Love sushi but hate the work of making it? This smoked salmon sushi bowl recipe is just what you need! You get all the flavors and textures of California roll sushi the fast and easy way. We’re taking seasoned cauliflower rice and topping it with smoked salmon, avocado, cucumber, and nori seaweed. On a special diet? You’ll love that this homemade sushi bowl is keto, low carb, low calorie, gluten free, and Paleo!
Sushi in a bowl is my solution for those who want to eat sushi with minimal effort. Using a sushi mat to make sushi rolls can be tricky and time consuming. (More of the rice always sticks to the mat or plastic wrap than the nori when I make inside-out rolls! Grrr)
With this deconstructed sushi salad, you don’t have to worry about keeping your sushi rolls uniformly thick. You also won’t have issues with rolls falling apart when slicing.
Plus, you don’t need special kitchen equipment to make a smoked salmon sushi bowl. It’s a great recipe for cooking beginners! All you have to do is microwave the cauliflower rice and put everything in a bowl.
If you don’t like salmon, you can substitute shrimp, tuna, crab, or your favorite type of sashimi. Another idea is to make a California roll bowl using crab stick, AKA surimi or imitation crab meat. (Just be sure to check the nutrition label, as surimi may contain starches and other fillers you don’t want on keto.)
You can use sushi rice or brown rice in place of the cauliflower in these deconstructed sushi bowls. However, the riced cauliflower is so well seasoned here, you may not notice it’s not real rice! Low carb sushi bowls are a tasty way to get more veggies into your diet.
⭐ Salmon Sushi Bowl Benefits
What are the benefits of making salmon sushi in a bowl? Here are some health benefits and other reasons to make keto sushi bowls:
- Healthy salmon sushi bowl: This dish is packed with seafood and vegetables, heart-healthy foods that are mainstays in the Mediterranean diet. You’re getting healthy fats (omega-3s) from the fish, iodine from the seaweed, and much more.
- Easy sushi bowl: This is the best sushi bowl because you don’t even need a stovetop or oven to cook rice! It’s fast with no fussy sushi rolling, just dump everything in a bowl.
- Low calorie sushi bowl: I did a few things here to make this sushi bowl low calorie and lower carb. First, by using cauliflower rice instead of regular rice, we’re saving over 100 calories per serving. Second, using Swerve (a calorie-free sweetener) instead of white sugar saves us 15 calories per teaspoon used.
- Helps you eat your vegetables: In the U.S., most of us are not meeting recommendations for veggie intake. Tasty recipes that help people eat more veggies are a good thing in my book! Veggies provide fiber and beneficial phytonutrients that aren’t present in animal-based foods.
- Special diets: On a special diet? We’ve got you covered with this healthy sushi bowl recipe. It’s low carb, keto, pescatarian, gluten-free, and Paleo. For the vegan and vegetarians, I’ve got an easy tip to make this sushi 100% plant based in the FAQ section!
- Saves money: Eating sushi at restaurants can be an expensive habit! You will likely get a lot more sushi for the money when you make it yourself.
- Delicious: You can put whatever sushi fillings you find most delish in these DIY sushi bowls. It’s easy to customize sushi bowls for different family members. Create a delicious masterpiece for dinner!
🥘 Smoked Salmon Sushi Bowl Ingredients
What are the ingredients for salmon sushi bowls? Here’s what you need:
- Smoked salmon (hot smoked or cold smoked salmon)
- English cucumber (seedless cucumber)
- Shredded carrot
- Toasted sesame seeds
- Frozen cauliflower rice
- Unseasoned rice vinegar
- Swerve (granular)
- Fresh garlic (minced)
- Grated ginger
- Sea salt
- Soy sauce and wasabi (optional, for serving)
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.
Smoked salmon is generally considered a ready-to-eat food that does not require cooking. Use hot-smoked salmon if you are immunocompromised or otherwise have concerns about eating raw fish.
If you’re on a keto or low carb diet, make sure you’re using unseasoned rice vinegar. Seasoned rice vinegar usually has sugar added. Fresh ginger is a better choice than pickled ginger (since pickled ginger has added sugar).
There are a lot of other sushi bowl toppings you can add, some are keto, others not. Shiitake mushrooms, shredded cabbage, sliced radish, and spicy mayo are some keto sushi topping ideas. Chopped mango or chopped pineapple are sweet and healthy options for those who don’t mind the carbs.
To make this keto salmon sushi recipe, you need a good knife, a small grater, and a couple of microwave-safe bowls. You probably already have these things in your kitchen.
🔪 How to Make Smoked Salmon Sushi Bowls
Begin by microwaving the frozen riced cauliflower according to the package directions. We’re making a lot of it, so you’ll probably want to cook it in two batches. Drain it if needed (I didn’t need to do this).
Let the cauliflower cool after seasoning. Room temperature is perfect. Sushi isn’t meant to be eaten warm or super cold.
Grate the ginger root and finely chop the garlic. Stir together the rice vinegar, Swerve, garlic, ginger, and salt. Microwave it for 40 seconds on high to mostly dissolve the Swerve.
Pour the vinegar mixture over the cooked rice cauliflower. Stir and let cool.
While it cools, prep the salmon and veggies. Chop the smoked salmon into bite sized pieces. Cut the avocado into ½-inch dice (1.27 cm). Quarter the cucumber and cut it into ½-inch slices (1.27 cm). Grate the carrot (if you did not buy it shredded).
Divide the cauliflower rice between three bowls. Top with the chopped cucumber, salmon, avocado, carrot, crumbled nori, and sesame seeds. You can mix up the sushi ingredients on your plate or create neat rows- your choice!
