food to glow

feel good food that's good for you

teriyaki salmon rice bowlCan’t you just taste it? The sweet sticky-salty gingery flakes of salmon cosied up with crunchy veg and gloriously starchy brown sushi rice? Wow. I don’t think I have ever used that many y’s in one sentence. This is a dish that invites not only the y’s but also the hows.

brown sushi riceHealthy food really shouldn’t taste this good but, dear reader, it certainly does. And it is incredibly easy too. A bit of marinating, a flash of heat, some boiling (rice), some steaming (veg over the rice) and soko ni aru – there it is. Okay, so it is a few steps. But they are easy ones.

Teriyaki salmon  – lusciously pinky-gold and fork-tender – is one of the most popular dishes on the menus of westernised Japanese restaurants. Chicken is first choice in the US, but to the fish-loving Japanese, salmon (and eel) is the perfect vehicle for this distinctive sauce and style of cooking.

It is my understanding that teriyaki as we in the West think of it – a sweet concoction of soy sauce, brown sugar and perhaps ginger – doesn’t exist in Japan, and probably originates from the islands now known collectively as Hawaii, where rather than brown sugar – surprise, surprise – pineapple juice is used. Have you ever tried it with pineapple? I haven’t, but it sounds lush.

Instead, teriyaki –a combination of teri meaning gloss and yaki meaning grilled or pan-fried – is usually a last minute slathering of equal parts mirin, sake and soy onto almost-cooked fish, meat or fowl. No added sugar, and no garlic or ginger – the latter of which might be grated on when serving. The flavourings are altogether subtler than we are used to in the West; flavourings serving to highlight the intrinsic taste of the protein used rather than be the flavour itself.

Traditionally teriyaki is cooked over the glowing, white-hot coals of a traditional iron hibachi. But for ease – and less mess – I have used a stovetop griddle. There are pros and cons with this method, but on balance I find it the best option for those of us in a cooler climate. You could bake it – about 15-20 minutes in a 200C/400F oven. The timing depends on the thickness of your fillets – UK portions tend to be quite a bit smaller than US portions. You could also pop it under a broiler/grill.

Even although the simpler Japanese version is authentic and delicious in its own right, there is no doubting that we here in the West love the burnished intensity of the sweet and salty imposter, with its notice-me gratings of ginger and crush of garlic.

I am no different to the majority in my preference of the saturated to the subtle, so my recipe is in no way authentic. And, since it is in no way authentic, I have taken the liberty of not only using dry sherry in place of sake but also a further liberty of tearing the thing up and plopping it – very un-Japaneselike – on cooked brown sushi rice. The better to eat with chopsticks, my dear. (I am childishly inelegant with chopsticks – you should see me tackle dumplings: I look like I am practising spearfishing.) If you are master of the chopstick by all means keep the fish in tact. But know that I am deeply jealous of your dark art.

The added vegetables make this an all-in dish, with the crispness of the pak choi and the starchy pop of edamame lending added texture, nutrition and taste to an already outstandingly healthy meal. Make enough to take to work the next day. You’ll be glad you did. Bonapeti!

PS Miss R is safely returned from the Honduran rainforest. Not only did she have a brilliant time and feel she was making a contribution to conserving the natural habitats and species of this welcoming country, she did so with nary a bug bite.Thanks so much to all who empathised and sympathised with my premature empty-nest syndrome. If only there were a vaccination for this, child-borne, malady:D

teriyaki salmon rice bowlTeriyaki Salmon Rice Bowl

Last year: Blackcurrant and Raspberry Jam

Two years ago: Rocket Frittata and Some DInky Courgette-Parmesan Frittatas

Miss R’s Track of the week: Braids “In Kind”

Although not quite a bish bash bosh recipe, this is simplicity itself. At least for Japanese-style food. I have stipulated salmon here, but use pieces of boneless chicken thighs if you like. Or perhaps planks of firm tofu (one pack), marinated as for the fish. If doing the latter may I recommend first freezing the tofu. Upon defrosting – and wrapping in a tea towel and pressing between chopping boards – it takes up the marinade much more readily than if merely refrigerated. And, of course, change out the veg as you see fit. And embellish freely with extra fripperies such as togarashi for heat and ume plum seasoning for piercing sour. Also, I should just mention that brown sushi rice is best if soaked for 30 minutes and then cooked slowly for 35 minutes. Use basmati if you don’t have time for all of that, but Japanese short-grain rice is SO good here.

