Baked Salmon Sushi Cups: the Viral TikTok Recipe for Tasty, Spicy and Fresh Appetizers!

Total time: 30 mins.
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 6 people
By Cookist

Craving some sushi bites, but you don't feel like going out to eat? Enter our Baked Salmon Sushi Cups: a delightful fusion dish perfect for any occasion, from casual lunches to elegant dinners. These bite-sized treats combine the fresh flavors of sushi-grade salmon with the crispiness of nori sheets and the tangy zest of a homemade sauce. Seafood lovers and sushi enthusiasts will adore this dish. The steps are simple: cut nori sheets and place them in muffin cups, fill with cheese and salmon, bake, and finish with a drizzle of sauce. Enjoy a taste of gourmet simplicity!

What Are Viral Baked Salmon Sushi Cups?

The viral baked salmon sushi cups recipe has taken social media by storm, particularly on TikTok, where it was popularized by food influencer Emily Mariko. This ingenious creation is a modern twist on traditional homemade sushi, offering a convenient and creative way to enjoy sushi flavors. The recipe transforms classic sushi ingredients into easy-to-make, bite-sized nori cups filled with baked salmon, rice, and a flavorful sauce. Originating from the fusion of Japanese sushi and contemporary cooking techniques, these sushi cups provide a fun and accessible alternative to rolling sushi, making it perfect for home cooks looking to replicate a sushi experience with a trendy, baked twist. Here, we give you our versions, with all the tips to make them perfect!

Tips to Get the Best Baked Salmon Sushi Cups

  • Start with the freshest salmon you can find. Sushi-grade salmon ensures the best flavor and texture. Also, use high-quality nori sheets for the crispiest cups.
  • Cook the sushi rice properly. It should be sticky enough to hold together but not mushy. Season it lightly with rice vinegar for authentic flavor.
  • Cut the nori sheets into uniform squares and ensure the salmon is cubed evenly. This helps in even cooking and makes the presentation more appealing.
  • Marinate the salmon thoroughly. Allow it to sit in the olive oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar, honey, ginger, garlic, sesame, and scallion mixture for at least 15 minutes to absorb all the flavors.
  • Whisk the sauce ingredients until well combined. Drizzle the sauce over the baked sushi cups just before serving to retain its vibrant flavor.
  • For the best experience, serve the salmon sushi cups immediately after baking while they are still warm and the nori is crisp.
  • Feel free to experiment with additional toppings like avocado slices, pickled ginger, or a sprinkle of furikake to add extra layers of flavor and texture.

What is The Best Type of Salmon I Can Use For These Cups?

For the best results in your salmon sushi cups, use sushi-grade salmon. This type of salmon is specifically chosen for its freshness and quality, ensuring a safe and delicious raw or lightly cooked experience. Sushi-grade salmon has a firm texture and rich flavor, making it ideal for this recipe where the salmon is marinated and baked, retaining its tenderness and taste. Always source it from a reputable supplier to guarantee the best quality.

Can I Make These Ahead?

You can prepare certain elements ahead of time. You can pre-cut the nori sheets, cook and season the sushi rice, and marinate the salmon. However, for optimal texture and flavor, assemble and bake the cups just before serving. If necessary, you can assemble the cups a few hours in advance and refrigerate them, but bake them right before eating.

Why Aren't My Nori Sheets Crispy?

The nori sheets may not be crispy because they absorbed moisture from the ingredients, particularly the salmon and rice. To maintain crispiness, ensure the nori is added just before baking and the ingredients are not overly wet. Additionally, baking at the right temperature and for the correct duration helps keep the nori crisp.

Can I Use Something Other Than Salmon for These Cups?

Yes, you can substitute the salmon with other proteins such as tuna, cooked shrimp, or even tofu for a vegetarian option. Ensure the chosen protein is fresh and of high quality, and adjust the marinade ingredients accordingly to complement the flavor of the new protein.

Can I Skip The Rice for This Recipe?

Yes, rice can be omitted from this recipe. For a low-carb alternative, you can use cauliflower rice or quinoa as substitutes. Both options will provide a different texture but still pair well with the salmon and other ingredients.

Is This Recipe Gluten-Free?

This recipe can be made gluten-free by using gluten-free soy sauce and ensuring that all other ingredients, such as nori sheets and vinegar, are certified gluten-free.

What Can I Substitute the Sauce With?

You can substitute the sauce with a variety of options. Spicy mayonnaise, made by mixing mayonnaise with sriracha, is a popular alternative that adds a creamy, spicy kick. Other options include teriyaki sauce or ponzu sauce, which can provide different flavor profiles.

More Salmon and Sushi Recipes You're Going to Want to Try!

Sushi Pizza

Cucumber Sushi Rolls

Ice Cube Tray Sushi

Sushi Cake

Crispy Rice Sushi Bites

How to Store Baked Salmon Sushi Cups

To store place the Baked Salmon Sushi Cups in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 2 days. For best results, keep the nori sheets separate to prevent them from becoming soggy. For optimal flavor and texture, it's best to consume them fresh.


Nori sheets
cooked sushi rice
450 grams
Fresh salmon
500 grams
Olive oil
30 ml
Soy sauce
15 ml
Rice vinegar
15 ml
15 grams
freshly grated ginger
3 grams
Minced garlic cloves
Sesame seeds
2 grams
scallions, sliced
For the sauce
30 grams
Soy sauce
30 ml
10 ml
freshly grated ginger
2 grams
Sesame seeds
2 grams

How to Make Baked Salmon Sushi Cups

Preheat the oven to 374°F (190°C).

Start by slicing the salmon into even sized cubes.

Mix the salmon cubes with the marinade: olive oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar, honey, grated ginger, minced garlic, sesame and sliced scallions. Let the salmon marinade for at least 15 minutes.

Cut the nori sheets into squares.

Put into the muffin cups, then top with rice halfway up.

Put the marinated salmon on top of the rice baskets. Bake for 15 minutes.

In the meantime, whisk the ingredients for the sauce in a small bowl: honey, soy sauce, sriracha, grated ginger and sesame seeds.

Let the salmon baskets cool down for 5 minutes, once they're cooked, before topping them with a dollop of sauce and serving.


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