Salmon has become a popular weeknight dinner at the Macheesmo house. Both of my kids really like it, which I realize is maybe strange. While they tend to like plain baked salmon with lemon (or my chip crust salmon), I recently pushed the envelope with these Spicy Salmon Bowls!
Importantly, it’s easy not to make these bowls spicy if you have small eaters or just don’t want the spicy kick. But I’m here for the sharp!
I have a feeling these salmon bowls look fancy and are almost something you’d get at a nice lunch spot (close to a poke bowl), but they only take 30 minutes (at most) to make and you you can serve them with a wide range of grains and carbohydrates and crunchy vegetables.
I even loved the leftovers the next day!
Go ahead and add these salmon bowls to your diet!
What kind of salmon goes with this recipe?
I always recommend buying the best salmon you can afford, but the truth is that any salmon will do well for this recipe. You can use wild-caught, farm-raised, or frozen and thawed salmon.
You can use a whole side of salmon or salmon fillets for these salmon rice bowls.
What I wouldn’t use is very high quality sushi grade salmon. Save that for raw sushi or actual salmon poke bowls.
There’s no reason to marinate this salmon for hours, although you can do so ahead of time if you’d like. However, the marinade mix is very important as it adds a lot of flavor to the salmon and the sugar in the marinade will cause the sauce to caramelize on top of the salmon.
For the marinade, whisk together some oil, brown sugar (or honey), soy sauce, lime juice, lime zest, fresh garlic, fresh ginger, and sriracha for a flavorful kick (you can omit the sriracha if you’re going the non-spicy route).
Dice your salmon into about 1-inch pieces and marinate for at least 15 minutes, but a few hours is fine too.
Cook the salmon – two ways
There are two easy ways to prepare this salmon.
Method one is my favorite method which is toss the marinated salmon with some sesame seeds and bake it in the oven at 400˚F for about 6 minutes. This will cook the salmon through without overcooking it and toast the sesame seeds a bit as well.
This method works best if you’re using a baking pan lined with parchment paper to keep the salmon from sticking.
Method two might be easier for some, which is to simply cook the salmon in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat for a few minutes. This is quicker than the oven method, but it’s easy to overcook the salmon, and the salmon pieces can also fall apart if you play with them too much during cooking.
The advantage of method two is that the sauce on top of the salmon in the pan turns into a glaze that is very tasty.
Either way it works, so pick your favorite or try both!
Which is to serve as the base for these bowls
You can use a wide variety of grains as the basis for these spicy salmon bowls. Rice would be easiest and you can use white or brown rice. On this particular day I used some wild rice which takes longer to cook but has an amazing taste.
Other serving options would be quinoa or something low carb like cauliflower rice.
Crispy Vegetable Topping Ideas
There are dozens of fun veggies you could use for these flavorful salmon bowls. I used mini cucumbers, mangetout, bell peppers, and scallions. I also added some jalapeno slivers for an extra spicy kick.
Other ideas would be:
- Sauteed Mushrooms
- Shredded carrots
- sweet peas
- Fresh herbs like cilantro or Thai basil
To finish off the bowls, drizzle over some spicy mayo or use a mixture of Kewpie mayonnaise and a spicy chilli oil. I used this hot sesame oil which was absolutely fiery, but you can also use sriracha or something like chili chips. (I got this hot sesame oil at my local Asian grocer).
However you top it or serve it, these salmon bowls are seriously delicious and a lot easier to make than you might think!
Give them a chance!
I’m not usually a huge fan of leftover seafood, but I found these flavorful salmon bowls actually store well. I would keep the ingredients separate and then you can reheat the salmon in a skillet over low heat or in the microwave for just 20 seconds.
If you don’t want to heat the salmon, you can actually keep it cold, almost like a salmon salad.
Store the salmon in an airtight container and I would plan to eat the leftovers within a day or two.
These bowls are a great source of protein and you can use them for meal prep by preparing the salmon ahead of time.
My recipe for a spicy salmon bowl
Spicy Salmon Shells
These flavorful salmon bowls come together in about 30 minutes. Marinated and baked salmon served with crispy veggies and creamy and flavorful sauces!
- 1 Pound Salmon rolled
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 tablespoon Brown sugar or honey
- 1 Middle lime zest and juice
- 2 cloves Garlic chopped
- 1 tablespoon chopped ginger
- 1 tablespoon Sriracha
- 2 tablespoon Sesame seeds for coating
Other bowl ingredients:
- 2 cups white rice or any rice
- 1 Red pepper cut
- 1 Cucumber chopped
- 1 Cup Snappeas chopped
- 2 green onions chopped
- 1 jalapeno thinly sliced
- Sesame seeds garnish
- Kewpie mayonnaise drizzle
- Chili oil drizzle
For the salmon, remove the skin from the salmon and cut into 1-inch cubes. Whisk together the olive oil, brown sugar, lime juice and zest, black pepper, garlic, ginger and sriracha and marinate the salmon for at least 15 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400˚F and toss marinated salmon with sesame seeds. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake 6-7 minutes, until salmon is cooked through and sauce is caramelized.
Cook rice according to package instructions. You can use any rice or grain as a base. Slice other toppings as well.
In wide bowls, assemble salmon bowls with the grain base, followed by about 4 ounces of salmon, crispy veggies, and a drizzle of spicy sriracha mayonnaise or your other spicy sauce of choice. Garnish with sesame seeds and serve immediately.
Portion: 1BowlCalories: 771kcalCarbohydrates: 91GProtein: 34GFat: 30GSaturated Fatty Acids: 4GPolyunsaturated fat: 12GMonounsaturated fatty acids: 12GTrans fats: 0.03GCholesterol: 68mgSodium: 1245mgPotassium: 1012mgFiber: 4GSugar: 10GVitamin A: 1423ieVitamin C: 69mgCalcium: 96mgIron: 4mg
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