Shortcut Sushi

Happy day after V-day!

Weekdays are obviously hectic with homework and stuff, so I decided to keep dinner semi-simple, yet special last night.

Last week my cousin, Gia, posted something on Facebook about a sushi bake…I immediately commented that I needed the recipe ASAP.

When I was pregnant, I ate lots of baked rolls since everything is completely cooked. Before you get your sushi feathers ruffled, hear me out. Most serious sushi-ers would probably say that a {sushi bake} is NOT sushi…I agree that it is an extremely westernized version, but IT IS GOOOOOOD.

We’ve made sushi at home plenty of times {here too} and while it does save lots of cash, it isn’t the easiest thing to prepare and prep alone can take hours. So when I heard about this, I immediately thought it could become an easier week night way to enjoy this Japanese favorite.

It’s also a fantastic way to serve sushi at parties…instead of spending all your time rolling, you can set this out with quartered sheets of nori and let your guests help themselves. Instead of being in roll form, this is eaten more like a hand roll {in cone form}.

Here is the recipe from my cousin that I referred to. I did make some adjustments, however.

I used a 20 ounce package of imitation crab meat and mixed it with just 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp. mayo {the recipe called for 1 cup mayo AND 1 cup sour cream!!!} and this was plennnnty for the 20 ounces of crab! I also added A LOT of Sriracha sauce {like 4 big squiggly lines worth}, about 3 green onions {sliced} and just about 3 drops of toasted sesame oil. Mix that up and let it sit for an hour or so in the fridge while you make your sushi rice.

To make the sushi rice ~ 2 cups sushi rice rinsed WELL [until water runs clear] and drained. Add 2 cups water and let it sit for 30 minutes. After 30, turn burner on high and wait for it to come to a boil and let it boil for 1 {one} minute before turning it down to low. Put the lid on and leave on LOW for 20 minutes. After 20, turn off burner and move from hot burner and let it sit for another 10 minutes leaving the lid ON. After 10, you will want to add the warm rice to 1/4 cup rice vinegar, 2 tbsp. sugar and 1 tsp. salt {I put these 3 ingredients into my glass 9X13 Pyrex pan while the rice is sitting to let the sugar & salt dissolve a little before adding the rice}. Stir the rice around and get it coated in the vinegar mixture.

To assemble, use one 9X13 pan or two smaller oven safe dishes {as I did}. I made the heart shaped one and another one in an 8X8 dish…it makes A LOT! Just layer the rice first, followed by the crab mixture {you can also use shrimp, real crab, salmon, scallops, etc. just make sure the fish is fully cooked first} and then finally top it off with the furikake {seaweed & sesame seed seasoning}. The recipe called for 2 jars of this, but one was definitely enough! I picked up the furikake at Ralphs so no need to find an Asian market.

Bake in a 350* oven for 20 minutes.

I cut some thin slices of cucumber and avocado ~ some other recipes I referred to said that they added these things as a layer in the bake. I preferred to have them on the side, however.

Take either a half or quarter sheet of nori, add a couple cucumber and avocado slices, a scoop of the sushi bake, some highly wasabi-fied soy sauce, roll up and enjoy!

This was a hit with 75% of the family. Elliott was curious after she finished her Valentine’s Day dino chicken {ha!} and tried one. She loved it. It’s a great way to introduce sushi to the little ones and they will love assembling the roll themselves.

Don’t forget to grab some Sapporo or Kirin to go with your sushi bake!

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And since I was into shortcuts yesterday, I decided to put a no-bake blueberry cheesecake mix to use that has been sitting in our pantry. I picked up some Keebler mini graham crackers crusts and followed the directions on the package, but decided to add some fresh lemon zest to brighten the flavor up a bit.

I don’t really know how I feel about no-bake cheesecakes, but these turned out pretty darn good and cute, too!

Last Valentine’s Day I made this cheesecake…no comparison. No comparison, at all!

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Hope your day was filled with lots of LOVE…..and maybe a little something SWEET!

XO

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