Spicy Salmon Sushi Bake

Sushi bake recipes are all the rage right now and filling our social media feeds. We made our own version of this delicious dish in the way that we know best, packed full of wild salmon. It is the perfect dish to satisfy your sushi craving from home, without needing special equipment. The ingredients in this salmon sushi bake trend are that of a deconstructed sushi roll, and a great alternative for those who are hesitant to enjoy the raw nature of traditional sushi rolls, but still love the flavors of sushi. 

Equipment Needed 

Sharp chef's knife: Removing salmon skin is tricky with a dull knife, make sure yours is nice and sharp! This task can be done with a chef's knife or boning knife. 

Fine mesh strainer: A fine mesh strainer is key for rinsing rice before cooking. Make sure the holes are small enough that the rice doesn't fall through. 

Large saucepan: A saucepan that is 3 or 4 quarts is ideal for cooking the rice and is big enough to prevent a stovetop mess if the rice happens to boil over. 

Small baking dish: A baking dish is used to assemble the sushi bake. It is best to use one on the smaller side so the layers of the dish aren't spread too thin and each bite is packed with salmon and rice. 

Condiment squeeze bottle: This isn't necessary, but if you have one it is ideal for distributing the spicy mayo after the dish is baked. If you are using one, consider mixing the mayo and sriracha right in the bottle to minimize dirty dishes. 

Keta Salmon fillet surrounded by the ingredients for the spicy salmon sushi bake recipe


Wild keta salmon: The mild flavor of keta salmon allows the bold sushi flavors to stand out.

Sushi rice: Sushi rice is short-grain white rice that contains lots of starch, allowing it to become sticky. Short-grain brown rice could be used instead and cooked according to package instructions. 

Kewpie mayonnaise: Kewpie mayonnaise is a Japanese-style mayonnaise that is made with extra egg yolks and an extra acidic component. It serves a starring role in this dish, but regular mayonnaise could be used instead. Other types of Japanese mayo may be found at your local grocery store under the name 'yuzu mayonnaise' or simply "Japanese mayonnaise" and are also wonderful for this recipe. 

Green onions: Green onions add a savory depth of flavor to this recipe and a fresh component at the end. 

Soy sauce: Adds salt and an expected sushi flavor to the dish. 

Sriracha: Sriracha is the hot sauce most fitting for sushi, and adds all the spice to this dish. The recipe as written is a medium spice level, but the spice can be easily adjusted by increasing or decreasing the sriracha. If you really like spice, a drizzle of sriracha can be added to the final dish at the end.

Rice vinegar: Rice vinegar is the key ingredient that transforms sticky rice into sushi rice. Make sure to use rice vinegar and not seasoned rice vinegar. If you happen to have only seasoned rice vinegar at home, leave out the sugar and salt additions to the rice. 

Sugar: sugar is another characteristic of sushi rice, leave it out if you are using seasoned rice vinegar. 

Furikake seasoning: Furikake is a savory Japanese condiment containing sesame seeds, bonito flakes, seaweed, and salt. 

Cucumber: Cucumber adds a nice bit of freshness to the dish when serving. Look for Persian or English cucumbers, the types with small seeds. 

Avocado: Avocado adds another layer of creamy texture to the end of the dish and pairs so well with the spicy mayo. 

Nori sheets: Nori sheets are used to contain the sushi bake while eating. Individually packaged seaweed snacks can be used instead of full nori sheets. 

Unagi sauce: Unagi sauce, also known as eel sauce, is added to the dish as a garnish after baking. It can be purchased from an Asian market, or easily made at home, directions to follow. 

Serving and Storing Tips 

This easy sushi bake recipe is best eaten immediately after cooking while it is either still warm or at room temperature. If you have any leftovers that you can't eat in one sitting, they can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. 

How to Make Unagi Sauce 

Unagi sauce is super easy to make at home, and a wonderful condiment to keep in your fridge for adding to rice bowls and seafood dishes of all varieties. 

To make unagi sauce, combine 1/4 cup mirin, 1/4 cup soy sauce, and 2 tablespoons sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer over medium-low heat. Watch it closely because if the sugar it can boil up and make a big mess. Simmer for 5-7 minutes or until the sauce visibly begins to thicken. Remove it from the heat and allow it to cool. It can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for several months. 

Recipe Variations 

This popular dish is delicious as written, but can also be customized with your favorite toppings. Try adding some fish roe like Wild for Salmon Ikura, or thinly sliced carrot matchsticks. If you like extra spice, an additional drizzle of sriracha or chili sauce can be added before or after baking. 

Instead of serving the sushi bake wrapped in the nori squares, try serving it in a bowl, topped with edamame, cucumber, avocado, carrots, and all the sauces.

If you really want to bring this dish up to the next level, replace half of the salmon with shelled snow crab

If you have a rice cooker or instant pot, the rice can be cooked there instead of a saucepan. Cook the rice as you usually do, and proceed to stir in the rice vinegar, sugar, and salt, as the recipe indicates. 

[[ recipeID=recipe-8le4pwp5h, title=Spicy Salmon Sushi Bake ]]

Chef Marisa Kerkvliet standing in her kitchen chopping a vegetable


Marisa Kerkvliet of Lemon Thyme Kitchen is a freelance recipe developer and food photographer with a Master’s degree in Nutrition. She was raised on her family’s farm in Northwest Washington and her appreciation for good food developed at a very early age. She is passionate about creating recipes and beautiful imagery that highlight high-quality seasonal ingredients. Marisa loves all types of seafood, but her favorites are salmon and scallops!
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