I’ve found rice bowls (and even noodle bowls) to be an easy way to accommodate multiple dietary needs. My husband has a very restricted diet in which he avoids dairy, gluten, and corn products. My youngest daughter is a vegetarian, my oldest loves meat, and I stick with a low-fat diet due to gallbladder surgery last year. So, you can see, cooking for my group is a challenge to say the least. The thing with bowls – whether Asian inspired or south of the border flavors, everyone can customize their bowls with what they do and do not eat. I prepare the contents and they load up. While Burrito Bowls are a favorite around here, this week I went for a sushi-inspired bowl, using sushi rice as the base and in the absence of good sushi-grade tuna, I prepared a teriyaki grilled salmon for the protein.
2 cups short grain sushi rice (do not use regular, long grain rice – you must use the short grain type)
2 cups of water
¼ rice vinegar (do not use any other kind of vinegar, or it won’t taste right!)
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. salt
Place the rice in a bowl, cover with water, swish it around with your hands, then drain. Do this 3-4 times. Don’t skip this step, as rinsing the rice is important. If using a rice cooker, prepare the rice according to manufacturer directions. If you are not using a rice cooker, place the rice in a pot, cover with 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and let simmer for 15 minutes. Do not open the lid. Remove from heat and let stand for 10 minutes – again, do not open the lid. If you take the lid off to peek, you’ll let steam escape and you need that steam to do its job.
Heat the rice vinegar over medium heat with the sugar and salt stirring to dissolve the sugar.
Once the rice has finished cooking, put it into a large bowl. A wooden bowl is preferred but glass or metal will work. Sprinkle the seasoned vinegar over the rice and put a little bit on your
bamboo rice paddle (or a large flat wood spoon). Gently “slice” the rice to incorporate
the vinegar, using the paddle to both fan the rice to cool it and to mix the rice. Do not stir it, as it will become mushy; gently fold it until the all the grains have been coated and the rice is starting to cool. Distribute the rice among 4 large soup or cereal bowls and sprinkle with some black sesame seeds if desired.
This is a no-brainer, as I use a prepared teriyaki sauce. Of course you can make your own, but the sauces available are just as good. I use San-J Gluten Free Teriyaki Sauce and Marinade. It’s available at my grocery store, but depending on what’s available where you are, you may need to go to a Whole Foods to find it.
I bought wild caught Sockeye Salmon fillets, place them in a dish and poured about 1-2 Tbsp. of the teriyaki sauce over the top of each fillet, then let them sit in the refrigerator for about a half hour. Cooking them is a breeze as well; you can use a large flat frying pan or a ridged grill pan, well-oiled to prevent sticking. I start skin side down for 3 minutes, flip and cook another 2-3 minutes. Remove from the pan and allow to cool a little. Using a fork, pull apart bite size pieces of salmon, careful not to shred it, discarded the skin, then drizzled a little additional teriyaki sauce on top. Place a portion of salmon pieces on top of the rice in each bowl.
When it comes to assembling the bowls, I like to arrange the toppings in small sections on top of the rice as pictured.
Black sesame seeds
Pickled ginger slice (available in the Asian section of your grocery store)
Sliced green onion
Condiments: Sriracha (if you like it hot), Yum-yum sauce, soy sauce, chili sauce, and wasabi (if desired, use very sparingly!)