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!
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:
Tips for Buying the Best Salmon
We’re partial to salmon for it’s 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!
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. This rice recipe is quick and easy—just follow the steps, but leave out the cilantro and lime at the end for perfectly fluffy, delicious white rice. 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:
Marinate the salmon in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
Make the salmon bowl sauce by simply blitzing the sauce ingredients in a food processor or blender.
Bake the salmon! We like to line the sheet pan with foil for easy clean up.
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.
Top the rice bowls with the cooked salmon, greens, beets, carrots and salmon bowl sauce.