Recipe: Crab & Shiitake Mushroom Sushi "Casserole"

Uncle Chuck’s Crab & Shiitake Mushroom Sushi “Casserole”

On a pleasant evening this past week we had yet another family reunion, this time connecting with my German roots/peeps, who came to visit Hawaii all the way from Berlin and Stuttgart (the latter being home of Porsche).

Crab & Shiitake Mushroom Sushi “Casserole”. Photo added 9.15.13, courtesy of Catherine Toth.

With that, we made it a pot luck, where one of my Von Arnswaldt cousins (droppin’ the German name there; mom’s dad side) made this absolutely BROKE DA’ MOUT’ Crab & Shiitake Mushroom Sushi Casserole. Well, at least that’s what I’m calling it, as he didn’t really have a name for it. All he knows is that Catherine Toth, columnist of the former Honolulu Advertiser loved it so much at a recent function he attended, that she asked him for the recipe. Which he was more than happy to share, hence where I’m sharing with you now.

This pupu was so popular at the party, everyone whacked it before I got a chance to get a photo of it as a full pan!

Which actually is kinda’ funny, come to think of it, as I can’t imagine a Japanese sushi chef ever thinking of making this delicacy “Casserole” style. Would take a “Kraut” (German) to think that up. lol No, but seriously, my cousin got this recipe from a friend of his, who is local Japanese, and let me tell you, this buggah is a WINNAH! FANTASTIC potluck dish, or any dish for that matter. You gotta’ try this!

So here’s the recipe (and no worry, I not going make da’ kine “Japanee style” and hold out on the secret ingrediments or methods! Ha ha!).

Crab & Shiitake Mushroom Sushi “Casserole”
Serves enough for a small crowd

• 3 cups cooked rice
• Aji Furikake
– After cooked, let the rice cool completely in the pot. When the rice is cooled down, create a bed in a shallow baking pan and compact it tightly, just as you would if you were making a regular Sushi roll (think of it that way). Once you have the rice compacted into a bed in the pan, sprinkle Aji Nori Furikake to cover the rice evenly. Use more or less at your discretion.

Mix together in a bowl:
• 3/4 cup mayonnaise (Best Foods brand of course)
• 1 cup sour cream
Chop up (preferably in a food processor, or to finely-course) the following, and add to the mayo/sour cream mixture:
• 1 package of imitation crab
• 1 package of (rehydrated if dried) shiitake mushrooms, stems removed

Now, spread the Crab/Shiitake/Mayo/Sour Cream “good stuff” mix onto the bed of Furikake-sprinkled rice compacted in the pan, creating an even, fairly generous layer.
Pop the Crab & Shiitake Mushroom Sushi Casserole in a preheated oven on broil at maximum temperature and heat it until the topping is slightly browned. Remove and let cool.

Serve the finished Crab & Shiitake Mushroom Sushi Casserole at room temperature in the pan by cutting it into approximately 1″x2″ bite-size pieces. Provide seasoned (like Teriyaki) Korean Nori (if you can’t get that, use regular Nori, but just make sure it’s fresh and crispy) on the side, which the guests will use to wrap the Crab & Shiitake Mushroom “Rice Casserole” piece into, which in turn will make it complete as Sushi.  Enjoy. Then enjoy another one. And another one. And another one. So ono!

Trust me, as simple as it sounds, YOU WILL ABSOLUTELY LOVE THIS. We all did (including our German guests of honor), that’s for sure! It’s the PERFECT “everyone will dig it”, easy-and-cheap-to-make pot luck dish. Of course you could also enhance/make it your own even more by adding more yum-yums such as Goma (Sesame) seed, Avocado and/or Shichimi Togarashi, etc..

