Monday, January 16, 2017

Sushi "Cake"

When you have a friend that doesn't like sweets but you like to make birthday cakes for them, it can start to get a little tricky what to make. 
I've made her smorgastartas (Link HERE) and potato tarts (Link HERE) and, oddly enough, she loves apple pie so I have made her several apple pies. BUT, I wanted to do something different this year that was also super-de-duper cool. I knew she was a fan of sushi so I went looking on Pinterest for some ideas. FYI - never go to Pinterest to "just look around". You will look up 14 hours later wondering what day it is. #addicting
Anyway, I combined a few recipes and ideas together and came up with this pretty sushi tray. It was a big hit!

Sushi "Cake"

1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
1 Tbsp coarse salt
2 Tbsp sugar
3 cups sushi rice, uncooked
2 Tbsp mayo
1 tsp dried chives
2 tsp wasabi paste 
1 tsp lemon juice
salt & pepper
3/4 to 1 cup crab meat, diced
3/4 to 1 cup prawns, diced
nori sheets

crumbled nori

serve with soy sauce, wasabi, pickled ginger

In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, coarse salt, and sugar. Set aside.
Cook the 3 cups of rice according to the package directions. Remove from heat when cooked and transfer rice to a large bowl. Stirring constantly, slowly add the vinegar mixture until fully incorporated.

Let cool completely, stirring occasionally - you can place in fridge to speed process. 
In a medium bowl, whisk together mayo, chives, wasabi paste, lemon juice, and salt & pepper.

Let stand while you prepare the crab and prawns.

Mix the wasabi mixture and and the meat together.

Cut out the nori sheets into circles the size of the pan you will be using. We used a mini-cheesecake pan because the bottoms push up so you can remove the sushi stack once it is complete. 

Assemble your stacks/cake: 
Step 1: Place 1 Tbsp of rice into the bottom of each mini cheesecake pan. Press down firmly.
Step 2:  Place a nori circle on top.
Step 3: Place 1/2 Tbsp of rice on top of the nori. Press down firmly. 
Step 4: Place 1 scant Tbsp of crab/prawn filling down. Press down firmly.
Step 5: Place 1/2 Tbsp rice on top of filling. Press down firmly.
Step 6: Place a nori circle on top of the rice.
Step 7: Top with 1 Tbsp of rice. Press down firmly. 
(See photo below for steps 1 through 6)

Chill stacks/cake for 10 minutes before "unmolding". 
Now, you can push these out and repeat with remaining rice OR you can use a small springform pan and make a larger "cake". Simply repeat the steps as you did for the smaller ones but in the springform pan. (I used a 6 inch springform and had a bit of rice leftover. If you used an 8 inch pan after doing the 12 smaller ones your cake would be much thinner but would still work. Alternatively, you could NOT make any small stacks and simply make 1 large 8 inch cake.)
After everything has been firmly packed in, simply unhook the latch on the springform pan and release the cake.

Decorate as desired.

You can also have fun decorating the small stacks as well.

We topped half with chopped prawns and some nori.

And half with a thin slice of cucumber. 

I made this the day before and it sat, covered, in the fridge overnight. It was still wonderful. Same day would be optimal but next day works just as good! OH - except the nori and cucumber decorations on top. They could easily just be put on right before serving. The cucumbers looked a touch wilted and the nori went a bit soggy on top. It didn't ruin it by any means, just next time I would wait to put it on!
You could also sprinkle on some toasted sesame seeds. 

Angel (whose birthday we were celebrating) was kind enough to send me a photo of the cut cake. It just looks so cute! As you can see, it stays together very well, just be sure too press down firmly when you are preparing the stacks/cake so everything is compressed tightly. 
And, just an FYI - once the rice is mixed with the vinegar mixture and cooled it is VERY sticky. It helps to have a bowl of water to dip your fingers in before trying to scoop the rice into the pans.  


  1. What a fun birthday cake idea! I bet it was super delicious as well :)

  2. Brilliant idea! What a great way to avoid the whole fuss of rolling sushi, with all the same great flavour. I'm definitely going to try this. It looks like a fun new way to eat sushi.

  3. This is such a great idea! It's similar to the Swedish cake Smorgastorta but with SUSHI! I have a mini cupcake pan that would be perfect to make these. Does the rice dry up after a while?

    1. Thank you Karen. The next day the rice was a bit drier but still sticky. I would imagine it would dry even more the longer it sat. :)

  4. I pinned this earlier this week -- what a fantastic idea! I love that you don't need to fuss with the seaweed wrapper and get an incredible wow factor. Thanks for sharing!

  5. I always love finger food that is why I love to eat sushi as it is not only filling but you could also enjoy it like a snack. I love your idea of a sushi cake, I am sure your friend must have been thrilled and enjoyed it. Great and looks so delicious!

  6. This is a really awesome idea and it's so CUTE! You could tailor it to a vegan or vegetarian diet as well. Great post Jo!