RECIPE: Shortcut sushi begins with smart shopping

Easy Salmon Sushi Bowl
Chris Hunt for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Easy Salmon Sushi Bowl Chris Hunt for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Credit: Chris Hunt

Credit: Chris Hunt

Of all of the takeout options available these days, the one I haven’t taken advantage of since the pandemic started is sushi. After all, one of the best parts about eating sushi is sitting at the counter and learning from the chef. So until I feel comfortable sitting inside a restaurant, any sushi or sushi-style dinner I eat will be homemade.

To make it easy, I skip the rolling and slicing and build my sushi in a bowl. Smoked and cured salmon, while not exactly the same as you’d get at a restaurant, work well as the fish component. Easy-to-find sesame-flavored seaweed snacks bring crunch and nori’s signature salinity.

Instead of cooking a pot of sushi rice, which takes a bit longer than 30 minutes, I like to pick up prepared sticky rice. This usually comes individually packaged and ready to microwave. You can combine four servings into one large bowl and zap it for a few minutes to heat through. From there, a drizzle of seasoned rice vinegar adds the salt, sugar and tang needed for proper sushi rice.

Finally, I like to prepare avocados two ways: as a thinly sliced garnish and as a sauce. For the sauce, simply mash one avocado until smooth, mixing in a bit of water and vinegar to thin it to a dollop-able consistency. If you must have a bit of heat, you can stir in wasabi paste to the sauce, or squeeze drops of Sriracha over the top.

ExploreMore 5:30 Challenge recipes
210320 Atlanta, Ga: Easy Salmon Sushi Bowl for 5:30 Challenge. (Chris Hunt for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
210320 Atlanta, Ga: Easy Salmon Sushi Bowl for 5:30 Challenge. (Chris Hunt for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Credit: Chris Hunt

Credit: Chris Hunt

Easy Salmon Sushi Bowl
  • 4 (7- to 8-ounce) containers packaged microwave sticky rice
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar, divided, plus more to taste
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons water
  • Salt
  • 8 ounces smoked salmon
  • 1 packet sesame-flavored seaweed snacks, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • Optional: Sriracha sauce or wasabi paste, for serving
  • Remove the rice from its packaging and place in a large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high power, stirring every 30 seconds, until warm, 1 to 3 minutes. (Time is highly variable and depends on microwave wattage.) Drizzle 3 tablespoons of the vinegar over the rice, stirring gently with a rubber spatula to incorporate. Season to taste with additional vinegar, if desired. Set aside.
  • Pit and peel one of the avocados, dice the flesh, then transfer to a medium bowl. Add 2 tablespoons water and 1/2 teaspoon vinegar. Use a fork to mash the avocado to a smooth paste, then stir in additional water (up to 2 tablespoons) to form a sauce. Season to taste with salt.
  • Divide the rice between four serving bowls. Pit and peel the second avocado. Thinly slice the flesh and drizzle with the remaining 1 teaspoon vinegar. Divide the avocado between the bowls of rice. Divide the salmon and seaweed snacks between the bowls, then dollop the avocado sauce on top. Serve with Sriracha or wasabi, if desired. Serves 4.

Nutritional information

Per serving: Per serving: 539 calories (percent of calories from fat, 29), 19 grams protein, 78 grams carbohydrates, 9 grams fiber, 18 grams total fat (3 grams saturated), 13 milligrams cholesterol, 491 milligrams sodium.

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