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March 24, 2023

Salmon Bowl

Marinated salmon, baked to perfection, tops a bed of fluffy white rice with some greens and root veggies to round it all out in this healthy, gorgeous salmon bowl recipe.


Salmon rice bowl with beets, carrots, sesame and ponzu

The Most Delicious Sesame-Ginger Salmon Bowl

A ponzu-based marinade seasoned with ginger and garlic imbues simple salmon filets with bold, complex flavors, while crisp carrots and beets offer crunch and color to this gorgeous, eat-the-rainbow salmon bowl recipe. Fluffy steamed white rice makes a tender bed for perfectly baked salmon—what could be simpler or more satisfying? Warm days and cold, this easy salmon bowl is a supper that makes everyone happy. The whole family will love to build their own bowls, too. Whether they’re adding extra salmon sauce, or leaving off the beets, everyone can make their own bowl exactly how they’d like it without making any extra work for the cook. That’s always a recipe for happiness at the dinner table!

Ingredients for a rice salmon bowl, greens, rice, beets, carrots, wontons, sesame seeds, mayonnaise, ponzu and ginger
dressing in a bowl made with mayonnaise, ponzu, sugar, pepper, sesame seeds, sesame oil, ginger, and corn starch

How to Make the Best Salmon Bowl Sauce (Hint—Start With Ponzu Sauce!)

A little creamy, a little toasty, and with just the right hint of a kick, this super quick, Japanese-inspired salmon bowl sauce is irresistibly good. It’s the thing that takes this salmon rice bowl from a totally healthy, totally good dinner to something that’s really going to knock everyone’s socks off. Ponzu sauce is the key to its extra-ness. If you’re not familiar with it, ponzu sauce is a Japanese condiment that’s citrusy and savory all at the same time—a bit like a vinaigrette. It usually includes citrus juice, dashi, vinegar and bonito flakes and it is a powerful source of deliciousness. It makes this salmon sauce—and the salmon marinade—sparkle with complex, yummy flavors! Here’s everything you’ll need to make this salmon sauce:

  • Ponzu sauce

  • Mayonnaise

  • Brown sugar

  • Black pepper

  • Sesame seeds

  • Sesame oil

  • Ginger

ponzu, brown sugar, garlic powder, ginger, sesame oil and cornstarch in a bowl
salmon in a bowl with ponzu, brown sugar, garlic powder, ginger, sesame oil and cornstarch
4 salmon pieces on a baking sheet with ponzu, brown sugar, garlic powder, ginger, sesame oil and cornstarch
salmon baked with ponzu, brown sugar, garlic powder, ginger, sesame oil and cornstarch

Tips for Buying the Best Salmon

We’re partial to salmon for its meaty flavor and super healthy fats. You, too? It’s become a real weeknight dinner staple, and we rely on it for healthy, satisfying dinners like this salmon bowl! But do you know much about how to make sure you’re buying the best salmon you can? Not only is it important to be an informed shopper to make sure your fish is fresh and flavorful, but when it comes to buying seafood, it’s essential to consider sustainability, too. All salmon is not created equal! Here’s what you need to know about buying salmon for this salmon bowl recipe:

  • Know when salmon is in season! You’ll find great salmon year round, because most salmon is flash frozen when it’s caught, but it’s worth knowing that May-October is salmon season in the U.S.. Why? Because that’s the time of year when really great, wild-caught salmon is often most likely to be featured on sale or special at the grocery store, simply because salmon is most abundant then.

  • Know your salmon varieties! From Coho to King, to super-meaty Sockeye, most any variety of wild salmon that looks bright coral red and marbled with at least a little fat will be truly delicious.

  • Wild salmon VS farmed salmon. Wild salmon is usually better than farmed—better tasting, much better for you, and better for the environment. However, recommendations are changing all the time, and it can be hard to keep up. Responsibly farmed salmon can be a better choice than irresponsibly caught wild salmon. When in doubt, you can always consult the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch site, or you can download their app for real-time recs at the grocery store!