Serve with soy sauce and wasabi if you want a spicy kick. YUM!
Can you make sushi bowls ahead of time? Seasoned cauliflower rice can be prepared 2 days before serving. Leave in a covered bowl in the refrigerator.
Don’t cut the avocado until shortly before serving. It will turn brown on you.
️🌡️ Sushi Leftovers
Leftover deconstructed sushi bowls don’t refrigerate or freeze well. The avocado will brown and with freezing, the cucumber becomes mushy. You can make the seasoned cauliflower rice ahead and assemble the bowls right before serving.
📋 Calories, Net Carbs, Protein
How many carbs in keto deconstructed sushi? How many calories in salmon sushi bowls? One serving of this smoked salmon sushi bowl recipe has 284 calories, 10.8 grams net carbs, and 19.2 grams protein.
Per Cronometer, Genji California roll calories are 380, net carbs are 68 grams, and protein is 10 grams. You get about 100 fewer calories, over 50 grams fewer net carbs (!), and about 9 grams more protein with homemade salmon sushi bowls.
💭 Expert Tips from a Dietitian
This is a level 1 recipe (may help support fat loss). These deconstructed sushi bowls are a great example of a keto diet meal that can support weight loss goals. You’re getting a large volume meal of veggies and protein for under 300 calories. If you practice intermittent fasting, you will need to add sides to make this a higher energy meal.
I recommend using rice instead of cauliflower here for growing children, teens, and active adults. That will increase the carbs and calories provided.
But what if you’re on keto and don’t want to make a separate meal for other members of the family? I’ve got you! Make the meal with cauliflower but add a side of whole grain bread or crackers for non-keto family members.
Like classic California rolls, these salmon sushi bowls are on the lower end for protein (approximately 19 grams per serving). If you want a protein boost, either add more salmon or pop a sliced hard-boiled egg on there. You could also serve the meal with a glass of milk (unsweetened soymilk for keto) for more protein and calcium.
A common criticism of keto and low carb diets is that they are not heart healthy. However, like other special diet patterns, it really depends on how you construct the diet.
You can have a keto diet that is mostly bacon, cheese, and hot dogs. You can also have a keto diet that is filled with fatty fish, veggies, berries, and lean protein. If you’re using keto to lose weight and get healthy, this lazy sushi may help with both goals.
It’s so simple to make plant-based sushi bowls! Instead of salmon, use shelled edamame, crispy air fryer tofu, or smoked tofu for protein. Your vegan deconstructed sushi bowls will remain a keto-friendly option with this swap.
Poke and sushi are not the same thing; poke is a traditional Hawaiian dish while sushi is Japanese. That said, Hawaiian cuisine is influenced by the foods of Japan. A lot of foods that are popular in poke bowls (such as rice and raw fish) can be found in sushi.
It’s possible to make sushi bowls low sodium with some healthy swaps. The fermented veggies, smoked salmon, and soy sauce (yes even reduced-sodium soy sauces) in sushi are typically high in sodium. Use fresh salmon instead of smoked and use coconut aminos instead of soy sauce to make low sodium deconstructed sushi. Also, don’t put added salt in the rice (of course).
Even though sushi is from Japanese cuisine, its seafood and plant-forward ingredients fit well with the heart-healthy Mediterranean diet. Most sushi bowls are nutritious options, particularly those without fried foods (tempura) and sugar-laden sauces (like eel sauce).
Sometimes sushi is topped with crispy toasted panko bread crumbs for some added crunch. Another thing that can make crunchy sushi is the use of tempura vegetables or tempura seafood in the sushi roll. (Tempura foods have been lightly battered and deep fried.) You can use pork panko crumbs to make crunchy keto sushi bowls.
This salmon Buddha bowl is cooked if you use hot-smoked salmon. Cold-smoked salmon is raw.
👩🏻🍳 More Asian Recipes
Want other Asian-inspired recipes? Here are some dishes to try next:
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 nutrition 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 my overnight oats no sugar post. Let's get cooking!
Smoked Salmon Sushi Bowl Recipe
- 8 ounces smoked salmon (227 grams)
- 1 medium avocado
- 1 seedless cucumber (about 8 ounces/227 grams)
- 3 ounces carrots, shredded (85 grams)
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
- ½ sheet nori (torn into small pieces)
- soy sauce and wasabi (optional, for serving, use coconut aminos for Paleo or gluten free diet)
For the sushi rice:
- 24 ounces riced cauliflower, frozen (680 grams)
- ⅓ cup unseasoned rice vinegar
- 3 tablespoons Swerve, granular
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons grated ginger, fresh
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- Microwave the frozen riced cauliflower according to the package directions. We’re making a lot of it, so you’ll probably want to cook it in two batches. Drain it if needed (I didn’t need to do this). Let cool.
- Grate the ginger root and finely chop the garlic. Stir together the rice vinegar, Swerve, garlic, ginger, and salt. Microwave it for 40 seconds on high to mostly dissolve the Swerve.
- Pour the vinegar mixture over the cooked riced cauliflower. Stir and let cool.
- Chop the smoked salmon into bite sized pieces. Cut the avocado into ½-inch dice (1.27 cm). Quarter the cucumber and cut it into ½-inch slices (1.27 cm). Grate the carrot (if you did not buy it shredded).
- Divide the cauliflower rice between three bowls. Top with the chopped cucumber, salmon, avocado, carrot, crumbled nori, and sesame seeds. Serve with soy sauce and wasabi if desired.