Sushi is often loved by those who love raw fish. Not all sushi has to contain raw fish, however. Crab salad often contains imitation crab meat, which is a fully cooked product. Some sushi lovers may prefer cooked items rather than raw.
For an easy copycat sushi recipe at home, try this amazing Sushi Bake with Imitation Crab and Cream Cheese. It uses seasoned sushi rice, a spicy imitation crab salad, and prepared unagi sauce. The whole casserole is then baked and served on nori squares.
This casserole starts with some authentically seasoned sushi rice. Sushi rice is shorter grain rice that is sticky and fluffy. It always is seasoned with rice wine vinegar, sugar, and salt to have that familiar sushi flavor. The sushi rice acts as the bottom and top layers of this casserole.
The imitation crab filling makes this casserole special. It tastes very similar to spicy crab filling traditionally found in sushi. Simply mix flavorful imitation crab, softened cream cheese, mayo, Sriracha, and scallions. The result is creamy, spicy, and very decadent. This mixture is layered between the two layers of sushi rice.
Unagi can be bought prepared from the supermarket. It is the traditional eel sauce found on many sushi rolls. This savory, yet sweet sauce is also stuffed inside this sushi bake. Folks who do not eat eel can easily leave this out of the recipe if need be.
One final flavor element of this sushi bake is furikake. This is a flavorful Japanese seasoning consisting of sesame seeds, crushed seaweed, and other delicious flavors. It not only seasons the casserole deeply, but it also adds beautiful color to the top of the casserole. Furikake also plays well with the nori sheets that the casserole is served with.
On evenings that you are craving sushi but don’t want to spend the cash, make this amazing sushi bake. It tastes just like a spicy crab roll with the piquant imitation crab filling sandwiched between two thick layers of chewy sushi rice. Serve with more unagi, spicy mayo, or furikake on top of nori sheets for the easiest at-home sushi recipe.
In a large microwave-safe bowl, mix the rice wine vinegar, sugar, and salt. Heat in 30-second intervals in the microwave, stirring to dissolve the sugar and salt. Once the granules are dissolved, add the cooked sushi rice and stir with a rice spoon. Mix until the rice is completely combined with the vinegar mixture, being careful to not break up the grains of rice.
In another bowl, combine the softened cream cheese, mayonnaise, Sriracha, and imitation crab. Also, fold in the scallions carefully to not break up the imitation crab too much. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
In a greased 9 by 12 baking dish, layer half of the sushi rice. Press down firmly to create an even bed of rice. Top with the imitation crab salad, the unagi sauce, and half of the furikake. Spread to evenly coat the rice. Press another layer of sushi rice carefully on top of the imitation crab salad. Top the rice with the remaining furikake.
Bake the dish for 15 minutes to warm through completely. Remove from the oven and top with thin slices of avocado and diced cucumber for freshness. Serve warm on quartered nori sheets with soy sauce, more unagi, or spicy mayo.