This Salmon Sushi Bake is layered with rice, roasted seaweed, marinated salmon, and a variety of toppings. Easy way to enjoy classic sushi flavor with just 20 minutes of prep!
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Sushi bake has taken the internet and social media by storm. I made this very simplified version and my family went crazy for it! Alex and the boys keep claiming it tastes like a poke bowl and totally satisfies the sushi craving.
I can tell you it’s so easy to put together, it’s one of my favorite healthy casseroles ever! So simple and delicious!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Easy to make: This baked salmon sushi recipe is incredibly easy to make with no intricate rolling techniques, perfect for all skill levels.
- Crave-worthy: Tested and approved by my loved ones making it a go-to choice for a healthy dinner.
- Flexibility: Customize your choice of rice, spice level, and toppings.
- Cozy delight: Delicious blend of flavors, warmth in every bite, and familiarity of a sushi roll all baked together.
Ingredients for Salmon Sushi Bake
This salmon sushi bake breaks down into layers of rice, salmon, sauce, and toppings. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Rice: You can use any rice but I wrote this recipe for the most common long grain white rice (I make mine in Instant Pot). I also tried it with Instant Pot basmati rice, it needs to be a bit overcooked, so it softens and sticks together. Sushi rice or short grain rice would be great too!
- Salmon: I used wild coho salmon caught during our fishing trips. Feel free to use any boneless salmon filets, and you can keep the skin on for health benefits or remove it before slicing.
- Thai sweet chili sauce: Makes salmon flavorful and this dish super quick. I do not like overcooked salmon mixed with cream cheese in this recipe.
- Mayo: I used regular mayo but you can also use Japanese Kewpie mayo.
- Sriracha: Adds heat and a hint of garlic to the spicy mayo sauce.
- Soy sauce: Mixed with mayo and hot sauce to impart a savory umami taste. Use tamari or coconut aminos as a gluten-free option.
- Maple syrup: Provides a touch of sweetness to the spicy sauce.
- Seasoning: Salt to taste.
- Japanese BBQ sauce: Bachan’s sauce is to die for but if you cannot find it eel sauce, unagi sauce or teriyaki sauce will work.
- Roasted seaweed sheets: I cut 5 nori sheets to mix into the casserole. Feel free to use more for scooping up the baked salmon mixture.
- Sesame seeds: Not pictured but included as a garnish to add a nutty and toasty flavor.
- Other toppings: I added thawed edamame beans, chopped cucumber, and green onion. See more ideas below!
How to Make Salmon Sushi Bake
Here’s a quick step-by-step overview of how to make this simple salmon sushi bake recipe.
You’ll also find a full recipe card below.
Start by preheating your oven to 400 F then coat a large 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray.
- Cook rice: Cook 2 cups of rice either on the stovetop or, like I prefer, in the Instant Pot. Add rice, water, and a pinch of salt then pressure cook on High pressure for 5 minutes and allow for complete or 10 minutes of Natural Release. We’re aiming for soft and sticky rice that really sticks together.
- Marinate salmon: Meanwhile, take a big bowl and toss in the salmon, Thai sweet chili sauce, and salt. Give it a stir then set aside to marinate.
- Make spicy mayo sauce: While the salmon is marinating mix mayo, sriracha, soy sauce, and maple syrup in a medium bowl. Set it aside.
- Assemble and bake: In the casserole dish, spread the rice evenly and press it down to pack it. Add a single layer of roasted seaweed and the marinated salmon. Bake for 15 minutes, then broil until it’s golden brown on top.
- Add toppings: Take the sushi bake out of the oven and drizzle with spicy mayo. Top it off with edamame, cucumber, green onion, and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Finish it up with a nice drizzle of Japanese BBQ sauce.
- Serve: Cut each slice with a spatula and serve hot.
Tips for Best Results
Here are some helpful tips to make sure this salmon sushi bake becomes a favorite at your place, just like it is online.
- Rice should be soft: You want it almost a bit overcooked, so it’s mushy and sticks together in a single layer. It’s easier to serve it this way. So if cooking on the stove add extra water and cook time. I have included Instant Pot instructions on how to do that.
- Don’t overcook the salmon: You don’t want the fish to be dry. That’s why we bake it for a short amount of time and then broil the tops with chili sauce for a caramelized finish.
