Our sushi cupcakes recipe adds a fun twist to the Japanese staple.
Sushi has long been a favorite of many. It may look just like rice and seafood made cute and small, but sushi lovers know better.
What Does Sushi Taste Like?
First of all, sushi uses a special rice with a soft, slightly chewy texture and a floral aroma. It’s seasoned with vinegar, sugar, and sesame oil, so it’s lightly sweet and sour, and has a complex mix of aromas.
Each roll of rice is topped with one slice of either cooked octopus, squid, shrimp, eel, or raw fish. Common fish for sushi are sushi-grade salmon and tuna, each has its own distinct taste and smell and just melts in the mouth. Ask any sushi lovers you know — they’re addictive.
Sushi is almost always served with soy sauce, pungent wasabi, and pickled ginger to cleanse the palate in between bites. Sushi soy sauce is specially fermented and possesses a floral, alcohol-like fragrance that ties everything together.
What is a Sushi Cupcake?
Sushi cupcakes are sushi, but with its components arranged like cupcakes. The ‘cups’ are made of dried seaweed, but instead of cake and frosting, they hold sushi rice and a variety of sushi toppings.
Today’s sushi cupcakes recipe calls for salmon and avocado, and balances their richness with some crisp carrots and pungent radish. They complement each other, both visually and in terms of taste.
Is Raw Fish Safe to Eat?
Consuming raw fish comes with risks of introducing harmful bacteria, parasites, and pollutants into the body. Hence, it’s crucial to prepare sushi at home using sushi-grade or sashimi-grade ingredients purchased from a reputable source. The fish is inspected and specially treated, minimizing the risks to a great extent.
Other than that, salmon is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids like EPA and DHA, which are proven to be beneficial to the brain. These fats are very sensitive to heat so if you were to compare eating cooked or raw salmon, the latter would give you more healthy fats.
Are Sushi Cupcakes Good for You?
Sushi itself is quite a wholesome meal with cooked rice and fish. Sometimes, vegetables like dried seaweed, avocados, and carrots are included, making it more nutritious.
- 507 calories
- 2.4 g saturated fat
- 568 mg sodium
To learn more about nutritional amounts for a healthy diet, have a look at our guidelines.
If you’re not too happy with the calories, you might be looking for a salmon salad. It’s filled with greens and that delectable texture of salmon, but only provides 250 calories in a fulfilling portion.
Ingredients for Sushi Cupcakes
1. Sushi Rice
You can get sushi rice in many Asian stores. If you don’t have any nearby, any medium white rice can also be used (it won’t be as good but, it will still be good.)
2. Seaweed Sheets
You can find these under the name ‘nori sheets’ or ‘sushi seaweed sheets’. Make sure they are sheets and not seaweed flakes, as flakes clearly can’t be used to wrap your sushi.
Both salmon and tuna (sashimi-grade, of course) are nutritious fish options that you can easily find in stores and online. We use salmon as it’s softer and less chewy than tuna.
As aforementioned, we put the salmon together with avocado, carrots, and radish. You can replace carrots with cucumbers for a juicier bite.
For soy sauce, people often go for ‘sushi soy sauce’, but we think that any Japanese brand has the same sort of special aroma. We often use Kikkoman’s reduced-sodium soy sauce, available for purchase at Walmart (link in ingredients list).
Sushi is also served with wasabi and pickled ginger, but unlike the sauce, some people might not enjoy their pungent taste. If you’re a big fan, feel free to have however much you want.
How Long Does Sushi Last?
Raw seafood like fish spoils quickly, so once made, these sushi cupcakes should be eaten right away, or within 2 hours max. For the best result, place the fish on top of a bowl of ice, and refrigerate along with the other components separately until serving.
Can You Freeze Sushi Cupcakes?
As we’re working with sushi-grade fish, which was already frozen before use, it’s best to consume it right away. Refreezing fish, thawing it, then consuming it raw is a food safety no-no.
Side Dishes for Sushi Cupcakes
We decided to pair these cupcakes with another one of Japan's popular savory treats: tempura. Its crispy texture and addictive dip make it a popular accompaniment to many Japanese dishes.
We also serve these two with a sweet, fragrant pineapple ginger juice. The warmth from ginger ties everything together nicely.
For more delicious salmon ideas, check out our list of eight popular Asian salmon recipes.
Sushi Cupcakes Recipe
Our sushi cupcakes recipe takes just 15 minutes to make. It's a quick guide to a delicious and wholesome meal.
- prep TIME 15 mins
- total TIME 15 mins
- COURSE Main Course
- CUISINE Japanese
- SERVINGS servings
- CALORIES 492 kcal
- 12 oz skinless salmon
- 6 sushi nori sheets (cut into 4 squares (24 small squares in total))
- 4 cups cooked sushi/medium-grain rice
- 1 oz radish (thinly sliced)
- 7 oz avocado (cut into chunks that fit the mold)
- 2 oz carrot (about half a medium, peeled and julienned)
- 3 tbsp rice vinegar
- 3 1/2 tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1/2 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp black sesame seeds (toasted)
- 1 tbsp ginger (julienned)
Cut 12 oz salmon into about 24 slices to make 12 cupcakes. Make each slice about 0.5-0.7” thick.
Place 4 cups of cooked rice in a bowl. Add to it 3 tbsp rice vinegar, 1 tbsp sugar, and 1/2 tbsp sesame oil, and mix well. You can use a spoon or put on gloves and really get into it with your hands.
Take a muffin tray with 12 slots (or two small trays with 6 slots) and, into each slot, place 2 small nori sheets, one on top of the other, followed by a scoop of seasoned rice. (The rice mixture should be first divided into 12 parts.)
On each ‘cupcake’ place 2-3 slices of salmon. Divide the rest of the toppings (1 oz radish, 7 oz avocado, 2 oz carrot, and 1 tbsp sesame seeds) into 12 parts and place into each slot, like so:
In a small bowl mix 1 tbsp ginger with 3 1/2 tbsp soy sauce.
Cover both the tray and soy sauce and keep in the fridge until ready to serve.
Tuyet PhamChef, Culinary Consultant
Luna ReginaWriter, Author
Natalie Butler, RD, LDNutrition Reviewer
January 12, 2023 at 8:15 AMThese are delicious! They have inspired me to start making sushi of my own.