Sweet & Spicy Salmon Rice Bowls
Salmon rice bowls are the quickest and most delicious dinner idea that you can make for 2 or for 5 and everyone will love! You can pack it with veggies, rice, and salmon for a protein-packed bowl that’s super nutritious and filling. The best part is that creamy spicy mayo on top that ties everything all together.
You can make this to be enjoyed the day of or as your meal prep for the week! There are 3 different components to the recipe and each are so simple – the rice, salmon, and sauce.
Part 1: The Rice
My favorite rice to enjoy this with is coconut rice! If you’ve never tried it before and love coconut, definitely make it. It adds a nice slight sweet taste to balance all the savory in this bowl. If you’re skeptical about it, still try it. The first time I had it at a Burmese restaurant, I was a bit weary but now we have it once a week in our home.
Of course if you still don’t want to make coconut rice, just swap it for plain steamed rice. It can be Jasmine rice, sushi rice, or any basic rice you like.
Part 2: Spicy Mayo
This is the easiest part and also the best part because the sauce is pure heaven! You can use it in these bowls and then save any leftovers, IF ANY, and use it in wraps, with sushi, or even a salad topping.
All you need is a small bowl and to it add mayo, lemon juice, sesame oil, sugar, and Sriracha or Sambal. I used to always use Sriracha in my spicy mayo but recently I tried sambal which is the Vietnamese hot chili paste and it was so much better. I buy it from Target or any large supermarket/Asian market. Depending on how spicy you like it, you can add less or more hot sauce.
Sesame oil is optional but highly recommended. A little dash goes a long way as it has a very strong nutty and earthy taste that helps to brighten the creamy sauce up.
Part 3: Honey Garlic Salmon
The star of the dish! It’s packed with so much flavor, fresh herbs, and a little bit of sweetness. Even if you don’t like salmon, definitely try this out as an introduction. The seafood taste is so mild that you’ll love it.
Start out with some salmon with the skin removed. Cube it into individual pieces and throw it in a bowl to season with salt, black pepper, smoked paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, and oregano.
Just mix that all together until it is all seasoned evenly. Then to a pan over medium high heat, add just 1 tablespoon of olive oil and sear the salmon until it has a beautiful golden crust. I like to flip it over with tongs so each side can develop some color. It takes about 2 minutes on each side. Then turn the heat to low and add a little bit of butter, honey, and chopped parsley to the pan. Flip that all together and when the salmon is done cooking, take it off the heat.
Note that the honey in this recipe is very mild and doesn’t make it taste very sweet. It’s just a little bit of sweetness to balance the flavors.
What If I Don’t Like Salmon?
If you don’t like salmon, you can skip it and use shrimp or chicken instead. Either way, you can follow the exact same steps and measurements for the marinade and cooking method. The only thing that may vary is the cooking time depending on the protein you choose to use.
How to Make it Vegan
To make it vegan, just swap the salmon for tofu and follow the same measurements for the marinade as well as the technique. If you’d like to add a bit of cornstarch to help the tofu be a bit more crispy and have a crust, feel free to do so as well. Just adjust the cooking time accordingly.