Serves 2.

2 tbsp dark soy sauce (it is less salty than light) OR shoyu

1 tbsp dry sherry OR 1  tbsp mirin (more to taste)

2 tsp coconut palm sugar OR brown sugar (a smidge less if using mirin)

1 garlic clove, crushed

1 tsp grated gingerroot

2 fillets of salmon (mine were about 120 grams each)

1 tsp wasabi paste – optional

Oil for griddling

200g (1 cup) brown sushi rice (this will make more than you need but it is tricky to cook less)

500ml (2 cups) water

4 heads small (baby) pak/bok choi, or to your liking – sliced

75g (1/2 cup) frozen, shelled edamame (green soy beans) – defrosted

2 spring onions/scallions – sliced

Julienned gingerroot

Toasted sesame oil – optional

Togarashi (spicy Japanese dry spice condiment) – optional, but here is my recipe. Otherwise find it in good grocery or Asian shops.

Ume pickled plum seasoning (mmm)– optional

1. Mix together the first five ingredients (marinade) and pour them into a ceramic or glass dish; toss the salmon in the mix, dot on the wasabi if using, and cover. Leave to marinate for an hour or so, while you prepare the rice.

2. Make the rice according to packet directions, or see these directions from Japan Centre. When the water has been absorbed, lay the edamame and pak choi on the rice while you cook the fish. You could also steam the vegetables separately. We like the pak choi quite crunchy.

3. To cook the fish, heat the griddle pan, removing the fish from the marinade, shaking off and reserving the excess while the pan heats. Brush the fish with a little oil (or not, if you have a well-seasoned griddle pan) and lay on the medium-hot griddle pan for approximately three minutes on each side – longer if you have thick fillets. Baste with the excess reserved marinade as you griddle.

To serve, toss together the rice, vegetables and tear over the fish, finishing with the finely sliced fresh ginger and spring onion. I also like to stir in a few sprinkles of pickled ume juice and season with spicy togarashi. Otherwise, a squeeze of lime and some chilli flakes are excellent extra seasoning. You could also lay everything over the rice but we like it mixed together to ensure all flavours in every bite.

I am sending this to the homemade and authentic recipe roundup that is Made With Love Mondays over at Javelin Warrior’s Cookin W/ Luv.

31 thoughts on “Teriyaki Salmon Rice Bowl (+ vegan option)

  1. Awesome, healthy & delicious! Look for it on

    Polly Motzko

  2. Reblogged this on Cooking Up a Storm With Miss Polly and commented:
    Here is an awesome, healthy & delicious & beautiful recipe from Food To Glow! (Yes it is all those things!)

    Polly Motzko

    1. Thanks so much Polly. You were quick off the mark! You have some lovely ideas on your site.

      1. Thanks so much Kelly. I am glad you like what you saw!

  3. Thanks for giving us a vegan option Kellie…you are so thoughtful! This one’s going in my recipe file!

    1. Hey author! Exciting times for you and Flo so thanks so much for taking time to pop on this lovely comment. I do this vegan and with salmon – works perfectly well both ways 😀

  4. A wonderful recipe! There are times when the grill pan is the best option for cooking and I really like using it. 🙂 This is such clean food. And your photographs are beautiful.

