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Thursday, November 30, 2023

Lockdown food trend: Baked sushi

From ube cheese pan de sal to Dalgona coffee, the COVID-19 pandemic has spawned several food trends in the country, which is under the longest lockdown in the world.

Among these is baked sushi—deconstructed sushi rolls baked in a casserole which, most likely, you wouldn’t find anywhere in Japan (the purists would be shaking heads and mouthing “iie”), but has become ubiquitous in the Philippines.

There are as many flavors as there are food entrepreneurs who made the pivot and brought their business online amid the lockdown.

Naked Salmon Cake with ikura pearls.

The usual ingredients, however, are layers of vinegared sushi rice, salmon, crab sticks, Japanese mayonnaise, and tobiko (fish roe), with a pack or two of nori seaweed on the side.

One of the earliest blogs on “sushi casserole” was in 2011, with online food site Mashed surmising its roots might be traced to Hawaii, with the archipelago’s Spam musubi and poke bowls.

Tuna Poké

Salmon HQ, which is known for its trays of big, fresh, juicy salmon, has carved a name for itself when it comes to baked sushi.

It has three types of baked sushi: the crunchy California sushi bake, the aburi salmon scallops ebi sushi bake, and the uni scallops aburi sushi bake.

Premium Salmon Cake

All three boast of premium ingredients—you can eat directly from the pan on its own, or with the nori sheet.

A small pan, which is good for up to three persons (one, if you are feeling exceptionally hungry or simply would like to indulge), costs P800 and comes with a seaweed pack.

A medium pan with two seaweed packs good for up to six persons costs P1,600, while a large pan fetches for P1,800 and can feed up to eight persons.

Salmon HQ’s sushi bake and salmon cake.

Of course, Salmon HQ’s classic Premium Salmon Sashimi Cake is always an indulgent option. The six-inch cake has layers of premium kani kama mixed with ebiko, spicy salmon, and chuka wakame mixed with Japanese sushi rice, topped with layers upon layers of fresh salmon sashimi.

Photos from Salmon HQ’s Facebook page.

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