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Food bowls—basically a complete, balanced meal in a single bowl—are hugely popular right now. They are endlessly customizable and are usually pretty to look at, too. Here, cookbook author and New York Times food columnist Melissa Clark shares her healthy Asian-inspired salmon rice version. 

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  • 1 ½ cups sushi or other short-grain rice
  • ½ cup rice wine vinegar, divided
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated or minced fresh ginger
  • 1 garlic clove, finely grated or minced
  • 2 tablespoons peanut or sunflower oil
  • ½ teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 ½ pounds skinless salmon filet, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce (or use more soy sauce)
For the Garnishes:
  • Any combination of toasted nori or seaweed snacks; white or black sesame seeds; thinly sliced cabbage, snow peas, cucumber or radishes; handful of cilantro leaves or sprouts; chili crisp


Serves: 4


Place the rice in a sieve and rinse well under cool running water. 

In a medium pot or rice cooker, combine ¼ cup of the vinegar (save remaining vinegar for the dressing), the sugar, salt and 2 ¼ cups water. If using a pot, bring to a simmer, stirring, then add the rinsed rice. When the mixture returns to a simmer, cover and reduce heat to low. Let cook until the rice is tender and the liquid absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes. If using the rice cooker, add the rice and set it to cook according to the directions. 

While the rice is cooking, make the sauce. In a small bowl, combine the remaining ¼ cup vinegar, soy sauce, scallions, ginger and garlic and mix well. Whisk in the peanut oil and sesame oil. Set the sauce aside.

In another bowl, toss the salmon with the fish sauce or soy sauce. When the rice is tender, scatter salmon cubes on top of the rice. Cover the pot and let steam over low heat, if on the stove, or on the keep warm function of the rice cooker, until done to taste, 8 to 12 minutes. 

To serve, divide rice among bowls and top with salmon. Add any garnishes that you like, then drizzle with a little of the sauce. Serve with more sauce on the side for dipping.