This Filipino-style Sushi Bake Offers Caldereta, Adobo, and More “Carinderia” Flavors

In the world of food, when two cuisines collide, you know it’s gonna be a whole lot of fun. And that’s exactly what local startup CariHits brings to the table with its line of Filipino-style sushi bakes.

A fusion of both Japanese and Filipino concepts, CariHits adds a creative spin to the trendy sushi bake. Instead of the usual kani and Japanese mayonnaise combo, CariHits incorporates flavors that are closer to home. Yes, I’m talking about Filipino classics — “carinderia” flavors, so to speak — topped with cheese, and finished off with some nori.

From a Eureka Moment to a Business

A play on the phrase “Carinderia Hits”, CariHits was created by Camille Bunao based on her love for carinderia food. Even as an Atenean student 10 years ago, she loved carindera food — particularly one called Manang’s — for two reasons: its affordable price and authentic home-style cooking.

Fast forward to the present, Camille is now a single, working mom of two. With the ongoing pandemic, she found it hard to make ends meet. Thus, she had to find a way to earn extra.

While brainstorming about different business ideas with her team, Camille ordered her favorite sushi bake from Aburi Mama to share. Much to her surprise, they didn’t enjoy it as much as she did. Turns out, they had a preference for Filipino dishes more. It was then that Camille had her “eureka” moment: to create a Filipino-style sushi bake that people, like her staff, would love.

From a carindera-flavored sushi bake or a “CariBake”, CariHits was born.

Carihits PH 1

CariHits: a Filipinized Sushi Bake

Taking Filipino favorites such as beef caldereta and pork adobo, Camille weaves together a localized sushi bake with flavors inspired by the food served in a carindera. She describes the ingenious idea as “much like being in a mixed-race relationship…(where) we aim to provide the love and taste of the best of both worlds.”

CariHits’ Filipino-style sushi bake starts off with Japanese elements: a bed of soft, fluffy Japanese rice, and a sprinkling of furikake. Next comes the Filipino ingredients. This includes a layer of potatoes, some carrots, and a generous serving of their Beef Caldereta, Chicken Pastel, Pork Adobo, or Naked Vigan Longganisa.

The finisher? Gooey cheese, and in goes the sushi bake, where it is baked to perfection. Yum!

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Your Choice of Carinderia Hits

Currently, CariHits offers 5 options to choose from. These include:

  • Beef Caldereta: a comforting beef stew made with liver paste. It’s traditionally made with tomatoes, potatoes, olives, and bell peppers. The CariHits version features the same slow-braised and tender meat with all the fixings, along with some cheese and sliced olives.
  • Chicken Pastel: a creamy chicken stew that normally comes with potatoes, carrots, sausages, and mushrooms — topped off nicely with a flaky crust. The sushi bake equivalent, however, features a creamy truffle flavor and trades the crust for a cheesy layer that is best enjoyed with nori.
  • Pork Adobo: a dish that every Filipino is familiar with — one featuring pork cooked in vinegar, soy sauce, and garlic. Pan-fried in oil for that slight char, of course. The CariBake Version features all these and more, and I’m talking about potatoes, carrots, cheese, and a laurel leaf for that crowning glory.
  • Naked Vigan Longganisa: an Ilocos specialty, Vigan longganisa is a Filipino pork sausage from Vigan City. It’s characterized by its garlicky taste and salty flavors. This version, however, takes these elements and uses ground beef instead of pork. To complete the breakfast sushi bake concept, CariHits also adds a layer of soft scrambled eggs and tops everything up with gooey cheese.
  • Half & Half: can’t choose just one? Get two of your favorites in this option. That way, you get the best of both worlds, and more!
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Half and Half Sushi Bake featuring a close-up shot of the Cheesy Pork Adobo

Wondering how much these sushi bakes go? Here’s how much they go for:

Beef Caldereta Chicken Pastel Pork Adobo Vigan LonggaSilog Half & Half
(6x5x2 inches)
Good for 1-2 pax.
PHP 300 PHP 280 PHP 280  PHP 250 PHP 300
(9x7x1.5 inches)
Good for 3-5pax
PHP 550 PHP 520 PHP 520 PHP 500 PHP 550
(10x7x1.75 inches)
Good for 6-8pax
PHP 750 PHP 720 PHP 720 PHP 700 PHP 750

Overall, what can I say? It’s cheesy, salty, and yummy. Think of it as a casserole with all your favorites rolled in one… literally! I do recommend trying out the Half and Half so that you can try a bit of both.

If you want something creamy, the Chicken Pastel bake is a good choice. But if you want something more sour-salty and tangy all the same, the Cheesy Pork Adobo is a must-have.

And while the idea of eating Filipino food with seaweed may sound at first, it actually works!

Don’t knock it till you try it. Trust me.

[Also Read: This Is How Filipinos Roll: Meet the Bangus Sisig Bake (and get the recipe here)]

Know any other places that offer sushi bake with a twist? Share your discoveries with us!

CariHits PH

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Instagram: @carihitsph


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