One of my favorite memories from our wine country/San Francisco honeymoon was getting sushi with Paul! This was a big deal, because he’d never had it before–in fact, had been totally opposed to the idea of eating raw fish until just before our trip. Fortunately for me, he was in an adventurous frame of mind and agreed to hit up a well-reviewed sushi joint on our first night in San Francisco.
We kept it simple and ordered a California roll (as a safe fallback option), a spicy tuna roll and some kind of specialty roll that came wrapped in raw salmon. To my surprise, Paul dove straight into the spicy tuna roll and never looked back–he was hooked!
Of course, a big part of the success of our first sushi outing came from prep work: Over the couple of months prior to our wedding, I’d been slowly working these “sushi” bowls into our standard dinner rotation. By the time we got to the real thing, Paul was already used to some of the tastes and textures of sushi, which he says was a big help.
So, here’s a recipe for coaxing a loved one into trying sushi–or when you’re just craving it but can’t make it out to a sushi restaurant. You can make the rice ahead of time and serve everything cold or room temperature, or dish up the toppings over a bowl of hot rice (our preference).
Smoked Salmon Sushi Bowls
- 1/2 cup dry rice (sushi rice would be ideal, but any kind you have or like is fine since it doesn’t need to stay in a roll)
- 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- 1/2 tsp rice vinegar
- 4 oz smoked salmon (you can also use a cooked fillet if you prefer)
- 1/2 cucumber
- 1 avocado
- 1/2 carrot or several baby carrots
- 1 tsp sesame seeds or chia seeds
- Optional extras: fried egg, seaweed strips, spicy mayo, wasabi, sriracha, pickled ginger
- Prepare the rice according to the package directions. When the rice is cooked, fluff it with a fork and mix in the sesame oil, soy sauce and vinegar. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
- While the rice cooks, prepare the vegetables. Dice the cucumber. Julienne the carrots. Cut the avocado in half, remove the pit (see this post for step-by-step photos), scoop out each half with a spoon and slice it.
- Crumble the smoked salmon into bite-sized pieces.
- When ready to serve, dish the rice into two bowls and arrange the salmon and vegetables on top. Top each bowl with a fried egg, if using. Sprinkle with sesame or chia seeds and serve!