As if time under lockdown hasn’t already inspired us with enough viral foods for our home kitchen ventures, here’s another one. Sure to be the next big quarantine trend is a recipe that’s now all over Philippine social media. Say hello to sushi bake.
A take on the Japanese staple, sushi bake is essentially a deconstructed sushi roll that’s baked like a casserole. It has all the usual suspects: salmon, crab sticks, vinegared rice, and tobiko (fish roe).
After it comes out the oven, it can be scooped and served with roasted seaweed.
While online recipes for sushi bake date back to 2015, people believe that Filipino celebrity nail artist Mimi Qiu Reyes was the one who started the frenzy in late April, after she sent some to local celebrities. As most people avoid going out amidst the spread of COVID-19, Mimi is now selling sushi bake and delivering them to customers.
The sushi bake trend also presented an entrepreneurial opportunity for home cooks like Kim Kennejie Miguel, who founded the online shop Sushi Bake PH with his wife Juvette earlier this month.
“It actually started as something to do during quarantine. Since [I am] currently on a WFH (work from home) setup, it gave me and my wife [a chance] to bond with what we loved the most — food!” Kim told VICE.
“Me and my wife love sushi so much," he said. “We [browsed] the internet for other ways of making it."
That’s when the couple came across sushi bake, which turned out to be their favourite online recipe among all the internet foods they’ve experimented with. This inspired them to start their own sushi bake delivery business amid a lockdown.
Netizens are also hopping on the bandwagon of Instagrammable casseroles with their own renditions of sushi bake.
It’s not hard to see why sushi bake is blowing up. It combines the universally popular flavours of sushi with the homeyness of oven-baked casseroles, and is simple enough to prepare. We’re just surprised the rest of the world hasn’t caught on to this hearty comfort food yet.