Now, the sushi bake has been around in various guises since 2015, and is reported to have been introduced to Manilla by a celebrity nail artist, Mimi Qui Reyes. Since then it went on a bit of a roll with restaurant and chefs serving up sushi bakes. With that said, it has been during the COVID-19 pandemic that has really sparked the sushi bake craze. It has exploded all over restaurant delivery menus, Filipino social media, blogs and magazines - and become a symbolic comfort food of the lockdown for much of the country.
So let's grab our sushi rice, crab sticks and Kewpie mayonnaise and unwrap the layers that make up the sushi bake.
Sushi Bake Anatomy
Basically the sushi bake is deconstructed California roll that has been layered into a baking tray. Vinegared rice is put on the base of a tray (minus the nori seaweed) and topped with fish mixed with cream cheese and mayonnaise (salmon, canned tuna and crab sticks are most popular). This is then baked in the oven before being flame-grilled (kani aburi) and topped with sauces such as Kewpie mayonnaise, and teriyaki sauce. The baked rice and fish is then picked up with a piece of toasted nori, a bit like a taco.
Once the basic technique is down, then there are all sorts of different ways to enjoy a sushi bake. It is a bit like a pizza really with different toppings added to match your taste and budget. Some of the trending toppings, other than the classic salmon, tuna and crab sticks have been half and half creations, mango slices, avocado, fish roe, dried shaved tuna and furikake seaweed. In fact, if it works on traditional sushi, it's more than likely it'll work on baked sushi too.
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