This Alaska-style version of TikTok’s sushi bake is a primo way to use frozen salmon

Every time I pick up my phone lately, my oldest kid tells me what I tell him, which is that short-form content is killing our creativity. But, in my defense, my social media feeds are at least 50% food. Here at the height of eat-the-rest-of-your-salmon season, I’ve been influenced to try a TikTok dish called the salmon sushi bake that’s been making the rounds for a few years. I was skeptical, but it turns out it’s a primo way to use frozen fish.

The sushi bake is basically a deconstructed, cooked salmon sushi roll, made in a casserole pan, that you can eat in a big umami-packed pile or, if you want to do it up, scoop into snack-sized nori sheets and eat with your hands like a lettuce wrap. You can even dress it with sushi vegetables like cucumber, avocado and jalapeno for a supercharged salmon sushi experience. If you are doing the make-your-own mini sushi roll version with nori, it works great as an appetizer.

There are lots of recipes for sushi bakes online. Many use crab or surimi. The ones for salmon are written by people who aren’t from here, who are probably eating farmed Atlantic fish or canned pink salmon and they say to cook it so long it gets dry as a bone. This recipe is written for frozen red salmon and I try not to cook it to death. We should also talk about mayonnaise. Mayo is the best friend of springtime frozen fish, but for this recipe it’s important that you use a specific Japanese variety, Kewpie brand, to get the right salt and bite. You can find the stuff at just about every grocery in town and Costco often has it in a 2-pack. There is some controversy in the short form content world about the addition of cream cheese in the mix. I tried it with and without and adding a little cream cheese is just better. Furikake, if you’re not familiar, is a Japanese rice seasoning made from seaweed and sesame seeds. That’s also available at most grocery stores and, if you’re lucky, you might find one of a couple local versions made with Alaska kelp.

Salmon Sushi Bake

Serves 4


For the rice layer:

1 cup medium grain calrose white rice, rinsed until the water runs clear

1 tablespoon furikake

2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar

2 teaspoons granulated sugar

1 teaspoon salt

Canola oil spray

For the salmon layer:

One piece of red salmon, about 1 to 1 ¼ pounds, pin bones removed

1 teaspoon + 1 teaspoon soy sauce

2 tablespoons Kewpie mayonnaise + more for topping

1 tablespoon cream cheese, softened

1 teaspoon furikake or sesame seeds

Sriracha sauce

2 green onions, diced

Possible garnishes:

Snack-sized toasted nori sheets

Sliced avocado

Cucumber matchsticks

Sliced jalapeno


Pickled ginger


Instructions: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a square, 8-by-8 inch casserole pan with cooking spray. Cook the rice, according to package directions, in a rice cooker or on the stove top. While the rice is cooking, prepare the other components. Place the fish on a small parchment-lined sheet pan and drizzle with soy sauce. Bake it for 7 minutes. It will be very rare. Keep the oven on, you’ll use it again. Remove the salmon skin from the fish and flake the meat into a small bowl. Add 2 tablespoons mayonnaise, 1 teaspoon soy sauce and softened cream cheese. Stir gently until mixture is combined, but don’t overmix. In another small bowl, combine rice vinegar, sugar and salt. As soon as the rice is done, stir vinegar mixture and furikake in with the rice. Press the seasoned rice into the casserole pan to form the bottom layer. Add the fish on top in an even layer. Lash the top of the casserole with mayonnaise and sriracha on the diagonal and sprinkle it with furikake or sesame seeds. Return the casserole to the oven and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until the fish reaches desired doneness. Garnish with green onions. If desired, serve with small nori sheets and, if desired, other sushi vegetables, like avocado, jalapeno, microgreens, pickled ginger and wasabi.

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