Sushi Bake Is the TikTok Trend That Keeps on Trending

Trends come and go. That’s kind of their thing. Take, for example, low-rise jeans. A whole generation swore those would never return and (shudder) look where we are now. The world of trends isn’t relegated to just fashion, of course. Food, too, is easy…

Trends come and go. That’s kind of their thing. Take, for example, low-rise jeans. A whole generation swore those would never return and (shudder) look where we are now. The world of trends isn’t relegated to just fashion, of course. Food, too, is easy prey to the ebb and flow of a trend cycle.

There’s one recipe trend I’ve noticed circling back again and again, and unlike others, it’s not waiting the requisite time before reentering the moment. Over the past two years (the Pandemic Era, if you will), I’ve noticed something called sushi bakes, or sushi casseroles, peak in popularity, and then quietly recede—only to peak again shortly after. It seems as if every four to six months, the conversation surrounding a sushi bake swells. Readers, I’m here to report that we’re in the midst of a swell: The sushi bake is back.

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How to Make the Stickiest Sushi Rice

When you bite into a sushi roll filled with imitation crab, shrimp tempura, or creamy avocado, one of the things that stands out is the sushi rice. It’s sticky, tender, and absolutely not bland. “Traditional sushi chefs spend years practicing and perfe…

When you bite into a sushi roll filled with imitation crab, shrimp tempura, or creamy avocado, one of the things that stands out is the sushi rice. It’s sticky, tender, and absolutely not bland. “Traditional sushi chefs spend years practicing and perfecting the art of making sushi rice,” write Marc Luber and Brett Cohen in Stuff Every Sushi Lover Should Know. “It’s a simple process that takes time to master in order to create the right balance of consistency, texture, and flavor." So what’s the secret to perfect sushi rice? It’s a combination of the right tools (ideally in a rice cooker), the right type of rice (hint: it’s short-grain white rice), and the right seasonings (rice vinegar and a little bit of sugar). Here’s how to make it.


What You Need

The Rice Cooker

You definitely do not need a rice cooker to follow our sushi rice recipe. Is it useful to have one? Will it yield better rice? Possibly. So here’s our advice: Try the stovetop method first. If you like the results, there’s no need for a rice cooker. However, if it doesn’t quite do it for you, or you really find yourself making sushi rice all the time, then a rice cooker may be worth the investment.

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How to Make Sushi (Even if You’re Not Jiro)

It would be hugely, grossly remiss to claim that sushi-making can be taught in one (skimmed) article, let alone by me. But I do have a history with the stuff: Before writing about food on the Interwebs, I was a sushi chef, and before that, I was a Cali…

It would be hugely, grossly remiss to claim that sushi-making can be taught in one (skimmed) article, let alone by me. But I do have a history with the stuff: Before writing about food on the Interwebs, I was a sushi chef, and before that, I was a Californian transplanted to the Midwest, shocked by snow, dealing with that shock by watching copious amounts of TV. In particular, I loved watching inspiring documentaries like Jiro Dreams of Sushi. It was powerful to see someone not only so devoted to one thing, but also so sure of that devotion.

My search for this kind of devotion, along with many other little things, pushed me to move to N.Y.C.—not to make or taste the perfect piece of sushi, but to find that one thing I could live, breathe, eat, and dream of for the rest of my life. I followed a Chikalicious marshmallow into a tiny kitchen, then freakishly perfect pickles into an even tinier one. There, I learned how to cut saku (a deboned filet that's been squared off), and from there, I followed warm, seasoned sushi rice to my last kitchen job: a sushi spot.

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