My chicken bake cups are such a fun and easy meal idea and are a great option if you’re intrigued by sushi, but don’t love seafood. When my Sushi Bake Cups and Shrimp Sushi Bake recipes went viral, I knew I needed to make a chicken version as well. This dish has all the incredible components of sushi—steamed rice seasoned with rice vinegar, salty strips of nori (aka seaweed), and spicy mayo—wrapped up into delicious, individual-size parcels. All you need is a muffin tin for forming these delectable bites; no sushi-rolling technique necessary.
Here, even, bite-sizes of skinless boneless chicken breast are seasoned simply with salt, pepper, and paprika, but feel free to use any seasoning you love. Furikake seasoning, made from nori, sesame seeds, sugar, and salt, (can be purchased pre-made in bottles or easily made at home) is a fun choice that brings home the flavors of sushi. It’s important that the chicken is cut in small, equal pieces so it cooks evenly.
Next, we cook up some short-grain rice: sushi, jasmine, or whatever variety you prefer, in a pot on the stove or in a rice cooker, and then season it with some rice wine vinegar. Muffin tins are lined in strips of nori (dried seaweed), which can be purchased at Asian grocery stores and most conventional grocery stores, as well. Everything bakes for about 15 minutes and gets crisped up under the broiler for the final minute of cooking. The nori gets satisfyingly crisp in the oven and the chicken cooks up nice and tender. The cups are then topped with spicy mayo and fresh cut chives.
Whether you love sushi, are allergic to or do not eat seafood, this is a perfect recipe to enjoy a sushi-like treat at home with satisfying protein and incredible flavor.
Chicken Bake Cups
- 3 skinless, boneless, chicken breast (pounded even and thinly)
- 1 teaspoon avocado oil
- salt, pepper, and paprika measure with your heart
- 1 heaping tablespoon spicy or plain mayo, plus more for garnish
- ½ cup short-grain rice, such as jasmine or sushi
- 2 teaspoons seasoned rice vinegar (optional)
- 2 sheets of nori, cut into six 3.5-inch squares
- fresh cut chives for garnish
- Cut the chicken into small cubes, make sure they are all more or less equal in size. Add to a bowl with the oil and season with salt, pepper, and paprika. Add the spicy mayo and stir.
- Rinse the rice and cook it as per the package instructions. I like to use my rice cooker and I add a nice pinch of salt to the rice to flavour it better. Once the rice is cooked, add the rice vinegar, if using, and mix.
- Preheat the oven to 400F.
- Add 1 tablespoon of the warm, cooked rice on top of each square of nori, and press down onto each square. Doing this first will soften the nori and make it easy to place in the muffin tin.
- Place each nori and rice square into a muffin tin. Add 1 tablespoon of the cubed, marinated chicken on top of each rice cup.
- Bake for about 15 minutes, or until the chicken juices run clear and a piece of chicken is white throughout when cut into or 165F on a meat thermometer. After 15 minutes, turn on the upper broiler of the oven and broil for 60 to 90 seconds, just until the chicken gets crispy and browned. Remove from the oven, let cool slightly, and top with more spicy mayo and chives.