Salmon Sushi Bowl

This Salmon Sushi Bowl is a fabulous weeknight dinner that’s packed with fresh flavor! These are incredibly versatile and great for using up leftover rice or veggies you have hanging out in the crisper drawer.

I’m sharing tips for making everything from scratch or taking a few shortcuts to get these on the table in 20 minutes flat!

Salmon sushi bowl with cucumber, avocado, radish, pickled ginger, and spicy mayo drizzled on top.

Weeknight Salmon Sushi Bowl

When I’m craving fresh flavors that really pop, nothing satisfies quite like a sushi bowl. These Spicy Tuna Sushi Bowls have been in our regular rotation for years, but I decided it was finally time to share a new variation on an old favorite.

Salmon Sushi Bowls are an explosion of flavors and textures featuring sticky rice, broiled glazed salmon, crisp veggies, and, not one but TWO creamy, spicy, and sweet sauces.

Here’s why I think you’ll love them:

  • Great for meal prepping! You can prepare all the individual components of the bowls in advance and keep them in the fridge where they’ll be ready for quick lunches or dinners.
  • Great for kids! Sushi can be a bit intimidating for kids, but serving it this way allows them to pick and choose just the things they like. Whenever I give my kids more control over crafting their own plates, dinner always goes so much smoother!
  • Very versatile. You can make this with whatever veggies you have on hand, swap out the sauces for your favorite bottled Asian vinaigrette, or even nix the rice and turn this into a sushi salad!

Ingredients in Sushi Bowls

Salmon fillets on a sheet pan, rice in a colander, and cucumber, sliced avocado, and bowls of spicy mayo and eel sauce on a cutting board.
  • Salmon– Choose boneless salmon fillets. Frozen salmon works fine, but make sure it’s thawed before you begin. 
  • Cooked rice– If you want the most authentic sushi rice, look for short grain Japanese rice. If you can’t find that, long grain rice or leftover rice will work just fine.
  • Seasoned rice vinegar– This is the key to giving the rice its distinctive flavor! The labeling between seasoned and unseasoned rice vinegar is not super obvious. Here’s what you want to look for. In this common grocery store brand, seasoned vinegar is yellow and unseasoned is green.
  • Eel sauce– This sweet and savory sauce is a staple in sushi recipes. I use it as a glaze for the salmon as well as a sauce for the sushi bowl itself. You can make it at home very easily with just 3 ingredients:
    • Soy sauce– Choose tamari if you’d like to make the sauce gluten free.
    • MirinFind it here, or in the Asian foods aisle of your grocery store.
    • Granulated sugar
  • Spicy Mayo– Combining mayonnaise and sriracha is all you need to make this creamy sauce with a definite kick!
  • Fresh veggies– I like using avocado, cucumber, and thinly sliced radish. Shredded or spiralized carrots, zucchini, and mini bell peppers are also great.

More Sushi Bowl Topping Ideas

Pick two or three of these other toppings to add crunch and additional flavor to your bowl!

  • Panko breadcrumbs
  • Nori sheets, chopped
  • Pickled ginger- You can find this at many Asian grocery stores, or make your own.
  • Green Onions
  • Sesame seeds
  • Edamame
Two Salmon Sushi Bowls with cups of eel sauce and pickled ginger on the side.

How to Make a Salmon Sushi Bowl

  1. Prepare sushi rice (if using). More on how to make sushi rice below! If you’re using leftover rice or quick rice, proceed to step 2.
  2. Preheat the broiler. Line a sheet pan with foil and spray with cooking spray.
  3. Make the eel sauce. In a saucepan, combine the soy sauce, mirin, and granulated sugar. Bring the mixture to a boil, then turn the heat down so it maintains a gentle simmer. Continue to cook for 5-7 minutes, or until the mixture is thickened to the consistency of thin maple syrup. Set aside a few tablespoons to glaze the salmon.
  4. Prepare the salmon. Place the salmon on the prepared pan, brush with olive oil and season generously with salt. Place the salmon in the middle rack under the broiler and cook for 6 minutes. Remove the salmon and brush with the reserved eel sauce. Return to the oven and cook another 2-4 minutes, or until the salmon flakes easily and the thickest part reaches 135 degrees fahrenheit. I do not recommend cooking past 140 degrees.
  5. Make the spicy mayo. Combine mayonnaise and Sriracha in a small bowl and stir until combined.
  6. Assemble the bowls. Portion cooked rice into bowls. Top with flaked salmon, sliced veggies, pickled ginger, and green onions. Serve with remaining eel sauce and spicy mayo.

How to Make Rice for Sushi

This method of preparing rice yields tender, slightly sticky rice with a distinct flavor that’s perfect for sushi.

If you’re using short grain rice, you’ll want to follow these directions. Please note that other types of rice cook for different amounts of time and with different amounts of water. You can follow these cooking instructions for other kinds of white rice.

