Make any night sushi night with this easy & budget-friendly Tuna Sushi Bake - in under 30 minutes! Save your sushi money & create a fun dinner experience with these bite-size sushi handrolls - no fancy rolling required!
This easy Tuna Sushi Bake is a fun & budget-friendly party appetizer or meal with no fancy rolling required!
Deconstruct your fave sushi (without dropping that sushi $$$) & create a fun dinner everyone will love! This quick & easy sushi bake recipe comes together in 30 minutes or less & is SO customizable - swap out tuna for Salmon Sushi Bake or Crab Sushi Bake & serve it with all of your favor sushi fillings (ideas below!).
- Sushi Rice: For that sticky chewy texture like sushi, Japanese sushi rice is what to go for! You can easily find it at local Asian or Japanese markets, or online. If you're tight on time, long grain or even leftover rice works too, but keep in mind, the texture will not be the same!
- Ponzu: This is a must for a zesty burst of flavor that balances the creaminess (from the cream cheese & mayo) & saltiness from the light soy sauce.
- Japanese Mayo: This is different than regular mayo because it's made with yolks instead of whole eggs, which results in a richer flavor & consistency! Kewpie mayo is the most popular brand that can easily found at local Asian or Japanese markets. It's becoming so popular that it's sometimes even at local grocery stores in the Asian/International aisle!
- Light Soy Sauce: This adds salty & umami to your Tuna Sushi Bake.
- Sesame Oil: A little goes a long way for a deep toasted nutty flavor! Trust, just a little bit adds a depth of flavor that can't be skipped.
- Nori Sheets or Seaweed Chips: Totally forgot to add this to the ingredients photo but a must for this recipe! My ABSOLUTE fave is using Mr. Hee's spicy seaweed chips for extra flavor, but seaweed sheets work too. If you go for nori sheets, try to find ones that have resealable packaging for easy storing!
- Furikake: There a TON of variations of furikake, but the core ingredients are nori (seaweed) and sesame seeds. Use your favorite or experiment with different varieties.
See recipe card for quantities.
📖 Variations & Substitutions
This Tuna Sushi Bake is easily customizable! Swap out the tuna for Salmon Sushi Bake or Crab Sushi Bake that are absolute crowd-pleasers at family parties, game nights with friends, or Christmas or Thanksgiving potlucks!
You could even do a mix of seafood & toss in chopped shrimp or scallops if you're feeling fancy 😉
This Tuna Sushi Bake is SO good as is, but (speaking of feeling fancy hehe) you can dress it up by serving it with your fave sushi add-ins!
Here are a few ideas for serving:
- Thinly sliced cucumber
- Thinly sliced avocado
- Thinly sliced mango
- Green onions
🔪 How to Make Tuna Sushi Bake
Step 1: Combine rice vinegar, sugar, & salt, then microwave for about 15-30 seconds, or until the sugar & salt has dissolves. Set aside.
Transfer hot rice into a heat-proof bowl, then slowly pour seasoned rice vinegar over a spatula while moving the spatula in a swiping motion. This helps spread the flavor more evenly. Remember to be gentle as you fold the rice so it doesn't turn mushy!
Preheat oven to 450° F. Meanwhile, make the tuna sushi filling in a large mixing bowl. Combine Japanese mayo, cream cheese, ponzu, light soy sauce, sesame oil until smooth. Then, fold in the drained tuna & green onions until well combined.
Step 5: In a 8-inch baking dish, layer on rice, half of the furikake, the tuna filling, & remaining furikake. Drizzle on Japanese mayo, sriracha, & unagi sauce - this will caramelize in the oven! Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the top of the sushi bake is golden and everything is heated through.
Step 6: Serve with seaweed chips and additional toppings if you'd like (topping ideas in "Variations & Substitutions" section above)! Enjoy!
👩🏽🍳 Key Tips
- Don't Skip Rinsing: Rinsing the rice before cooking is important because it removes the extra starch. If you skip this simple step, you'll have rice with a slightly gooey consistency, instead of a firm chew.
- Season While Hot: Once the rice is cooked, let it steam for about 5 minutes without lifting the rice cooker lid to absorb more moisture. Then, while the rice is still hot, transfer it to a large bowl & season so it can continue to absorb the liquid seasoning!
- Avoid Making Mushy Rice: Let's be real, mushy rice is not it - at least not for kind of dish. To avoid this, make sure to mix & handle the cooked sushi rice gently!
- Keep Nori Sheets in Package: Nori can lose its crisp texture & easily become soggy if it's left out too long. Try to keep it in it's packaging or airtight container for guests to pull from.
💭 Recipe FAQs
Store any leftover tuna sushi bake in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.
To reheat, place in a heat-proof bowl or plate, cover, then heat in the microwave until warm.
Short grain rice, such as sushi or Calrose rice, works for the sticky chewy consistency similar to sushi.
Sushi bake is a deconstructed sushi in a casserole form! It's layered with cooked sushi rice, furikake, a seafood filling (such as tuna, salmon, crab, or shrimp), then drizzled with Kewpie mayo, sriracha, & unagi sauce.
Sushi bake is served with nori/seaweed sheets. Scoop some of the sushi bake on top of a piece of nori for a bite-size sushi - no fancy rolling needed!
If you're feeling fancy, you can even serve your sushi bake with your fave sushi fillings, such as sliced cucumbers, avocado, or even chilled masago!
🥗 More Easy Recipes You’ll Love!
Let's Get Cooking!
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Tuna Sushi Bake
- 1 ½ cup cooked short grain rice*
- 2 ¾ tsp rice vinegar
- ¾ tablespoon sugar
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- seaweed chips
- cucumber thinly sliced, optional
- avocado thinly 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 - drained tuna, 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.Keep in mind, the unagi sauce is sweet AND salty, so don't add too much so the sushi bake won't be overly salty.
- 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 seaweed chip and adding cucumber and / or avocado, if desired. Roll up into a bite & enjoy!
- Rice: Short-grain rice, such as sushi rice, is typically used for this recipe to create a similar sushi experience. You can easily find it at any local Asian market or sometimes even at local grocery stores in the Asian/international aisles. If you're short on time or have trouble finding it, you could even repurpose leftover rice. Just keep in mind it won't have the same chewy sticky texture in the dish.
- Tuna: For this Tuna Sushi Bake recipe, I'm using canned tuna in water since we are adding mayo and sesame oil to season the dish and I don't want it be too oily or wet.
- Seaweed Chips: I like using seaweed chips for the extra flavor, but nori sheets work as well. You'll just need to cut them into bite size pieces & will have a little less flavor.
- Key Tips & Step-by-Step Photos: For key tips on how to store & step-by-step photos, follow the instructions in the blog post above!
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.