You’ve probably seen pictures of it on your Instagram or Facebook whenever you scroll online. It probably even made you drool or made your tummy churn in hunger. Among the many hyped food trends during the quarantine period, the sushi bake and ube cheese pandesal are certainly here to stay. Its deliciousness definitely lives up to the hype! Chefs like Erwan Heussaff, foodies, and home cooks alike have taken a lot of interest in these food trends. It’s about time that you should too!
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Known for its delicious layers, the sushi bake is something that everyone has been craving and raving about! It’s not just appealing with its bright orange top layer, but it’s also appetizing. Made with a concept of a “deconstructed” sushi roll, each bite comes with distinct flavors and textures because of its layers. It has layers of aromatic Japanese rice, flavorful furikake, and a scrumptious mixture of kani, cream cheese and mayonnaise. To top it all off is a mouthwatering layer of ebiko or tobiko eggs. Other sushi bakes have sriracha sauce for that extra kick. You can also add in mango for a little bit of sweetness. Adding diced cucumbers can also give a refreshing twist to it.
When eating, you simply put a spoonful of the sushi bake on a piece of nori sheet. Then, eat it the way you would eat a taco. The creaminess of the crab, cream cheese, and mayonnaise mixture is met with the crunchiness of the nori sheet and furikake. It’s a beautiful balance of flavor and texture, layered into one bite. It’s a whole adventure in your mouth that will definitely please your palette.
There are a lot of online sellers who are selling sushi bake. It’s sold at a price range of 700-1,800 pesos, depending on the size. If you want to bake this at home, here is a recipe that you can try! This recipe includes mango and cucumber, but if you’re not a fan of these two ingredients, you can opt to not include it.
(yields 8×6 inches of sushi bake)
- 4 cups freshly cooked Japanese rice
- 3 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon of white sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup sesame seeds
- 1/2 cup nori seaweed (crumbled or cut into small bits)
- Salt (to taste)
- Sugar (to taste)
- 200 grams cream cheese
- 1/4 cup Japanese mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon Sriracha (optional)
- 2 cups Kani (shredded or cut into chunks)
- 1 big ripe mango (diced)
- 1 medium cucumber (diced)
- Salt (to taste)
- Ebiko or Tobiko eggs
- Nori seaweed sheets
Cooking the rice and furikake layer
- Cook your Japanese rice. If this isn’t available, you can use Dinorado or Jasmine rice as well.
- When the rice is almost done cooking, grab a bowl and mix rice vinegar, sugar, and salt.
- Put the bowl in a microwave to let it warm up until both the sugar and salt dissolve completely.
- Add the mixture into the rice. Mix it well until the mixture is evenly distributed.
- On a pan, toast the sesame seeds until it turns golden brown.
- Add the crumbled sheets of nori seaweed.
- Season it with salt and sugar depending on your taste preference.
Making the toppings
- In a bowl, mix the cream cheese, mayonnaise, and Sriracha if you want a bit of heat.
- Once they’re properly combined, add in the shredded kani, diced mango, and diced cucumber. Season it with salt.
Assembling the sushi bake
- Grab an 8×6 inch pan and put the rice evenly as its base layer.
- Sprinkle the furikake and make sure that it completely covers the layer of rice.
- Put the topping mixture. Make sure it’s spread evenly. You can opt to add an extra layer of diced mango and cucumber if you want.
- Top it all off with ebiko or tobiko eggs.
- Bake it in the oven for 15-20 minutes at 390 degrees Fahrenheit. If you don’t have an oven at home yet, check out the Asahi Mini Oven!
- Once it’s cooked, scoop out a spoonful and wrap it with a sheet of nori seaweed.
