Lifestyle

All The Tips + Ingredients You Need To Make Your Own Sushi Bake

Here are tips on how to make this giant deconstructed sushi.
IMAGE pexels.com, unsplash.com, freepik.com

If you've been seeing trays of what looks like a baked casserole but is being served with nori or seaweed sheets, you've just seen what is called a sushi bake or baked sushi. This giant deconstructed sushi (sushi purists might protest this is "sushi") is the latest quarantine food trend.

What is a sushi bake?

In the simplest of terms, it's a casserole with three distinct layers: Japanese sushi rice on the bottom, a creamy mixture of shredded fish (commonly salmon) and crabsticks in the middle, and on top is a layer of tobiko (flying fish roe) or masago (capellin or smelt roe). It's served and eaten wrapped in some nori or seaweed sheets. It's basically a California roll (no mangoes though!) in a tray.

This tray of sushi ingredients is best paired with your favorite ice-cold drink and shared with the barkada. If you're thinking aboutÂmaking it at home, these are our best tips for you: 

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Use Japanese ingredients.

The best way to recreate this sushi casserole is to use Japanese ingredients. This means using sushi rice, rice vinegar, Japanese mayonnaise, nori sheets, furikake, and flying fish roe. You will have to drop by an Asian or specialty Japanese grocery to get these ingredients such as Kobeya Japanese Foodmart in Makati and Soo Market Korean Grocery in Kapitolyo, Pasig.

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However, you can also try your local supermarket! The Asian and international aisles of large supermarkets are packed with ingredients that you may not have noticed before!

If you can't get your hands on one of these Japanese ingredients, here are our best tips on how to make this sushi bake the best one you make with these ingredient substitutions:

Photo by congerdesign from Pixabay
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1 Use malagkit rice or risotto rice.

If you can't get your hands on Japanese sushi rice, you can use malagkit rice. You'll want to treat this as if you're making biko but using only water. Another kind of rice you can use is the rice used for risotto: Arborio or Carnaroli are available, too, in your large supermarkets.

Just remember that you need to cook this rice until fluffy so the starches of the rice can come up and make the mixture sticky.

2 Steam the fish until just cooked through.

Steaming is the best way of cooking your fish. It's hard to mess this up! Since the fish will be in a moist environment, cooking it until dry is almost an impossibility. This no-fail method will ensure that your fish flakes well so you can shred it later. Plus, even if you undercook the fish, it's totally okay. It will heat up some more in the oven laterÂif you're worriedÂabout raw fish.Â

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Here's what you do:

  1. Prepare a steamer. 
  2. Place the fish on a heat-proof plate or baking dish, unseasoned.
  3. Steam the fish until cooked through. To test, use a fork to gently flake the center or thickest part of the fish. If it easily flakes, it's ready.
  4. Let cool just until warm enough to touch. Shred as needed.

3 Use other kinds of cheese.

The sushi bake uses cream cheese to amp up the flavor of the fish and crabstick mix. It already has Japanese mayo but this adds even more of a delicious tang. However, to change things up, grab your favorite cheese spread or even try adding the gooey stretchy feel of a little mozzarella or the saltiness of our kesong puti to the mix, too.

Photo by StockSnap from Pixabay
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4 Preheat your oven!

Just like any baking project, remember to preheat your oven! You might be surprised if your sushi bakes claims to become golden browned on top in 15 minutes but yours took 30 to 45 minutes! This is all because you may not have preheated your oven. Preheating does a few things and one of those things is making sure the entire oven is at the temperature you need it to be for it to brown your food. Without the preheating, it can take double the amount of time it would normally take.

5 Serve immediately.

If you're not salivating over this baked sushi before it even makes it to the table, we're sure you're doing something wrong! This is best when served immediately, straight from the oven! This is because, just like other sushi, the longer it sits, the less fresh your ingredients will be. You want the fish roe to still pop in your mouth when you bite into it and the creamy fish and crab topping to be warm and literally melt in your mouth as you take a bite.

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This story originally appeared on Yummy.ph.

* Minor edits have been made by the Candymag.com editors.

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Bea Faicol for Yummy.ph
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Katherine Go A day ago

Cold Food

The most thrilling and delightful moment of any school day is opening up your baon during breaks. There is always so much excitement in unveiling your homemade meal and snacks housed inside matching heat-insulating containers. Because preparing packed meals is an age-old tradition of showing parental love, loved ones pour effort into curating a nutritious meal accompanied by a selection of side dishes, desserts, and beverages daily; it reminds us that we are being taken care of, even from far away.

Baon plays a significant role in a Filipino childhood. Almost every Filipino child comes to school with baon made especially for them by their parents or household helpers. Even Filipinos in the labor force continue to bring baon for varying reasons: to save money, recycle leftovers, cater to personal taste, or attend to special needs. Nonetheless, eating your baon is a heart-warming experience that allows Filipinos to bring a piece of home along with them wherever they go.

Even other cultures practice making packed lunch. In Japan, mothers create bento--Japanese meals in partitioned boxes. Because of the popularity of bento, trends have emerged, such as the Kyaraben, or character-themed bento. Naturally, Japanese parents and students began competing for who had the cutest and tastiest bento, and this is similar to what I have witnessed in my own childhood. I remember seeing my classmates sharing their snacks and lunches. They would compare and boast about their parents' or yayas’ cooking. In my case, I never had the chance to join in the competition or indulge in homemade cooking. Up until this day, I have never brought any baon to school.

For a long time, I envied others. As trivial or petty as it may seem, not having baon became a problem for my grade school self. During that time, I had to sit in a separate cafeteria away from my friends because the kids who bought food were assigned to sit elsewhere. You could consider me spoiled, but I wanted to experience something most kids did. I had food at home, so what made it so hard to bring some with me to school?

Now that I am on my final year in high school I have come to realize the benefits of purchasing my own food. Since I spent on food everyday, I learned to budget my allowance at a young age. Over the years, I learned to practice self-control whenever I wanted to eat more greasy fries and drink sweetened beverages. I have tasted the strangest viands at the school cafeterias, and I have repeatedly satiated myself over my latest delicious discoveries. Despite the struggles, I am thankful that I have never had baon because of what I have learned. Not to mention, I never had to experience eating cold food.

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