Get the flavors of your favorite sushi roll without all of the work with this deconstructed sushi bowl. I took seasoned brown rice and topped it with smoked salmon, avocado, cucumber, and a crumble of nori seaweed. And don’t worry, I remembered the pickled ginger and wasabi! Can you guess my secret rice mix-in that improves the texture of the dish AND reduces the carbs and calories?
If you were a fan of my unrolled egg rolls and my unrolled cabbage rolls, you are going to love today’s recipe! I’m dishing up a deconstructed sushi bowl. That’s right; you’re getting homemade sushi without the rolling.
I happen to be the proud owner of a sushi mat and have attempted making my own sushi rolls in the past. I’ve found that the process takes some skill and can be rather time-consuming. It’s not a project I’d generally choose on a busy weeknight.
Truth be told, I’ve never been successful at making inside-out rolls. (Those are the kind with the rice on the outside, instead of the nori.) More of my rice always ends up sticking to the mat, or the plastic wrap, instead of to the sushi roll.
I’ve had better luck with the sushi rolls that have the nori on the outside. However, it can still be a challenge to keep the rolls to an even thickness. Plus, I still have the occasional roll fall apart when slicing, because I failed to wrap it tightly enough.
Thankfully, these deconstructed sushi bowls require no special equipment and minimal culinary skills. Aside from cooking the rice, we are literally just piling ingredients in a bowl. Easy peasy.
It’s kind of like a California roll, with a few little swaps.
California rolls are typically made with cucumber, avocado, and imitation crab meat (or real crab, if you are feeling spendy). Since I take more of a whole food approach, I chose to swap the imitation crab for smoked salmon.
The ingredients list of the salmon I purchased from Trader Joe’s is just salmon, salt, and smoke. Some brands of smoked salmon include added sugars and added oils. If you do not want those additions, be sure to check the food label.
The first few times I made these bowls, I used double the brown rice of the recipe below. Then I got creative and replaced half of the rice with a “secret” ingredient: frozen riced cauliflower.
This simple swap dramatically lowered the calories and carbs in this dish and boosted the veggie content of the meal. Best of all, it improved the texture of the rice without impacting the flavor of the dish. Since the rice mixture is well-seasoned, IMHO, you cannot taste the cauliflower at all.
I may never make the all-rice version of my deconstructed sushi bowl again. The cauliflower gets added to the rice at the end of cooking, so no additional pots get dirtied.
If California rolls are not your thing, feel free to modify this recipe to fit your taste preferences. Just remember that fried toppings, like tempura, will raise the calories in the dish. If you are looking for a lighter meal, sticking with fresh ingredients is a good way to go.
And now for the disclaimer…
All recipes on this website may or may not be appropriate for you, depending on your medical needs and personal preferences. Consult with a registered dietitian or your physician if you need help determining the dietary pattern that may be best for you.
The calorie information is an estimate provided as a courtesy. It will differ depending on the specific brands and ingredients that you use. Calorie information on food labels may be wildly inaccurate, so please don’t sweat the numbers too much.
For more information on how the three recipe levels may help with a weight management goal, refer to this post. Let’s get cooking!
Deconstructed Sushi Bowl (California Roll Style)
- 1 cup brown rice, dry
- 12 ounces riced cauliflower, frozen (340 grams)
- 8 ounces smoked salmon, cut into bite-sized pieces (227 grams)
- 1 medium avocado, chopped
- 1 cucumber, chopped (mine was about 12 ounces/340 grams)
- 3 ounces carrots, shredded (85 grams)
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
- 1-2 sheets nori, cut into strips
- soy sauce, pickled ginger, and wasabi (optional)
For the rice seasoning:
- 4 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons orange muscat champagne vinegar or rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons grated ginger, fresh
- Cook the rice in water according to package directions. It will take approximately 45 minutes. Turn the heat up and add the riced cauliflower to the brown rice during the last five minutes of cooking.
- Whisk the "for the rice seasoning" ingredients together. Stir this into the cooked (and slightly cooled) rice and cauliflower mixture.
- Divide the rice and cauliflower mixture evenly between four bowls or meal prep containers. Top the rice with the salmon, avocado, cucumber, and carrot. Garnish with the sesame seeds and nori strips. Serve with pickled ginger, wasabi, and additional soy sauce, if desired.
- Give your bowl a good stir prior to eating. Though it's not as pretty as keeping things separate, stirring things up will help ensure you get a variety of delicious flavors in each bite.
This is a level 1 recipe (may help support fat loss). There are many options available to tweak this one to meet your needs. For example, if you want to go lower with the carbs and calories, substitute all of the rice for more riced cauliflower. Alternatively, if you need a higher calorie dish, skip the riced cauliflower and double up on the rice. Like classic California rolls, these deconstructed sushi bowls are on the lower end for protein (approximately 21 grams per serving). If you want a protein boost, either add more salmon or pop a sliced hard-boiled egg on there.
In your opinion, what is the tastiest type of sushi roll? If you try this deconstructed sushi roll bowl recipe, don’t forget to leave a rating! I’d love to hear about any modifications you made and how you liked it!