My husband and I both love sushi. In fact, we had our wedding reception at our favorite Japanese restaurant in Orlando. Sounds odd, I know, but they happened to have a banquet room with glass walls that overlooked a koi pond and their walled gardens. It was so serene and beautiful, and yes, we had sushi as a dinner option. We still have it regularly, and it’s the only way my husband really likes salmon. I’ll eat it any which way I can, but raw is it for him. These Spicy Salmon Sushi Bowls are something we can both agree on. They look delish and solve the problem of not knowing how to roll sushi. I do want to give it a go eventually, but not today. Today it’s time for sushi bowls!
All the flavors of a salmon sushi roll without rolling them in nori wrappers. It is like having a giant salmon sushi roll as a salad. Lightly marinated fresh wild salmon, sweet/tangy sushi rise, cucumbers, carrots, scallions and creamy avocado chunks. This is an easy one-bowl dinner!
There are a lot of ingredients in these Spicy Salmon Sushi Bowls, but I was able to find most of what I needed at my usual grocery store. Toasted sesame oil, chili garlic sauce, sushi rice, ginger, scallions, avocado, lettuce, and salmon were all easy to find.
What I didn’t find locally were the nori sheets and sushi seasoning mix. I was able to order both, but it turned out that I didn’t need the sushi seasoning. It’s listed in the ingredients, but you have to read the notes for clarification.
You can mix in sushi seasoning instead of making a solution of rice vinegar, sugar, and salt. I already had the solution ingredients in my pantry, so I didn’t need the seasoning mix. That suited me just fine since I wasn’t able to find it in a packet. What I bought came in a small jar, and I wasn’t sure how much to use.
I later researched it and found the recommended amount of sushi rice seasoning is 35 grams per 2 cups of sushi rice. I’m not sure if that’s dry or cooked, but the context sounds like cooked. Rice triples when cooked, so 2 cups dry would give you 6 cups cooked, requiring 105 grams of seasoning.
There were quite a few parts to this bowl. I started things off by preparing the sushi rice because it had to cool. A quick rinse, some boiled water, and a piece of nori were all I needed to get it started in a saucepan with a secure lid.
As I mentioned above, I bought sushi seasoning thinking I needed it in addition to the rice vinegar, sugar, and salt. I opted not to use it and to do things the traditional way. It really wasn’t much additional work.
All I had to do was warm the vinegar enough to dissolve in the sugar and salt, then mix it into the rice. Very simple, and it took 4 minutes while the rice finished cooking. The instructions do say to use a wood or glass bowl to mix the rice. I only had a glass casserole dish, but it worked nicely for this purpose.
I skinned and cubed the salmon fillets while the rice cooled (4 minutes). Then I prepared the marinade (6 minutes) and set half of it aside. It was too soon to actually marinate the salmon, but I did mix the wasabi paste into the other half to make the dipping sauce (1 minute).
Next, I spent 5 minutes prepping the cucumber, carrot, and lettuce. The cucumber was simple to slice with my trusty chef's knife, and I used my mandoline with the shredding plate for the carrots. I suppose I could have used the slicing plate for the cucumber too, but I did it the old-fashioned way. Lastly, I grabbed my knife again and sliced the lettuce into thin strips.
Once I was sure the rice had cooled, I marinated the salmon and cut up the avocado. I didn’t do it earlier so it wouldn’t turn brown. I could have sprinkled it with lemon to slow browning, but I was afraid it would affect the taste.
Like I said, there was a lot going on. Here’s how my time was spent:
- 8 minutes to prep the rice
- 15 minutes to cook the rice
- 15 minutes for the rice to stand
- 3 minutes to finish the rice
- 45 minutes to let the rice cool and finish the prep work
- 3 minutes to assemble
- 1 hour 29 minutes total
That was a lot longer than the 15-minute total time listed on the recipe. Maybe that was once the rice was made and cooled? I’m not sure. Still, while the cooking times were accurate, I have to deduct points in the time category because of the overall time.