While we’re on “apps” and our (German-side) family reunion, this also has nothing to do with Germany, yet certainly very AMERICAN (in a Chinese “wannabe” way), where my pot luck contribution was Crab Rangoon…

Pomai’s Crab Rangoon with Mae Ploy Sweet Thai Chili Dipping Sauce
(Crispy Gau Gee from Chinese takeout restaurant also plated on same spread)

Here’s my take (and there’s many) on Crab Rangoon…

Crab Rangoon
• 1 package fresh Wonton wrappers (enough to make about 30 or more; I use my favorite Sun Noodle brand)
• 1 eight oz. package Philadelphia Cream Cheese, softened
• 1 six oz. can white (or your favorite variety of fresh, frozen or canned) crab meat, shredded or minced
• 1 five oz. can whole or sliced boiled and peeled water chestnuts, chopped
• 1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
• 1 tablespoon finely minced fresh garlic
• 1 tablespoon finely minced red onion
• 1/4 cup finely chopped green onion
• 1 raw egg, white and yolk combined (wash to seal wonton wrapper)
• 3 cups cooking oil for deep frying (your favorite brand and type)
• Sweet Thai Chili Sauce (Mae Ploy is my favorite brand)

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Thoroughly combine and mix cream cheese, crab, water chestnuts, Worcestershire (“what’s that here?”) sauce, garlic, red onion and green onion in a mixing bowl.

Add about a teaspoon (more or less, up to you, but don’t put too much, or it will leak out of wrapper when deep fried) of cream cheese and crab mixture in the center of wonton wrapper. Apply egg wash on one side of wrapper, then fold in half to make a triangle (or half circle). Press seem firmly with your finger to seal it, making sure the cheese and crab mixture won’t leak out when it melts inside as while in the hot oil. You can leave it in triangle or half-circle shape, or get all fancy-nancy and fold it into an Origami Crane or Giraffe if you like. Whatevahz. lol).

Prep all your Crab Rangoon Wontons before deep frying. When pau preppin’ ’em, preheat the oil to 360 degrees in adequate cooking vessel and deep fry Crab Rangoon in batches that fit in pan/pot/fryer without over-crowding it. Cook until Golden Brown Delicious, a.k.a. “GBD”, which takes on average about 3 minutes. Remove and drain on rack or paper towel and repeat next batch until all Crab Rangoon are done.

Serve on platter with Sweet Thai Chili dipping sauce (Coleman’s “Chinese” Mustard mixed with Shoyu is also a great dipping sauce for Crab Rangoon). Garnish with chopped green onions for color if you like. Enjoy!

P.S. Last weekend Kiho’alu (Slack Key) guitar master Makana was performing at the KCC Farmers’ Market. Here’s a video clip of him covering Keola & Kapono Beamer’s “Mr. San Cho Lee”…

Mahalo Makana for the CDs! The disc for Aunty Ilona (uncle Sonny’s sister) is on its way to her.


Recipe: Crab & Shiitake Mushroom Sushi "Casserole" — 46 Comments

  1. Never thought to try with shiitake. Yum! The salty Korean nori is the best. My friends and I used to make crab rangoon back in the early 80’s from the Trader Vic’s cookbook. I wonder if there was such thing as sweet chili sauce back then though…

  2. Traci, yeah, the Shiitake is certainly a left curve that would have you stumped on what it was if no one told you. I’m a mushroom FREAK and would put in everything I cooked if given the chance. If the doctor told me I had to, I could easily give up eating meat and substitute it with mushrooms.

    Speaking of which, on my next Crab Rangoon batch, I’m gonna’ try adding chopped Shiitake Mushrooms in the Cream Cheese and Crab filling. I bet it’s gonna’ ROCK! Any other filling ideas for a Mushroom-filled Wonton? I’m psyched just thinkin’ about it!

  3. Pomai, this recipe is very contemporary of Osaka style molded sushi which people see it cooked filling in it. I would like one also somewhat like a salad sushi with lot of vegetable used in it and salad dressing.

  4. The version I have doesn’t have the shiitake and I use the preflaked frozen surimi from Marukai with one can/pkg of real crabmeat for added kani flavah! Though I can see sauteing fresh chopped shiitake with some butter and mixing it in… BTW I splurged on the Tiger induction microcomputer rice cooker… still comparing the results to my old school rice pot…

  5. Pomai, Everything looks totally Ono! I’m surprised you haven’t seen this ‘casserole’ sooner. My bf’s grandma has uku church/school kine cookbooks, and most of those will call this Broiled Sushi.

