If you love Sushi but you’re intimidated by the fuss of rolling your own or if you’re in a hurry then a sushi bowl is a great cheat’s sushi anyone can make. Using a base of rice, it’s super simple and ready in no time.
Sushi bowls are fresh and light, perfect for a hot summer’s day and you can add and omit ingredients as you choose.
The recipe below is inspired by Ocean Basket a South African restaurant we frequented as a family while growing up. They make a Med Salmon Bowl that is beautifully tasty and pairs well with a crisp glass of Chenin Blanc.
You can find basic Japanese Sushi rice in most supermarkets and you can get organic Sushi Rice from Amazon here if you so choose. Cooking Sushi rice is not much different from cooking long grain rice, just follow the pack instructions. The packet I used recommended 250ml water with every 60g of rice to cook over medium heat until the water disappears – it came out perfectly without much hassle. For this recipe, I would recommend letting the rice cool in the freezer for a while until it’s just below room temperature before using as cold rice works a little better here.
As with Sushi Rice, Susi Nori (the seaweed that sushi is normally wrapped in) is widely available. If you can’t find sushi nori, not to worry just leave it out, but it does add more of a sushi feel so if you can find it that will be great.
Using Smoked or Sushi Salmon
Use either smoked or fresh salmon or leave it out completely if you’re aiming for a Vegan Sushi Bowl. I personally prefer smoked salmon as it’s easy to find organic wild smoked salmon locally to me. My guide is 50g of salmon per person.
Chopping your Vegetables
To chop your vegetables you can use a vegetable peeler like this or chop roughly whichever you choose. My favourite is to use a peeler as it’s super quick, looks beautiful and creates an airy feel to the bowl. Note that the carrots pictured were purple, but traditional orange carrots work exactly the same. These were just the carrots they happened to send in our Riverford veg box for the week so we used them in the photos.
A Note on Sustainable Avocadoes
Avocado growing is a water-intensive process, and have been flagged as a crop that is responsible for deforestation, so be mindful when you do eat avocado that there are sustainability issues. Choose your avocados wisely and know where they come from.
Avos that come from South Africa are generally not responsible for deforestation, but they too have to travel a long way to get to Europe or the US so you’ll have to pick your poison here. Spanish Avocadoes are probably your most sustainable option if you’re in Europe. In the USA, buying local and avoiding Mexican avocados will at least mean that you’re not supporting the cartels (see Rotten on Netflix for info). Use Avocado sparingly and of course, always buy organic and regenerative where possible.
Sushi Bowl. Vegan or with Salmon you Choose
For the salad
- 50 g smoked or unsmoked, organic wild salmon (optional)
- 120 g uncooked sushi rice
- 1 organic avocado from a sustainable source sliced
- 1 medium-sized organic carrot sliced with a vegetable peeler
- 15-20 slices of cucumber (with a vegetable peeler)
- 10 strips of sushi nori, roughly 1 cm wide and 5 cm long
- 2-3 slices organic red onion
- black and white sesame seeds to serve
For the Dressing
- 2 tbsp light soy sauce
- 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
- 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 1/4 tsp brown sugar
- Cook the Sushi Rice as per the pack instructions and let it cool in the fridge for 30 mins
- Once cooled divide the rice into two bowls. Add the carrot, cucumber, onion, avocado, sushi nori and salmon on top of the rice spreading it evenly as photographed.
- In a small bowl mix the soy sauce and brown sugar until combined.
- To serve sprinkle with the black and white sesame seeds and drizzle with the dressing or serve the dressing separately.
Can I use any supermarket salmon?
Technically you can, however, raw fish can harbour worms so it’s super important that the fish is stored and prepared using good hygiene to avoid contamination. Flash-frozen fish will be safe as that is said to kill any nasties below -4C. Or use smoked salmon as suggested in the recipe above.
I Can’t find Sushi Rice, can I use Regular Rice?
Technically yes you can, but it won’t be as sticky. Alternatively, you can use arborio rice i.e. Italian risotto rice.
Can I use Regular Seaweed instead of Sushi Nori?
Yes, you can use other types of dried seaweed if you can’t find sushi nori locally.
Can you Substitute the Salmon for canned Tuna or Crab?
Absolutely. I’d consider using a few squarts of kewpie mayonnaise i.e. Japanese mayo with crab or cooked tuna.