This easy salmon bowl recipe piles delicately cooked salmon over a bed of fluffy rice, crisp veggies, and an addictive spicy mayo sauce. Every element of this bowl is picture- perfect, and you’ll love how easy it is to make!
I could eat salmon every day if I could afford it, but even too much of a good thing can get boring after a while (unless it’s firecracker salmon or stuffed salmon). That’s why I decided to get creative with this spicy salmon bowl recipe.
I like to think of it as a deconstructed sushi roll, kind of like my sushi bake or salmon poke bowl, but instead of baking it in a casserole dish, everything is made fresh and piled atop a bed of rice. My family and I have been loving it because it’s so easy to customize, plus it makes for a fast weeknight dinner that doubles as meal prep for the week!
Table of Contents
Why I love this recipe
- Bursting with flavor. The salmon alone is irresistible, but when you couple it with fluffy rice, fresh veggies, creamy avocado, and spicy mayo, you get a combination of textures and flavors that’s to die for.
- Healthy. Salmon is a lean protein filled with healthy omega-3 fatty acids, and the veggies add an extra fiber boost.
- Great hot or cold. When I make my salmon rice bowls fresh, I prefer the salmon and rice to be warm, but it tastes just as great the next day fresh out of the fridge.
- Endlessly customizable. My family loves it when I make these bowls because they can add whichever toppings they like, so we all don’t have to agree for once!
There are a lot of elements to these salmon rice bowls, but I promise, each one is key to making the perfect dish. I used my sauteed salmon, but here’s a run down to make it from scratch:
- Salmon. Skinless salmon fillets, cut into bite-sized chunks. You can use frozen salmon if you prefer, but make sure to let it thaw overnight in the fridge.
- Kosher salt and black pepper. To taste.
- Garlic powder. To enhance the flavor and complement the other ingredients.
- Soy sauce. For a savory, umami flavor. Use gluten-free tamari if needed.
- Ginger. I recommend using fresh ginger for maximum brightness.
- Olive oil. For sautéeing the salmon.
For the rice bowl:
- Cooked rice. I made my instant pot sushi rice, but you can use any cooked rice, like my long grain Jasmine rice or basmati rice, if you prefer.
- Avocado. For creaminess.
- Carrots and cucumbers. For texture and color.
- Edamame. To add a little extra protein. Make sure to use just the pods.
- Pickled red onion. For a nice tangy flavor and crunchy texture.
- Mango. I know this may sound weird, but trust me, the sweetness from the mango balances out the acid and heat from the other ingredients beautifully.
- Spicy mayo. To drizzle over the bowls. Other sauces I’ve tried are hot honey sauce and, shamefully, Big Mac sauce (sorry, not sorry).
How to make salmon bowls
I’ve included step-by-step photos below to make this recipe easy to follow at home. For the full printable recipe instructions and ingredient quantities, scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
Step 1- Prep the salmon. In a bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the salmon and lightly toss to coat the salmon.
Step 2- Cook the salmon. Add oil to a large pan over medium-high heat. Pan-fry the cubed salmon for 2-3 minutes on each side or until golden brown, then set aside.
Step 3- Assemble. Divide the rice, avocado, carrots, cucumber, edamame, pickled red onion, and mango between four bowls.
Step 4- Finish assembling. Add the salmon on top of each bowl, drizzle with spicy mayo, and garnish each bowl with sesame seeds and sliced green onions.
Recipe tips and variations
- Bake the salmon. To make a more hands-off salmon rice bowl, season the salmon and transfer it to a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil. Bake in the oven at 375F for 15-20 minutes or until it reaches 145F.
- Make teriyaki salmon bowls. Swap the ginger sauce for homemade teriyaki sauce.
- Marinade the salmon. To infuse the salmon with more flavor, marinate it in the sauce for 20 minutes before cooking.
- Use pre-cooked salmon. Want a more simple salmon to top the bowls with? My air fryer salmon, pan-seared salmon, and sous vide salmon are simple yet delicious ideas.
- Add seaweed. Sometimes, when I’m feeling extra fancy, I like to serve the bowls with seaweed sheets for scooping, or I’ll crush them on top for an extra crunch.
- Swap the rice. Try quinoa, farro, or couscous for a different flavor profile and texture.
To store: I recommend storing the salmon, rice, and veggies separately from each other in airtight containers. Stored this way in the refrigerator, they should keep for up to 3-4 days.
To freeze: The salmon and rice can each be stored in freezer-safe containers and frozen for up to 3 months. Everything else I recommend enjoying fresh. Allow the rice and salmon to thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating.
To reheat: I enjoy eating the leftovers cold, but you can microwave the rice and salmon for 30-40 seconds if you prefer.
Frequently asked questions
Yes, salmon rice bowls are loaded with lean protein and healthy fats, while the vegetables add fiber and essential vitamins, making it a great healthy addition to your everyday diet.
The salmon is done cooking when it reaches an internal temperature of 145F. If you don’t have an instant-read thermometer, you’ll know it’s done cooking when it flakes easily with a fork.
More delicious dinner bowls to try
For the bowls
- 2 cups cooked rice
- 1 small avocado sliced
- 1 small carrot shredded
- 1/2 small cucumber chopped
- 1/2 cup edamame shelled
- 1/2 cup pickled red onions
- 1/2 cup mango chopped
- 1/2 cup spicy mayo
- In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients except for the salmon. Add the salmon and gently mix until combined.
- Add olive oil to a large skillet or pan and place over medium-high heat. Sauté the salmon for 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown.
- Remove from the pan and set aside.
- Assemble the bowls. Divide the rice, avocado, cucumber, edamame, pickled red onion, and mango into four bowls. Add the salmon on top of each bowl, drizzle with the spicy mayo, then sprinkle with sesame seeds and sliced green onion to garnish.
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. I may earn a small commission for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial, and/or link to any products or services from this website.