- Use what you have on hand: I have made this recipe numerous times with or without seaweed, green onions and sesame seeds, and it’s always a hit. As long as you have rice, salmon or Thai sauce and spicy tomato sauce you can do it.
- Use leftover cooked rice: I always freeze leftover cooked rice, you will need about 5 cups of it. I tested this recipe with leftover Instant Pot coconut rice and it was amazing!
Other Toppings Ideas
Making this dish your own is a breeze. Add any or all of these perfect toppings, just be sure to add raw toppings after baking.
- Diced avocado
- Sliced radishes
- Fish roe
- Furikake rice seasoning
- Pickled ginger
- Cilantro leaves
- Shredded carrots
What to Serve Sushi Bake with?
We each enjoyed a bowl of salmon sushi bake on its own, it’s quite rich.
If you’re really hungry or entertaining a group, complete it with appetizers or sides like miso soup, simple avocado salad, spinach or cucumber salad with Japanese carrot ginger dressing, or pickled carrots and cucumbers.
How to Store and Reheat
Store: For any leftovers, simply store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator, and they should stay fresh for up to 5 days.
Reheat: This casserole tastes best when warm. If you have all the toppings on it, reheat in a microwave for a minute or so. Without many fresh toppings you can heat it in the oven at 350 F for 7 to 10 minutes.
Freeze: Avoid freezing this dish due to the toppings, unless you plan ahead and only add toppings to half the dish. Tightly wrap that half in plastic wrap and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight and reheat in the microwave or oven before serving.
Sushi bake is a deconstructed sushi roll with all the delicious flavors layered into a casserole. Its origin is debated, some credit Mimi Qui Reyes, founder of The Original Baked California Roll in the Philippines (2015), while others claim it gained popularity at Hawaiian potlucks earlier.
A little bit, mostly from the spicy mayo sauce. One of my teenagers doesn’t like spicy food and it was a little bit too spicy for him but he ate it. You can always use less or completely omit sriracha for a more mild or non spicy version.
Proper sushi rice can be made by adding 1/4 cup rice vinegar and 1 tablespoon sugar when cooking rice. I found it’s not necessary but you can do it.
Yes. Cook brown rice on the stove or here is my Instant Pot brown rice recipe. In any case, you want it to be a bit overcooked, so add a little bit more water and cook for a little bit longer. It doesn’t have to be perfect because we will bake it after and if there is any leftover water it will get absorbed.
Feel free to swap salmon for trout or raw tuna but cook time might be slightly different. For shrimp or scallops, bake for 5-7 minutes or so. Some people also add chopped or shredded imitation crab meat, I would add it with toppings after baking rice with whatever fresh seafood you choose.
More Asian Inspired Recipes to Try
Salmon Sushi Bake
For Instant Pot Rice:
- 2 cups long grain white rice or sushi rice uncooked
- 2 1/2 cups cold water
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 pounds salmon cubed into 1-1.5" pieces
- 1/3 cup Thai sweet chili sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
For Spicy Mayo Sauce:
- Preheat oven to 400 F and spray large 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
- Cook 2 cups of rice on the stovetop or I like to make it in Instant Pot. Add rice, water and salt, then pressure cook on High pressure for 5 minutes and allow for complete or 10 minutes of Natural Release. You want rice soft and mushy so it sticks.
- While rice is cooking, in a large bowl add salmon, Thai sweet chili sauce and salt. Stir and set aside to marinate.
- While salmon is marinating, make spicy mayo sauce by whisking mayo, sriracha, soy sauce and maple syrup in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- In previously prepared baking dish add rice and level it with a spoon, pressing on it so it's packed. Then top with roasted seaweed and marinated salmon in a single layer. Bake for 15 minutes, then broil until golden brown.
- Remove sushi bake from the oven and drizzle with spicy mayo sauce. Then garnish with edamame, cucumber, green onion and sesame seeds. Drizzle with Japanese BBQ sauce.
- Serve hot by cutting each slice with a spatula.
- Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
- I don’t recommend to freeze this dish because of all the toppings. Unless you plan ahead and top half of the bake only. Then freeze the other half tightly wrapped with a few pieces of plastic wrap for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight and reheat in a microwave for a few minutes or in the oven at 350 F for 10-15 minutes.