Ube Cheese Pandesal
Calling all ube and cheese lovers alike out there! This has now become one of the most popular pandesal flavors of today because of its delicious twist. Made with ube halaya (also known as mashed purple yam) and cheesy goodness, it’s no wonder why this is now a food trend. Best eaten when it’s hot, the mix of ube halaya and cheese creates such a burst of flavors in your mouth. In every bite you take, the ube halaya oozes out with its rich yet gentle flavors and marries perfectly with the creaminess of the cheese. If you’re not that fond of cheese, fret not because other bakers let you decide on your “cheese level” or the amount of cheese you want in your ube cheese pandesal. Pair it with a hot cup of coffee or a cold, refreshing drink and you have the perfect breakfast or afternoon snack.
Making ube cheese pandesal at home takes a lot of patience and effort. It’s definitely not an easy task. But, if the home baker in you wants to give it a go, here’s a recipe that you can try!
(yields 14 portions)
- 1/2 cup ube (mashed and cooked)
- 1/4 cup warm water
- 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 6 tablespoons white sugar
- 3 tablespoons butter (softened)
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup warm milk
- 1 1/2 tablespoons liquid ube flavoring (optional)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 1/2 cups flour
- Quick melt cheese (cut in cubes)
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- Bread crumbs (optional)
- Graham powder (optional)
Preparing the dough
- Before anything else, preheat your oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Add the active dry yeast and one tablespoon of white sugar into the warm water in a mixing bowl. Mix well and set aside for at least five minutes.
- After setting it aside, add and mix together your mashed ube, eggs, warm milk, salt, the remaining five tablespoons of white sugar, and butter. Make sure that your butter is already softened so that it won’t form into chunks. You can add liquid ube flavoring for added flavor.
- Add your flour, one cup at a time. After putting each cup into the bowl, make sure to mix it well. The dough should begin to form and be a little bit sticky.
- Grease a flat surface, where you’ll be kneading the dough, with vegetable oil. Add a little oil on your hands to grease it as well. This will prevent the dough from sticking to the surface and your hands.
- Begin kneading the dough and continue to do so until it is elastic and smooth.
- To make sure that your pandesal will really rise, place the kneaded dough in a bowl and cover it. Set it aside and let the dough rise to at least double its size.
- Once the dough has doubled in size, form it into a log. Cut it into 14 equal sized pieces.
- Place each piece of dough on the palm of your hands and flatten it.
- Put a cube of cheese in the center. It’s best to use quickmelt cheese to ensure that the cheese will really melt inside.
- Begin folding the dough into a ball and make sure that it covers up the cheese.
- For added flavor and texture, you can roll it in breadcrumbs or top it off by sprinkling graham powder.
Cooking the dough
- Place your dough on a tray with a baking sheet. Make sure to leave at least one inch between each dough.
- Bake for 20-23 minutes or until it is slightly browned. These ube cheese pandesal are just the perfect size to cook in the Asahi Mini Oven.
- Once it’s cooked, let it cool for a bit then serve while it’s still slightly hot.
Order Now or Bake It Yourself!
Now that you’re probably imagining just how delicious the sushi bake and ube cheese pandesal are, why not give it a taste? You can simply order it online or challenge yourself by baking these with the recipes provided above! If you want to order these, you can find a lot of local bakers and sellers selling sushi bake and ube cheese pandesal online. You can easily find them on Facebook and/or Instagram. Make sure to place your order beforehand because these sellers receive a ton of orders and they have a limit as to how much they can accommodate per day. That says a lot about how popular these food trends are! Let’s remember to support local businesses, too!
If you’re interested in giving baking a try, the recipes may seem a bit daunting. But once you unleash the home cook in you and follow each step, you’ll be able to bake a masterpiece version of sushi bake and/or ube cheese pandesal. To help with your baking ventures, check out the Asahi Mini Oven. This electric oven is as charming as can be because of its size. It only takes up a small space on your kitchen counter. It’s only nine inches in length, ten inches in width, and 13 inches in height. But don’t underestimate what it can do! You can use it for baking, toasting, roasting, defrosting, reheating, and even melting cheese or butter. Use the voucher code GADGETZONE8 to get 8% off! Buy one now and let the baking start rolling!