipe that comes together with little effort. It's a guaranteed crowd-pleaser (especially sushi lovers!) for Christmas or Thanksgiving potlucks - without spending that sushi money.
- No Fancy Rolling: Satisfy your sushi craving - no fancy rolling required! Create a fun dinner with everyone building their own bite-size handrolls!
- Customize to Your Fave Sushi: This sushi bake is a great base as is or you can easily customizable it with extra toppings or mix-ins inspired by your fave sushi rolls!
- Repurpose Leftover Salmon: Transform leftover salmon into a whole new (& budget-friendly) meal that you know everyone will love.
🍣 What is Sushi Bake?
Sushi Bake has become a popular alternative to sushi rolls, especially for parties & gatherings! It's basically deconstructed sushi rolls in casserole form and you can easily customize it with any of your favorite sushi toppings (more on that in minute!).
Serve it up with crispy seaweed chips for friends and family to build their own bite-sized handrolls! It's a fun and budget-friendly meal that comes together super easily. Here's what you'll need...
- Salmon: Cooked or canned salmon (that's been drained well) work for this recipe. It's a great way to repurpose any leftover salmon into a whole new meal!
- Sushi Rice: I highly recommend using short or medium-grain rice for this sushi bake recipe. Long grain rice doesn't have the same sticky consistency as the shorter grains of rice.
- Ponzu: This is a must for this recipe! Ponzu is a Japanese condiment that adds a fresh burst of zest to the sushi bake and balances the creaminess and saltiness from the other seasonings. You can find it at any local Asian or Japanese market and has become increasingly popular so it's sometimes in the Asian/international isle of local grocery stores too!
- Japanese Mayo: If you haven't tried Japanese mayo, you're missing out! Japanese mayo adds creaminess to this dish and is different than American mayo - there's no going back! Japanese mayo is richer with a custard-like consistency because it's made with egg yolks only, unlike American mayo that includes the whole egg. You can easily find it at local Asian or Japanese markets or online.
- Light Soy Sauce: This seasons the sushi bake mixture with a hit of saltiness and umami.
- Sesame Oil: A little goes a long way for a deep roasted nutty flavor. It's an absolute must!
- Seaweed Chips: Mr. Hee's Spicy Seaweed Chips are my ABSOLUTE fave because it's actually spicy & adds extra flavor. You can sometimes find it at local Ranch 99's but any seaweed chips or nori sheets would work. You'll just need to cut the nori sheets into bite-size pieces to serve.
- Furikake: There are many varieties of furikake but the core ingredients are seaweed and sesame seeds. Try out & use any of your favorite furikake!
See recipe card for quantities.
This Salmon Sushi Bake is SO good on its own... but you can get fancy and serve it up with any of your favorite sushi toppings too. Friends & family can build their own bite-size handrolls with toppings like:
- Thinly sliced cucumber
- Thinly sliced avocado
- Thinly sliced mango
- Green onions
If you're using masago or tobiko, make sure to add it after baking because the flavor and texture is very different cooked vs fresh.
🔪 How to Make Salmon Sushi Bake
Step 1: In a small heat-proof bowl, combine rice vinegar, sugar, & salt. Heat in microwave for about 15 seconds, or until sugar & salt is dissolved.
Place hot rice in a large bowl, then drizzle the rice vinegar mixture on top of a spatula while moving it in a swiping motion. This helps distribute the mixture more evenly. Gently fold together, being careful not to mush the rice. Set aside.
Step 3: In a 8x8 baking dish, layer on sushi rice (being careful not to mush it), half of the furikake, the salmon filling, & remaining furikake. Drizzle on Japanese mayo, sriracha, & unagi sauce. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the top of the sushi bake is golden and everything is heated through.
Step 4: Serve with seaweed chips and additional toppings if you'd like (topping ideas in "Variations & Substitutions" section above)! Enjoy!
👩🏽🍳 Key Tips
- Rinsing Rice Well: Rinsing the rice before cooking is important because it removes the extra starch. If you skip this simple step, you'll have much mushier rice.
- Season While Hot: Once the rice is done cooking, allow it to steam for about 5 minutes to absorb more moisture, then transfer to a large bowl. Season the rice while it's still fresh and warm to continue absorbing the liquid.
- Handle Gently: The last thing you want is mushy rice in your sushi bake - it's just not a pleasant consistency in sushi or this recipe lol. To avoid this, handle the rice gently (aka don't smoosh it) while mixing & layering the rice. Wet your fingers, spatula, or whatever comes in contact with the rice to prevent sticking.
💭 Recipe FAQs
Let Salmon Sushi Bake come to room temperature, then transfer to an airtight container. You can store in the fridge for about 3-4 days.
You can easily reheat the Sushi Bake without an oven. Just transfer a serving of the sushi bake into a heat-proof plate or bowl, cover, and heat in the microwave until warm and rice is tender. Serve it with more nori sheets & toppings if you'd like!
Toasted seaweed chips are the easiest & most flavorful since they're pre-cut, seasoned, and extra crispy! Nori sheet also work. Just keep in mind you'll need to cut the sheets into bite-size pieces & it won't be as crispy or have the extra flavor.
Sushi bakes are served warm with roasted seaweed on the side. Scoop the sushi bake filling on top of the seaweed chip, then enjoy the bite-size handroll!
🥗 What to Serve with this Sushi Bake
Let's Get Cooking!
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Salmon Sushi Bake
- 1 ½ cup freshly cooked rice*
- 1 ½ tablespoon rice vinegar
- ½ tablespoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Seaweed chips
- Cucumber julienned optional
- Avocado sliced optional
- In a microwave-safe bowl, combine rice vinegar, sugar, & salt. Microwave for 15 seconds or until sugar & salt is dissolved.
- Place the hot freshly cooked rice in a large bowl, then drizzle the rice vinegar mixture on top of a spatula while moving it in a swiping motion. This helps distribute the mixture more evenly. Gently fold together, being careful not to mush the rice. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 450° F.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the sushi filling ingredients - salmon, cream cheese, ponzu, Japanese mayo, light soy sauce, sesame oil, & green onions. Set aside.
- In a baking dish, begin assembling the sushi bake by evenly layering the sushi rice (again, be careful not to mush the rice), then half of the furikake, the sushi filling, & the remaining furikake. Drizzle unagi sauce, Sriracha, and Japanese mayo on top.
- Bake in the oven for 10 - 15 minutes, or until the top is golden and everything is heated through.
- Serve with seaweed chips or nori sheets, cucumber, and avocado slices if desired. Enjoy by scooping the sushi bake onto a piece of nori and adding cucumber and / or avocado, if desired. Roll up into a bite & enjoy!
- Rice: Any short-grain rice is best for that sticky chewy texture like sushi, but medium grained rice would do if you have trouble finding it. You can easily find these at local Asian or Japanese markets.
- Furikake: There are TONS of flavors for furikake, but the basic type (with just seaweed & sesame seeds) is what I used for this recipe. Feel free to experiment with any of your favorites!
- Step-by-Step Photos: Scroll to the blog post above for step-by-step photos & key tips for best results!
Exact calculations may vary. For the most accurate nutritional information, use your preferred nutrition calculator, actual ingredients, and quantities used for the recipe. Please consult with your physician or registered dietitian if more precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.