    1. I’m glad you like it. The griddle pan is a wonderful invention, especially for us here in Scotland – outdoor living when it is lashing it down outside 😀

  5. Kelly I’ve had a bottle of Ume Plum Seasoning in my cupboard for ages and have never been quite sure what to do with it! Now I know….can’t wait to make this dish sounds fabulous! Lx

    1. Great to hear from you, Lesley and I’m glad to help you use that lonely bottle of ume plum seasoning 😀 Anything that need a sour kick, ume is your solution. Quite funky on oven chips! Shh, don’t tell anyone 😀

  6. What a scrumptious dinner recipe! And it’s still salmon season in Monterey Bay, what perfect timing!

    1. Good (accidental) timing! Lovely to hear from you all the way in splendid California. I wonder if our Scottish salmon is that different to yours? Certainly Alaskan salmon is very different in taste and colour to ours. Aren’t we both lucky to live in places where it is abundant and local? I kind of take it for granted. Must stop doing that

  7. What a breathtaking dish!!!!

  8. Teriyaki salmon is a favourite of ours! I love the introduction, Kellie.

  9. This looks so yummy! I’m going to be making this when my fish-phobic boyfriend is out of town this week 🙂

  10. Jayne says:

    This sounds so good! Lovely pictures too. I’m going to have to make this very soon!

  11. Beautiful pictures 🙂

  12. robisaba says:

    You know, I use Mirin, Sherry or Marsala interchangeably as well, subtle difference in flavour but i find all of them very similar

    1. They all bring something interesting to a dish and it’s good to not feel we have to buy a new ingredient if something else will do.

  13. aliyajade says:

    This just looks so yummy-am rushing out to buy edamame!

  14. What a glorious set of pictures. the recipe leaps off the page in just the way you describe – colourful crunchy veg with charred salmon. I am off work this week but I think this is going on my list of things to prepare for packed lunches next week Kellie. It is perfect for preventing mid afternoon energy slumps

    1. Thanks Nazima!

  15. So fresh and tasty! I never eat Teriyaki when I am out, because it has gluten in it, but I would love to make my own GF version at home, complete with fripperies and all!! 🙂

  16. I had the pleasure of making my first authentic teriyaki sauce via Nami from Just One Cookbook a while back and I was surprised at the difference between Nami’s sauce and the stuff here in the US. I think I prefer the more subtle authentic version, but a little ginger and garlic are always welcome 🙂 And when it comes to chop sticks, I’m sure you’re a pro compared to me. I generally get too frustrated and just grab a fork! Love this salmon rice bowl, Kellie!

  17. Wow that looks delicious!

  18. Jacqueline @How to be a Gourmand says:

    Lovely interpretation of Teriyaki Salmon with a gorgeous caramelisation on top. So glad to know this is considered a healthy dish as I have it fairly often and enjoy it tremendously 🙂

    1. I know. Hard to believe something so seemingly indulgent, what with all of salmon’s unctuousness, is so darn good for us. And using brown sushi rice and green veggies makes it even better. And more delicious. Thanks for your nod of approval x

  19. narf77 says:

    You could also sub Seitan or tempeh for the tofu or just more veggies. This bowl is gorgeous and the sauce is the kicker. Love it and cheers for sharing and kudos to Miss R, you must be very proud your daughter is forging an amazing path 🙂

    1. I wish I could get my family to like tempeh! And yes, awfully proud of my Miss R – she’s a keeper!

      1. narf77 says:

        I don’t like tempeh myself. It reminds me of liver (ech!) but it’s apparently really delicious when you make it yourself. I am in the process of trying to find some koji here in Australia to have a go at making my own chickpea tempeh and miso. Hopefully I can source some :).

  20. This recipe looks amazing! I have been craving salmon, and my favorite way of eating it is just like this with all the delicious Asian flavors, yum. I make a slow roast salmon with soy ginger marinade, you can find it here if you like, It doesn’t get crispy like this, but the slow roast keeps it super moist and oh so yummy.

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