Layered Sushi "Cake" Recipe

Sushi Cake
Layered Chirashi Sushi for Hinamatsuri (Girl's Day). Koki Iino/Getty Images
  • 70 mins
  • Prep: 40 mins,
  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Yield: 6 to 8 in. cake (serves 8-10)

Layered chirashi sushi, which resembles a cake, is often enjoyed on Japanese Girl's Day, or Hinamatsuri (Doll Festival) which occurs on March 3rd. It is traditionally celebrated with chirashi sushi, which is also known as mixed or scattered sushi. Chirashi sushi is also referred to as "bara sushi" in Japanese, but what differentiates this layered sushi is that some might refer to it as a festive cake for honoring Girl's Day.

What You'll Need

  • 3 to 4 cups uncooked white rice
  • Dried sushi rice vinegar mix "Sushi no Ko," Tamanoi brand
  • 1 cup green beans
  • 3 tablespoons "sakura denbu" (seasoned and shredded codfish)
  • 2 eggs (to make kinshi tamago, thin egg omelet strips)
  • salt, to taste
  • olive oil
  • 3 large frozen cooked shrimp
  • 3 tablespoons ikura (salmon roe caviar)
  • baby broccolini (or substitute with another green vegetable such as spinach or cucumbers to add color)
  • Optional Garnishes:
  • decorative floral shaped cooked carrot slices
  • pickled or plain boiled lotus root, thinly sliced (available for sale pre-sliced in the refrigerated section of Japanese grocery stores)
  • cucumbers, thinly sliced into ribbons
  • edamame
  • cooked snow peas
  • flaked salmon (pre-cooked and seasoned)
  • sliced kamaboko (fish cake)
  • imitation crab (kani kamaboko)

How to Make It

  1. Steam rice according to your rice cooker's instructions. Stovetop rice cooking instructions.
  2. While the rice is cooking, boil green beans and slice on the diagonal into bite-sized pieces. Set aside.
  3. In a small bowl scramble eggs and add a pinch of salt. Heat medium size pan with olive oil and cook a thin layer of egg to make kinshi tamago (thin omelet). Remove from pan and let cool on cutting board. Cut into thin strips, set aside. 
  1. Boil a small pot of water to cook the baby broccolini.
  2. Thaw cooked frozen shrimp, remove tails if desired, and then slice in half vertically, to create 6 halved pieces of shrimp. Set aside. 
  3. Mix in sushi rice vinegar powder with cooked rice. You may or may not use all of the cooked rice, as it will depend on how thick you make your rice layers, as well as the diameter of the cake pan. Be sure to use diagonal cutting motions with the side edge of the rice paddle (pre-moistened with water) to mix with the warm rice. This helps to prevent the rice from getting mashed.
  4. Line cake pan with a large sheet of plastic wrap. It will help you to remove the sushi with ease. If you are using a springform pan (with removable bottom), there's no need to line the pan with plastic wrap, but instead, make sure the pan is wet with water, to prevent the rice from sticking too much from the side of the pan.
  5. Add a layer of rice on the bottom of the pan. Top with pink sakura denbu shredded codfish. Layer more rice on top, then garnish with sliced green beans. Layer with the last layer of rice. Garnish top with thinly sliced egg, baby broccolini, shrimp, ikura (salmon roe caviar), and any optional garnishes.
  6. Remove from pan onto a plate and serve immediately.

Additional Options:

For additional information regarding Hinamatsuri (Japanese Girl's Day) and food for celebrating this special holiday, take a look at, "10 Best Dishes for Hosting a Japanese Girl's Day Party". Another article to read is Sakura Mochi, which is the traditional rice cake dessert, or wagashi, that is often enjoyed on this holiday.​

Special Equipment:

  • 6 to 8 inch diameter silicone or metal cake pan