  • A note on cutting salmon into fillets. Once you’ve selected your salmon, have the person behind the fish counter cut it into fillets for you—no need to mess with that at home!

salmon rice bowl recipe with ponzu, beets, carrots and salad greens

How to Make a Salmon Bowl

Healthy, colorful and satisfying, this cooked salmon bowl dazzles with flavors and ingredients borrowed from Japanese cuisine and—best of all—is ready quick! For the rice component of this salmon bowl recipe, you could use leftover rice, or make it in a rice cooker (one of our favorite appliances!) or make it simply on the stove top. We have a library of rice recipes that would make a great foundation for this salmon bowl. For your consideration, there’s White Rice and Sushi Rice, Brown Rice, and for a little extra zip there’s Cilantro-Lime Rice. If you’d like to change it up a bit to make a salmon quinoa bowl, you could use our recipe for Perfect Quinoa. The salmon needs 30 minutes to marinate, so you can use that time to whip up a batch of rice! Here’s how to make this healthy salmon bowl recipe:

  1. Marinate the salmon in the fridge for about 30 minutes.

  2. Make the salmon bowl sauce by simply blitzing the sauce ingredients in a food processor or blender.

  3. How to cook salmon for rice bowls: We like to line the sheet pan with foil for easy clean up. Place salmon skin side down to achieve a delicious crispy salmon bowl.

  4. Prep the vegetables and rice! While the salmon bakes, cut the beets and carrots. You could even scoop the rice into the bowls and start assembling.

  5. What to put in a salmon bowl: You’ll top the rice bowls with the cooked salmon, greens, beets, carrots and salmon bowl sauce.

salmon rice bowl recipe with beets, carrots and ponzu sauce

Tools You’ll Need

More Easy Salmon Recipes

salmon bowl with ponzu marinade, sesame seeds and a creamy sesame dressing
salmon bowl with ponzu marinade, sesame seeds and a creamy sesame dressing

Gorgeous, Healthy and Quick—In Other Words, A Weeknight Wonder

If you make this Japanese-inspired salmon rice bowl recipe, let us know how you like it! Share a photo and tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper so that we can see your stuff! Happy eating!

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Salmon Bowl

  • Serves: 4
  • Prep Time:  25 min
  • Cook Time:  15 min
  • Calories: 868


Salmon Marinade

  • ¼ cup ponzu
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 4 (4-ounce) salmon fillets
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt

Ponzu dressing

  • ¾ cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup ponzu
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper freshly cracked black
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt

For Serving

  • 4 cups cooked rice
  • 4 cups spring greens lettuce mix
  • 1 medium beet julienned or spiralized
  • 2 medium carrots, julienned
  • 1 bag wonton strips
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds


  1. Make the marinade. In a large bowl mix together the ponzu, brown sugar, garlic powder, ginger, sesame oil and cornstarch. Season the salmon all over with the salt and place it in the bowl with marinade, toss until coated and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, up to 2 hours.

  2. Meanwhile, make the dressing. Add the mayonnaise, ponzu, brown sugar, pepper, sesame seeds, sesame oil, ginger and salt to a small food processor and blend until smooth.

  3. Preheat the oven to 400°F with a rack in the center position. Prepare a rimmed baking sheet with foil. When the salmon is done marinating, place skin side down on the prepared baking sheet and bake until easily flakes with a fork, about 12-14 minutes depending on thickness.

  4. Divide the rice, lettuce, beets and carrots between 4 bowls. Place one salmon fillet (discard the skin if needed) onto each bowl. Drizzle with the dressing and sprinkle with the wonton strips and the sesame seeds.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories868
  • Protein43 g
  • Carbohydrates63 g
  • Total Fat52 g
  • Dietary Fiber4 g
  • Cholesterol96 mg
  • sodium889 mg
  • Total Sugars13 g

Salmon Bowl

Questions & Reviews

Join the discussion below.

  • Beth

    Do you use plain Ponzu in the Salmon bowl or ponzu mixed with soy sauce? Thanks

    Plain, hope you enjoy Beth!

  • Egale

    Nice good taste

    Thanks, so glad you loved it!

  • Jenn

    Incredible meal!

    Thank you Jenn, we are so glad you loved it!