Sushi Bake: The newest food obsession

IT’S all over Instagram these days—hometrepreneurs and their trays of baked sushi ready to be shipped to food obsessives in their city.

The latest food trend that’s sweeping social media is a new take on one of Japan’s representative dishes. Think of it as a sushi roll that’s been deconstructed and turned into a casserole. What’s not to love?

It has the same ingredients—sushi rice, fish roe, kani and sometimes, salmon—but is surprisingly simple to make as it doesn’t require a bamboo mat or expert sushi rolling skills. Once baked, you can scoop bite-size portions onto seaweed squares and pop it in your mouth. It can easily feed a crowd too as it comes in party trays.

In Cebu, two home cooks have seized the entrepreneurial opportunity to introduce sushi bake to food-loving Cebuanos. Husband and wife Bill and Joahnna Santillan started their online business, Hōsaku Baked Trays, earlier this month.

Bill shared: “In Japanese language, Hōsaku means good harvest, so we thought of naming our trays this as even in these trying times, something good still springs out of it. Incidentally, my wife’s friends call her Hō.”

He further explained that because of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), he rediscovered his passion for cooking, while his wife took it up as a new hobby. Hōsaku was born out of family bonding time, a friend’s suggestion and inspiration from past travels and cooking shows on TV and Netflix.

“We recalled our trip in North California where my cousin served us a tray and we have been making our sushi tray since that vacation. I immediately innovated the dish and thought of ways to make it even more special, applying what the ECQ has brought us as a family— togetherness,” he said.

The Hōsaku Baked Trays come in four variants: the Samurai (crabmeat and rice); the Masago (caplin roe, kani and rice); the Salmon Ikura (smoked salmon, cream sauce and rice); and the Seoul tray (cheese, meat, kimchi and egg).

If you can’t decide which tray to try, Hōsaku also offers a Trio tray so you can have any three flavors in one order.

“We are truly proud of the Trio tray as it’s deliciously a Cebuano original. As home cooks, it is important for us to not only come up with something delicious but also level up the importance of family togetherness, in both good and challenging times. Today, we are still learning the ropes and earnestly hoping that Cebuanos will continue to welcome Hōsaku to their dining tables,” Bill said.

To place an order, message Hōsaku Baked Trays on Instagram.


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