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Homemade Sushi Bowls

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These Homemade Sushi Bowls are filled with sticky sushi rice, smoked salmon, cucumber, avocado, nori, and a delicious spicy mayo sauce.

We love sushi in our house – but it can be expensive for a small amount. We decided to make these Homemade Sushi Bowls for dinner last week and they were such a hit! I used smoked salmon so I didn’t have to worry about sushi-grade fish, added sliced cucumber, avocado, pieces of nori, and a delicious spicy mayo sauce – and I learned how to make real sushi rice. Making real sushi rice is the key to these bowls. It has such a great sticky texture and bright flavor. See below how to make it. (And click here to see all my Asian-inspired recipes.)

What is Sushi Rice?

I did some research about Sushi Rice before creating this recipe – not only is sushi rice made with a thicker, more glutenous sticky rice, but it also has a vinegar/sugar sauce poured over the top once it’s done. Sushi rice is a short-grain Japanese rice, known as japonica, or shari – it is often sold in the US as Calrose Rice. This is a great brand to get in the US – you can find it on Amazon or in the Asian food section of your grocery store. Sushi rice is cooked and then coated with this sweet vinegar mixture to give it that unique flavor. The thick rice absorbs this sauce and makes the rice so bright and flavorful, and keeps that sticky texture. Don’t skip the sweet vinegar sauce – it adds so much flavor to these Homemade Sushi Bowls.

How to Make Homemade Sushi Rice

To make the sushi rice, first rinse the sushi rice twice in cold water, until the water runs clear. This clears off the starch from the rice. Then you will cook it in water as normal (boil, then cover and turn down the temperature to simmer until fluffy). Once it’s cooked, fluff with a fork and pour the sweet vinegar mixture on top. It’s very easy!

Before making these Homemade Sushi Bowls, you can also purchase one of these inexpensive Bamboo sushi rolling mats. Then with any extra ingredients you can practice making some sushi rolls at home. Just be sure your rice is very hot when you roll up the rolls (this will soften the Sushi nori sheets as you roll). We did this with our kids and it was a lot of fun – they loved customizing their sushi rolls.

Homemade Sushi Bowls

These Homemade Sushi Bowls are filled with sticky sushi rice, smoked salmon, cucumber, avocado, nori, and a delicious spicy mayo sauce.
Servings 6 bowls
Author Shannon Lyon


Spicy Mayo

  • 1/2 cup mayo (I use the olive oil mayonnaise)
  • 1/4 cup sriracha sauce
  • 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

Sushi Rice

  • 2 cups sushi rice short-grain Japanese rice, or Calrose rice
  • cups water

Sweet Vinegar Sauce for Sushi Rice

  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Bowl Ingredients

  • 3 cups smoked salmon, chopped into bite-sized pieces (could also sub crab meat, shrimp, or other meat)
  • 2 avocadoes, diced
  • 2 cucumbers, sliced into strips or discs
  • 1 sheet sushi nori, chopped into pieces (Japanese sheets of seaweed used for sushi) you can find these in the Asian foods section of the grocery store
  • sesame seeds, optional


Spicy Mayo

  • Start by making the spicy mayo. Whisk all ingredients together in a small condiment container, jar, or tupperware container.
  • Place in the fridge to chill while making the rest of the meal.
  • Note: if you'd like to make the spicy mayo a little less spicy, you can add less sriracha sauce, or you can add a teaspoon of sugar to offset the spice.

Sushi Rice

  • Start by rinsing 2 cups of the sushi rice. Add the dry rice to a medium-sized pot or sieve and rinse with cold water. Rinse once, then strain, then rinse again. Return sushi rice to the pot, add 2¾ cups of water, and place on stove over medium high heat.
  • Cook until bubbling for 2 minutes, then reduce heat to low, cover, and let simmer for 20-25 minutes until rice is fluffy.
  • While rice is cooking, make the sweet vinegar sauce. In a small microwave-proof bowl, add 1/4 cup rice vinegar, 2 tablespoons of white sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Whisk together with a fork.
  • Microwave for 60-90 seconds until sugar is dissolved and mixture is warm.
  • Once rice is cooked, remove from heat and fluff with a fork. Pour this sweet vinegar mixture over the rice and continue fluffing with fork so the sauce covers all the rice.

Sushi Bowl Assembly

  • To assemble the sushi bowls, start by adding sushi rice to a bowl, then top with smoked salmon, diced avocado, sliced cucumber, pieces of nori, and top off with the spicy mayo sauce (and if desired sesame seeds).
  • You made need a bowl that's bigger than the amount of actual ingredients so you can mix it all together – be sure it mix it all up and try to get a little of everything in each bite.

I hope you get a chance to make these Homemade Sushi Bowls. They’re the perfect thing to make if you want to try something new with your family. Be sure to tag me me @plumstreetcollective on Instagram if you make these!

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