    A little tip for you about filling the rangoons… Ice cream scooper! I do a lot of baking, so I have 4 different-sized scoopers. (I can’t trust myself with a regular spoon, I tend to be too generous lol) I think the one I use is exactly a teaspoon.

    If you wanna invest a little more time into creating an awesome pupu, here’s a great one I picked up from a friend’s baby shower.

    Take your crab/cream cheese mixture, gently stuff into a peeled, deveined, and butterflied shrimp, wrap with a lumpia wrapper (a rectangle one that’s been cut into thirds) leaving tail exposed, fry, and serve with sweet chili sauce.

    Completely with the extra time and calories!

  6. Ooh, the sushi looks good. I have to try it some time soon. The recipe is making me bummed out that Costco no longer seems to carry the fresh shiitake. Once you’ve had the creamy fresh ones, there’s no comparing it with rehydrated.

  7. Marie, MAKE THIS ONE. Winner!

    Spotty, Marukai sells fresh Shiitake at a fairly reasonable price.

    Jenny, as for portioning the rangoon filling, I just use a regular table spoon literally). Is there such a thing as a tablespoon-sized ice cream scooper? That’s WAY too small of an ice cream scoop (more like tease) for me! I AM SO GOING TO TRY your stuffed shrimp suggestion! Sounds sugoi oishii! Keep in mind that shrimp contains the GOOD cholesterol, not the bad. It’s the cream cheese that gets us.

    Ryan, NO you didn’t! Funny you mention Tiger’s Induction Rice Cooker, as when I was shopping for a new rice cooker last year, just so happened Tiger’s sales rep’ was in Don Quijote, and he gave me some GREAT pointers on selecting and maintaining a rice cooker. Even he SWEARS the Induction Rice Cooker “makes the best rice” he’s ever tasted, noting that the even heat the pot receives while cooking is what sets it apart. But yeah, DEFINITELY try adding Shiitake Mushrooms on your next “Sushi Casserole” dish. I think you’ll really enjoy it, especially being the wine connesoisseur that you are.

    Kelike, there’s a particular brand/style of Japanese marinated vegetables that comes in a refrigerated vacuum-packed bag that is absolutely OISHII on hot steamed rice. Simple as that, which I think is what you’re looking for or that will fit the bill. Next time I hit Marukai I’ll get the name for you.

    Jenny, they WHACKED everything, including the Poi!

  8. Susan, great question, and hope this isn’t too late of a reply to make the dish for your long weekend paina.

    But yes, if they’re the dried variety,the shiitake mushrooms indeed must be soaked in water to rehydrate them before using.

    Actually though, IIRC, my cousin who provided the recipe, used FRESH Shiitake, which surely makes it all taste that much better.


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  10. Thank you for this recipe! I’ve been looking for it for a long time. I hope you don’t mind, but I posted it on my blog and linked back to your site. Thanks!!

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  12. Hey Pomai, I’m planning on making this for a potluck this weekend and was wondering what size pan did you use here?

      • 6″x10″? No wonder the pan was almost all whacked before you could take a picture! I’m gonna have to mess with the portions a bit and bring a bigger pan this weekend. Gonna use dried shiitake and maybe tobiko too. I’ll let you know how it comes out!

  13. I make a similar version by adding my own Tsu to the hot rice. And with the Mayo, I also add Sriracha and Sesame Oil to make it also taste like that Spicy Mayo sushi that they make at various restaurants. It’s a humongous hit at potlucks! I can make 2 large trays and they’re gone within minutes!

    • John,

      Not a fan of Sriracha, however I can see doing a Korean twist using the Sesame oil. As for the Sushis-Su, the usual is a combination of predominantly vinegar with a mixture of sugar and salt. However I’m guessing you add something crazy like BBQ sauce or something. I dunno. lol

      • For Tsu, I make my own, adding also mirin, sake, and konbu to what you already listed. Sri is very popular when I mix with mayo and sesame oil! Tastes just like the spicy tuna rolls from sushi bars… I also use this sauce for everything else like beef stew, chili, really great with spam musubi’s, even pizza. For the Real Crab, I usually buy them from Costco…

  14. Sorry, also forgot that I also used Real Crab vs. imitation and it does taste better. But, still comes out ok with imitation…

    • John,

      Don Quijote carries this interesting variation of imitation crab that’s prepared like finely shredded cheese. Every time I see it, I can’t help but think how great that would work in this Crab & Shiitake Mushroom Casserole dish. The way ingredients are cut and portioned is just as important as the being of the ingredient itself.

