Don’t you just love TikTok food trends that work? That’s why I am obsessed with this viral trend, TikTok salmon sushi cups! But today, I’ve created my own version of the original sushi bake trend recipe with even more variations.
What Are TikTok Salmon Sushi Cups?
If you are in any way familiar with TikTok, you know that every day a new trend goes viral.
These baked sushi cups are just one of the THOUSANDS that have recently come to light. But, what makes this sushi cups recipe especially trendy is the ease to make them and the versatility in how they are seasoned and served.
Baked salmon sushi cups are exactly what it sounds like. Imagine salmon sushi, but converted into cups and baked in an oven.
The nori sheets are what we will be using to make the muffin cups. It’s entirely edible and once baked, even more tasty and crunchy than before.
Each cup will be stuffed with homemade sushi rice (vinegared rice) and a delicious salty salmon mixture.
In today’s recipe, I will show you how to make the original TikTok sushi salmon cups. But then I will also share some of my favorite variations I’ve seen and personally tried.
What You Need To Make TikTok Baked Salmon Sushi Cups Recipe?
There are four elements to this incredibly delicious recipe: the salmon mixture, the sushi rice mixture, the nori sheets, and the garnishes. Then, of course, you can check out some variations below.
For this flavorful combination, you need fresh salmon (skin removed), soy sauce, and mayonnaise.
For the best results, use unsmoked fresh salmon, low-sodium soy sauce (it is healthier), and Kewpie mayo (for a more authentic flavor).
You can also use frozen salmon, but I suggest thawing them first.
You can adjust the ratios of ingredients, but I love them in this combination.
This is also where you can play around with flavor drastically.
To make this kind of sushi rice, it’s best to use cooked short grain rice. The “sushi” part of it mainly comes from the addition of salt and vinegar.
You can also play around with flavor balances here, but I don’t recommend spending much time on it. It’s traditional the way it is here.
However, you can also use other types of rice like jasmine rice or sticky rice.
Nori sheets are a Japanese ingredient made from red algae (seaweed). It’s completely edible and surprisingly healthy.
You should be able to easily find it in your local grocery store. They usually keep it in the Asian food aisle or international food aisle. You can also order specific types online.
For this baked salmon sushi cups recipe, it’s best to buy large sheets. This way you can cut them into the exact size of your muffin pan.
Today, we will keep the garnishes simple. You can sprinkle some white or black (or both) sesame seeds over the sushi cups before you bake them. This way they become toasty as well.
And finally, I incorporated some green onions for color and a spicy, zesty flavor.
Tips for Making the Best Baked Salmon Cups
Tip 1: Layer the cup fillings evenly.
To create a flavorful and visually appealing sushi cup, layer both the salmon and vinegared rice mixtures evenly within each cup.
Tip 2: Use a scoop to measure the fillings.
I used tablespoons to scoop the rice vinegar mixture, but using a small measuring cup or a mini spoon can also help you add the perfect amount of filling into each cup.
Tip 3: Don’t Overfill!
Be careful not to overfill your cups as they will become too full during baking and be difficult to eat afterward.
Tip 4: Let them rest after baking.
Allowing your baked salmon cups to rest for five minutes after baking will ensure that all ingredients are cooked thoroughly without overcooking or drying out any elements of your dish!
Easy Variations For My TikTok Baked Salmon Cups Recipe
I have two go-to variations I often incorporate into the mixture. The first is to add some honey for a sweet-salty flavor profile.
The second is to add some hot sauce for a spicy-salty flavor profile.
You can use both together, but the flavors become a little too complex. Plus, if you don’t create a perfect balance, it doesn’t turn out nice. For that reason, I often only do one or the other.
Then, you can also incorporate some minced fresh garlic instead of garlic powder into the mixture. Leave it to marinate for a couple of hours. This not only tenderizes the salmon but makes it more flavorful and juicy. If you are short on time, only marinate the fish for 30 minutes, or skip it completely.
And finally, a great and super easy additional garnish you can try is diced or sliced fresh avocado. I don’t love baking it with the salmon cups. Adding it fresh adds more creaminess and breaks the heaviness of the snack.
Fun Ways to Serve These Appetizer Cups
The best part about these sushi bake cups is that you can really get creative with them! I love to serve these as a party appetizer, in the super bowl, or for casual lunches. Here are some of my favorite ways to enjoy:
- Serve on a bed of rice with a side of soy sauce and wasabi.
- Take them conveniently in a bento box for lunch on the go.
- Use it as an easy filling for hand rolls or sushi rolls.
- Enjoy as is with a side of pickled ginger or extra sesame oil.
- Serve with your favorite toppings like pickled ginger or wasabi. The possibilities are really endless!
- Top them with your favorite condiments like regular mayo, spicy mayo, kewpie mayo, sriracha mayo, or even cream cheese.
How to Store and Reheat
Refrigerate – Store the sushi bake cups in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days for best results.
Freeze – If you’d like to store them longer, try freezing the sushi bake cups in a freezer-safe bag or container. They should last up to 3 months in the freezer.
Reheat – When it’s time to enjoy your salmon cups, simply thaw them overnight in the fridge or reheat them in the microwave for a few minutes or use an oven to heat them up.
You definitely can, but make sure you work with tuna fillets or steaks, not canned tuna. This recipe works best with cubed fresh or raw fish instead of processed alternatives. If you use low-quality products, as with sushi, the flavor will drastically suffer.
Yes, absolutely! This recipe can be adapted to work with just about any type of sushi-grade fish you can find. Keep in mind that certain fish have a strong flavor and could overpower the other ingredients if used in excess. You can also replace some of the salmon or tuna with cooked shrimp or crab for a delicious seafood twist.
If you have muffin cups that can fit into the air fryer, you can use them instead of an oven. But without the cups to keep the nori sheet in place, the recipe won’t work. Preheat the air fryer to 400⁰F and bake the cups for 10-12 minutes.
Easy TikTok Salmon Sushi Cups – Elevating This Viral Recipe
For The Salmon Mixture
- 1/2 pound fresh salmon, diced
- 1 1/2 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
- 2 tbsp mayonnaise
For The Vinegared Rice
- 2 cup cooked short-grain rice
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1/4 tsp fine salt
- 3 nori sheets, quartered
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds
- 1/3 cup green onions, finely sliced
- In a clean large mixing bowl, combine the cubed fresh salmon, soy sauce, and mayonnaise. Mix the ingredients well so the salmon is coated completely. Set this mixture aside in the fridge.
- Next, combine the cooked rice, salt, and rice vinegar in a separate bowl. Again, mix the ingredients well so the salty-sour flavors are evenly distributed. Again, set it aside.
- At this point, you can preheat the oven to 400⁰F.
- Place the nori sheets on a dry chopping board. Cut them into 4 equal squares. If you are using large nori sheets, just cut squares that are small enough to perfectly fit into a muffin cup.
- Press each square into a cup of a muffin tin. Work carefully because you don't want the sheets to crack.
- First, add about 2-3 tablespoons of your vinegared rice mixture. Then, top each cup with a couple of tablespoons of the salmon mixture. Don't overfill the cups.
- Repeat this assembly process until all of your rice and salmon mixtures have been used. Season all of the cups with some sesame seeds.
- Place the salmon sushi cups inside the oven and leave them to bake for 15 minutes.
- Once baked, remove them from the oven and let them rest for 5 minutes. Top the cups with green onions and serve immediately.