If you haven’t tried making a sushi bake yet, get ready for your new obsession. This Sushi Bake Recipe with Spicy Tuna has become a regular part of our weekly rotation. Layers of sticky, seasoned sushi rice and spicy tuna topped with crispy cucumber, buttery avocado and tangy yum yum sauce. Just so many great flavors, and so easy to whip up!
I am always late to social media food trends. Like, always. But eventually I hop on board. I really got into the butter board trend and the feta pasta trend after they were pretty much over. That counts for something, right?
But this sushi bake food trend is here to stay (I think, I hope).
As a huge sushi lover, I was skeptical at first about using canned tuna in this recipe. But as a mom, I was excited about the chance for the kids to enjoy the different flavors of traditional sushi without eating raw fish (which they refuse to try).
I’m happy to report that this sushi casserole was a big winner with the entire family!
What is sushi bake?
Sushi Bake is basically a deconstructed version of sushi. It’s got all the components of delicious sushi like seasoned rice, nori sheets, fresh protein and yummy spicy mayo. But instead of rolling it up, we’re layering it in a baking dish and serving it, nice and crispy, with seaweed snacks and soy sauce for dipping.
It’s a new and fun way to enjoy everything you love about sushi. And because we’re making this sushi bake recipe with canned (i.e. cooked) tuna, it’s much more budget friendly and family-friendly than regular sushi.
Ingredients for Spicy Tuna Sushi Bake
Here’s what you’ll need to make this easy sushi bake recipe:
- Sushi Rice. This is a short grain white rice with a high starch content, which is why it gets nice and sticky. Sushi rice can be found in most grocery stores in the Asian section. If for some reason you can’t find it, use any other kind of short-grain rice.
- Tuna. Oil-packed tuna is more flavorful than water-packed tuna, and it’s what I recommend for this recipe. Look for oil-packed white tuna, not light tuna.
- Nori. These are simply sheets of dried seaweed. You can find them in the Asian section of the grocery store.
- Kewpie mayonnaise. This is a Japanese mayonnaise that’s made only with egg yolks vs. whole eggs like American mayonnaise. Kewpie mayo is also made with a blend of mild vinegars and has no added sugar, unlike American mayo that uses only white vinegar and adds sugar. While kewpie mayo used to only be available in Asian markets, it can now be found in most local grocery stores, which makes us all lucky. Try it and you’ll never go back to regular mayo!
- Sriracha sauce. The condiment du jour of a few years back, sriracha is still a go-to for people who want to add a little heat and tang to their food. It’s what makes spicy mayo spicy.
- Avocado. My favorite sushi rolls have avocado in them, so it’s only fitting to include avocado this is baked sushi casserole.
- Cucumber. They add a refreshing crunchy texture to this otherwise warm baked dish.
- Scallions. Optional, but always a winner.
- Rice Vinegar. Together with sugar and salt, rice vinegar provides the right sweet and tangy flavor to our sushi rice.
- Yum yum sauce. Arguably our household’s favorite condiment, yum yum sauce is a cross between spicy mayo, Chick Fil A sauce and Russian dressing. We literally put it on everything. Give this Spicy Tuna Sushi Bake a general drizzle of yum yum sauce. You won’t regret it!
How to Make this Sushi Bake Recipe
You won’t believe how easy this is. And if you’ve ever tried to actually roll your own sushi at home (what a disaster), you’re really going to appreciate this one!
First, make the sushi rice. It will only take about 10 minutes to cook on the stove. Then, just stir in the seasonings and set it aside.
Drain the tuna of its oil and flake it with a fork until it’s very dry and flaky. I actually use my hands to break it up very small. Then, combine it with the spicy mayo.
Now, just assemble the sushi bake! Press the sushi rice firmly into the casserole form. It helps to work with wet hands when you do this.
Layer the nori sheets on top of the rice, followed by the spicy tuna. Bake it up!
While the sushi bake is in the oven, dice up your yummy toppings so they’re ready when it comes out.
How to Serve Spicy Tuna Sushi Bake
Our favorite way to enjoy this deconstructed sushi roll is with seaweed snacks. We like to spoon a little bit of sushi bake into a seaweed snack and then dip it into soy sauce. Such a fun way to eat!
Because this dish is fully cooked, you can easily store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Or, if you plan on eating it the next day or soon after, simply cover the casserole dish with plastic wrap and pop it in the fridge.
Reheat it in the oven for 5-10 minutes.
Variations on this Sushi Bake Recipe with Spicy Tuna
The options for sushi bakes are endless! Here are some of my favorite ideas:
- Spicy Salmon Sushi Bake. Substitute canned salmon for the canned tuna in this recipe.
- California Roll Sushi Bake. If you love California rolls, you’ll love them in casserole form! Another simple swap of imitation crab meat for the canned tuna in this recipe should do the trick.
- Bang Bang Shrimp Sushi Bake. Remember those tiny shrimp that you can get in a can that are so freaking cute? Swap them in for the tuna and add 1 tsp. of chili garlic sauce to the spicy mayo. Boom.
Toppings for Spicy Tuna Sushi Bake
When choosing toppings for this sushi bake recipe, I went with my favorites: avocado slices, diced cucumbers and chopped scallions. But there are so many other flavor bombs that you can try. Get creative! Here are some ideas:
- Furikake. This is a seasoning blend that includes seaweed, sesame seeds and bonito flakes. It lends a salty, umami flavor to all kinds of Japanese dishes.
- Fish Roe. Who doesn’t love those little orange or black fish eggs that are sometimes sprinkled onto sushi rolls? Fish roe adds a fun pop of saltiness to any sushi bake.
- Tempura Flakes. Basically fried bits of tempura batter, these little flakes add great texture to sushi and rice dishes.
When you make this Sushi Bake Recipe with Spicy Tuna, I’d love to hear about it! Drop a rating or leave a comment below. Enjoy!
For more Asian-inspired recipes, try these:
For more easy weeknight meals, try these:
- Sheet Pan Fajita Chicken Bowl
- Chicken and Broccoli Mac and Cheese
- 30 Minute Sauce Ginger Sesame Noodles with Vegetables
Sushi Bake Recipe with Spicy Tuna
- 2 cups sushi rice uncooked
- 3 5 oz. cans oil-packed tuna
- 1 avocado diced
- 1/2 cup cucumber diced
- 1/4 cup scallions (green onions) diced
- 2 nori seaweed sheets
- 1/2 cup kewpie mayonnaise
- 2 Tbsp. sriracha
- 2 Tbsp. rice vinegar
- 2 Tbsp. sugar
- 1 1/2 Tbsp. toasted sesame seeds
- 1 tsp. salt
- yum yum sauce garnish, optional
- Make the rice: Bring 2 1/2 cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Stir in the rice. Cover and reduce heat to low. Cook 10 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Stir the rice vinegar, sugar, salt and sesame seeds into the hot rice.
- Make the spicy tuna: Whisk together the mayo and sriracha in a large bowl. Drain the tuna and break it into small flakes. Stir the tuna into the spicy mayo.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Coat an 8×8 or 9×9 baking dish with sesame oil. Press the cooked rice firmly into the dish. Lay the nori sheets on top of the rice. Spread the tuna mixture on top of the nori.
- Bake for 15 minutes.
- Top with diced avocado, diced cucumber and diced scallions. Drizzle yum yum sauce and additional sriracha, if desired.
Leave a Reply