      • I’ve seen that and tried it for another recipe. Still, kinda hard to beat the real Crab flavor. I’ve also tried all the other imitation crabs out there in hopes to find something cheap to cook with but it just doesn’t have that full on crab flavor. Or, maybe mixing 1/2 imitation with real crab might work…

        • John,

          If you were to turn this recipe into a “sushi casserole” version of the classic California Roll – meaning having the the core ingredients of crab, cucumber and avocado in there – how would you execute it?

          My thought is to simply top the current recipe with thick julienne cuts of cucumber and avocado. However, I’m also curious if it would work being cut smaller and incorporated with the mayo’ and crab mixture. From a visual and textural standpoint, I’d choose the former.

          California Sushi Cas-R-Roll

          • I did that too since my friend is a vegetarian. But, couldn’t even use imitation crab. What I did was puree the avocado and add this first and then the layer of mayo mixture. Then once done and still warm, add diced cucumbers…

          • I don’t know, I’m not a vegetarian… Nah, jk! My friend really loved it! She was lucky too since she had the entire pan to herself and the one with Crab had to be shared with over 20 people… Roasted eggplants are great too!

  15. The combinations are endless, just have to be creative. As you can see on my fb page, I enjoy cooking, especially creating my own dishes. Huge fan of Kiawe grilling/smoking! Been making this broiled crab sushi for over 12 years since I first had it at a SB party and couldn’t stop eating it…

    • John,

      Did you attend this past “Hogs Gone Wild” smoked cook-off event at Cycle City? I really shouldn’t ask, as you would have seen me there if you did.

      Speaking of which, last year, one contestant served Smoked Palusami Dip. Let me say that one more time, SMOKED PALUSAMI DIP. As in the Samoan Taro Leaf dish. Dude, OFF THE CHARTS! One of the most unique and tastiest smoked “concoctions” I’ve ever tried. No wonder that team won the “Anything Goes” portion of the event, as well as the “Iron Chef” cook-off finale.

      That in mind, I’m thinking of adding something like smoked marlin or smoked crab to this sushi casserole. How you figgah?

      One of the contestants offered smoked Lobster Tail and Scallops at this year’s cookoff. Pretty good, but he they should have cured it a bit. It tasted too “raw” in our opinion. Flavor was there, texture, not so much. At least in the way it was served. What I’m saying is, no matter how exotic the meat or other main ingredient is, it either has to stand-up alone and standout, or be the standout ingredient in a dish, such as say, as Poke, or a Sandwich or a Pizza.. or a simple Kabob. Ya’ know?

      • No I didn’t. I use both a Kamado and a large grill with cast iron grates. But, always smoke and grill with Kiawe. Growing up on the Big Island my grandfather was the one that taught me how to smoke my meats. We even make our own sausages!

        Smoked crab might work but you might need to add a tray off water below so it doesn’t get too dry. Smoked Marlin would be good but I think Ahi would be better but that’s just a preference.

        Brining is great, my last few years I’ve been brining my Turkey’s for Thanksgiving (yes, 2 turkeys!) for 1 day and then smoke it in my Kamado for about 8 hours. You would think it’d be dry but it actually turns out soooo juicy. As you cut into it, the juice starts running and the smoky flavor is just amazing. I then use the bones and some pieces of turkey and make Jook. OMG, I’m making myself hungry…lol

        • John,

          Interestingly, the Kamado is one “contraption” I’ve NEVER seen at at the smoked meat competitions. In fact, most of the people either use a Weber Smoker (WSM), a regular grill with a smoke box, or a cabinet type smoker with a door in the front. As one of the judges, what I look for besides the food itself, is how the teams present themselves at the event. In fact, I have lots of suggestions for Linda to improve on the competition… it’s just tough. So much to do, so little time.