  1. Rinse the rice. Place the rice in a fine mesh sieve and rinse it with cold water until the water is no longer cloudy, about 1 minute. Shake off excess moisture, then transfer the rice to a pot with a tight fitting lid.
  2. Bring to a boil. Add water to the rice and stir. Cover, then bring to a gentle boil over medium high heat.
  3. Simmer. Immediately reduce the heat to low, and set the timer for 16 minutes. Let the rice gently simmer during that time. Remove the lid at 16 minutes and try a few grains to see if they’re tender. If they’re not, cover the pot and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
  4. Steam. Once tender, replace the lid, remove from heat, and allow the rice to continue steaming, another 10 minutes.
  5. Season rice. Stir the vinegar into the rice gently until liquid is absorbed and rice is slightly cooled.
Spicy mayonnaise drizzled over broiled salmon, sliced cucumber and avocado, and sushi rice.

Storage and Make Ahead Instructions

Sushi bowls can be served warm or cold. If you prefer everything to be cold, I recommend making it in the morning or earlier and storing it in the fridge.

The rice, salmon, and sauces can all be prepared up to four days in advance and kept in the refrigerator in sealed containers.

Veggies like cucumber and radish can be chopped 1-2 days ahead of time and stored in a sealed container. Avocado should be sliced right before serving.

Variations + Shortcuts for Salmon Sushi Bowls

  • Skip the sushi rice and prepare minute rice instead. You can still use the sushi rice seasoning to give it a distinctive taste.
  • Use fresh salmon instead of broiled. If you love raw salmon, you can certainly use it in these bowls! Just be sure to purchase fresh, sushi grade salmon.
  • Make Salmon Sushi Salads by subbing the rice for fresh greens and using the sesame dressing from this Panera Asian Sesame Salad.
  • Make a Philadelphia Sushi Bowl by subbing the broiled salmon for smoked salmon, and adding chunks of cream cheese.
  • Don’t like seafood? Make a sushi bowl with Asian Marinated Chicken!
Two yellow bowls filled with sushi rice, salmon, cucumber, avocado, radish.

More Asian Inspired Recipes to Enjoy

Spicy mayonnaise drizzled over broiled salmon, sliced cucumber and avocado, and sushi rice.

Salmon Sushi Bowl

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Broiled salmon, crisp veggies, spicy mayo, and eel sauce are all piled on top of sticky sushi rice for a satisfying and flavorful dinner or make ahead lunch.

Ingredients

For the rice:

  • 2 cups short grain sushi rice
  • 2 ¼ cups water
  • ¼ cup seasoned rice vinegar

For the salmon:

  • 4 4-5 oz boneless salmon fillets
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt

For the eel sauce:

  • ½ cup soy sauce or tamari
  • ½ cup mirin
  • ½ cup granulated sugar

For the bowls:

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1-2 Tablespoons sriracha, to taste
  • 2 mini cucumbers or 1 large, sliced
  • 2 radishes, sliced very thin
  • 2 avocados, sliced
  • Green onions, sliced

Instructions

Prepare the sushi rice:

  1. Place the rice in a fine mesh sieve and rinse it with cold water until the water is no longer cloudy, about 1 minute. Shake off excess moisture, then transfer the rice to a pot with a tight fitting lid.
  2. Add water to the rice and stir. Cover, then bring to a gentle boil over medium high heat.
  3. Immediately reduce the heat to low, and set the timer for 16 minutes. Let the rice gently simmer during that time. Remove the lid at 16 minutes and try a few grains to see if they’re tender.
  4. Once tender, replace the lid, remove from heat, and allow the rice to continue steaming, another 10 minutes.
  5. Uncover the pot and stir the vinegar into the rice gently until liquid is absorbed.

For the eel sauce and salmon:

  1. Preheat the broiler. Line a sheet pan with foil and spray with cooking spray.
  2. Make the eel sauce. In a saucepan, combine the soy sauce, mirin, and granulated sugar. Bring the mixture to a boil, then turn the heat down so it maintains a gentle simmer. Continue to cook for 5-7 minutes, or until the mixture is thickened to the consistency of thin maple syrup. Set aside a few tablespoons to glaze the salmon.
  3. Prepare the salmon. Place the salmon on the prepared pan, brush with olive oil and season generously with salt. Place the salmon in the middle rack under the broiler and cook for 6 minutes. Remove the salmon and brush with the reserved eel sauce. Return to the oven and cook another 2-4 minutes, or until the salmon flakes easily and the thickest part reaches 135 degrees fahrenheit. I do not recommend cooking past 140 degrees.
  4. Make the spicy mayo. Combine mayonnaise and 1 tablespoon Sriracha in a small bowl and stir until combined, add more to taste if desired.
  5. Assemble the bowls. Portion cooked rice into bowls. Top with flaked salmon, sliced veggies, pickled ginger, and green onions. Serve with remaining eel sauce and spicy mayo.

Notes

Make ahead instructions:

Bowls can be served warm or cold. The rice, salmon, and sauces can all be made up to 4 days in advance and stored in sealed containers in the fridge.

Substitutions:

  • You can use leftover white rice or quick rice instead of the sushi rice. It won't have quite the same texture, but will work just fine.
  • Sub the rice for salad greens to make a sushi salad.
  • Sub the salmon for fresh, raw sushi grade salmon if you prefer.
  • Use smoked salmon instead of the broiled salmon for a Philadelphia sushi bowl.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 660Total Fat: 25gSaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 54mgCarbohydrates: 86gFiber: 6gSugar: 36gProtein: 28g

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