Seasoning Is The Secret To A Mouth-Watering Sushi Bake

When you think of sushi, chances are you don't think about using the oven. But if you're a seafood lover looking for a fun, unusual twist on Japanese cuisine, you might want to try this delicious, easy-to-make salmon and rice sushi bake. While it might sound simple, the taste is anything but, thanks to a carefully crafted blend of spices and sauces that pack an incredible amount of flavor into each bite.

While the rice used in sushi can often look like the ordinary white variety, it's actually been subtly seasoned before serving. You'll emulate this same light but distinctive flavor profile in your spicy salmon sushi bake, in which rice forms the base for the casserole-style dish. Just before assembling the final dish, Mashed recipe developer Catherine Brookes adds rice vinegar, sugar, and salt to the rice, and then stirs it well to integrate the flavors. Japanese chefs have used this trick for hundreds of years, though it was initially a means of preserving the rice before people discovered the enhanced flavor benefits.

This dish contains a potent mix of flavors

The more intense seasoning in this dish is used on the salmon fillets, which provide tasty flavor and filling protein for the sushi bake. First, the salmon is baked with a simple seasoning of olive oil, salt, and pepper. Once it's fully cooked and flaked, Brookes' recipe amps things up with an intensely flavored mixture of umami-heavy soy sauce and furikake (a mix of dried fish flakes, seaweed, and other spices), as well as uniquely spicy sriracha sauce and creamy mayonnaise as a binder.

The idea is to create a filling that evokes the flavors of sushi, like the spicy tuna roll, which is then spooned on top of the sushi rice and baked for several minutes to integrate the flavors and develop a deliciously crisp top.

There's no doubt some food purists will likely look down on this simple fusion dish, and some may argue it might not be sushi at all. If you're craving the flavors of your favorite sushi roll, however, this is a perfect at-home option — just don't skimp on the seasonings!