Layered Sushi "Cake"

Sushi Cake

Koki Iino / Getty Images

Prep: 40 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 70 mins
Servings: 8 to 10 servings

Layered chirashi sushi, which resembles a cake, is often enjoyed on Japanese Girl's Day or Hinamatsuri (Doll Festival) which occurs on March 3. 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.


  • 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
  • 2 tablespoons 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)

Steps to Make It

  1. Steam rice according to your rice cooker's instructions or on the stovetop.

  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 and set aside. 

  4. Boil a small pot of water to cook the baby broccolini.

  5. Thaw cooked frozen shrimp, remove tails if desired, and then slice in half vertically to create 6 halved pieces of shrimp. Set aside. 

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Add a layer of rice on the bottom of the pan. Top with pink sakura denbu shredded codfish. Layer more rice on top and 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.

  9. Remove from pan onto a plate and serve immediately.