          But yeah! A Kamado grill/smoker at the competition would certainly draw some attention! Costco was selling them at one time. Our family had one. Hardly ever used it though, as dad wasn’t THAT hardcore of a griller. Our family meals were usually simple, either pan-fried or oven-baked.

          • That fishing store down by the Pier also carries the modern version of Kamado’s. Think they call it the Green Egg. Comes in 3 sizes. Yes, I saw the one in Costco, nice version and looks easy to work with.

            I also have one of those large La Caja China Cooking boxes! Can cook a whole 100 lb. pig… Charcoal goes on the top and cooks for about 5 hours. Comes out like Lechon!

          • John,

            You must be talking about West Marine.

            According to Costco’s website, the brand they carry is by Vision Grills…

            That looks like the one I remember seeing at the HK Costco location.

            That La Caja China Cooking Box was featured on Bizarre Foods once, as you know how much Andrew loves his pork.

            Speaking of which, while I don’t eat much meat anymore, on occasion I’ll indulge. Where if you like Lechon, you MUST try the Chinese Roast Pork at — of all places — Chun Wah Kam (yes, the manapua placee). The roasted pork meat is so, so tender, juicy and flavorful, while the best part is that crispy, salty skin… OMG, it’s to die for! By far one of the best pork ANYTHING I’ve ever tried!

            Chun Wah Kam by Ala Moana for the Chinese Roast Pork with the crispy “lechon-like” skin for the win!

  16. Sorry, it was POP Fishing store… Yes, the one at Costco must be the same all over, looks heavy duty. The one I have is the original, came from Japan. Hey, when my friend from Waianae asked if I wanted one, I couldn’t refuse! He had 2 of them and this one was complete, the other had some parts missing/broken. He’s also the one that supplies me with all my great Kiawe!

    Yes, and on their website, few other chef’s use it too. It’s great but the clean-up takes long too…

    Yes, I have tried the Lechon @ CWK, posted it several times on my fb page. But, you gotta see the one I made in my La Caja China Box, more betta! Do a friend request on fb, John Min (the good-looking guy with the Sax…nah, jk!). And, you can see all my food pics. The whole pig is on the top of my page… Today I just made an awesome Adobo in the slow cooker! It was soooo Ono!

  17. Does anyone know what the size of the “package of imitation crab, and package of shitake mushrooms” are? Also, anyone tried this using flavored “sushi rice”?

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  19. This recipe looks amazing. I will be using the best and freshest shiitake available! Thank you so much for the recipe. Can’t wait to try!!!

  20. Hi Pomai:
    Since you (re) posted this sushi casserole in the SB 49 post. I looked more closely at this recipe and have the same (unanswered) question above from LuckyLoo:

    ”  Does anyone know what the size of the “package of imitation crab, and package of shitake mushrooms” are? Also, anyone tried this using flavored “sushi rice”?

    Would you be kind enough to detail the recipe a little more, together (not piece-meal) in one spot?…..

    Like the pan size (you later answered 6″x10″), for the recipe you posted as well as the amount/weights for the crab (if imitation package, what weight, if fresh what weight) also same for the dry versus fresh shiitake.  That would be so helpful.  Thanks for all you do!

    • Aloha Mimi,

      This recipe is originally from THE girl, Catherine Toth, of which I apologize for the discrepancies in measurements.

      I really don’t think the measurements are a big deal, though. Just taste the mixture of your imitation crab topping that it tastes., well?… crabby enough! It’s gotta’ have that imitation crabby “edge”, in a creamy way, if you know what I mean.

      Regarding the pan size, it’s your typical baking sheet pan.

      Just as important, make sure your rice is TOP-NOTCH. As like other sushi, this Sushi “casserrole” is “RICE CENTRIC”, so texture is key!

      Oh, and no scade on da’ Aji Furikake! And make sure it’s that one. VERY IMPORTANT!

  21. My brother went to a pot luck party and somebody brought a sushi casserole dish and he raved about it, he wants to replicate that it . I came across your site when a  did a search for sushi casserole; your  the recipes look interesting. I am planning to make the “Crab & Shiitake Mushroom Sushi “Casserole” sometime, I will definitely let you know how it turns out. Thank you.

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