If there’s one food I’m dying to eat post-baby, it’s sushi (so original, I know!) This ginormous platter was my first big meal after Lincoln was born, and if the tradition continues, a truckload of succulent salmon nigiri will be on the table soon after welcoming our newest little guy into the world in October. Oooo, I can hardly wait!
Prior to getting pregnant again Ben and I would have sushi rolling nights at home at least once a month (we don’t go to sushi restaurants anymore because cross contamination from soy sauce/fried rolls is inevitable, imo.) He’d pop a Kirin, I’d pour a sauv blanc, he’d buy the fish, I’d mess up a batch of sushi rice, he’d make a better batch of sushi rice, I’d slice the fish, then we’d get to rolling.
30 minutes later I’d have several rolls and half a dozen pieces of nigiri in front of me, while he’d have more rice in his arm hair (pleasant visual) than on the platter in front of him. That is to say, rolling sushi at home can be challenging and intimidating, and when you have to refrain from using raw fish because of a pregnancy, for example, it might seem like more trouble than it’s worth.
Enter, Vegetable Sushi Roll in a Bowl. All the ingredients of a sushi roll, minus the fish, piled high in a bowl vs stuck in your eyebrows. Ben and I are LOVING this easy swap that’s fresh, healthy, and easily made at home!
I actually set out to make California Rolls in a Bowl but 99.9% of imitation crab meat is made with wheat fillers, so it’s not gluten-free, and pure crab was going for a ridiculous amount of money at the grocery store. No problemo, I didn’t miss it at all in this crunchy, flavorful Vegetable Roll in a Bowl that starts with a base of sticky sushi rice piled high with creamy avocado, crunchy carrot, cool cucumber, and crisp nori. It’s what totally makes this bowl of food a “sushi roll in a bowl” vs rice topped with raw vegetables. I’m obsessed!!
This recipe is easily adaptable to include your favorite sushi roll ingredients, so use your imagination. Add crab if you don’t need to worry about gluten, or even cooked and chilled shrimp if you want to make each bowl have a little more staying power. We drizzle our bowls with gluten-free Tamari then sprinkle with sesame seeds, and honest to goodness it tastes exactly like a sushi roll, without all the work. Post-baby, you better believe I’ll be adding chopped ahi tuna and drizzling with homemade spicy sauce aka mayo mixed with Siracha!
Start by cooking the sushi rice. Side note: as you know, Ben is a terrific cook, but what you may not know is that he’s figured out the secret to cooking perfect rice without a rice cooker. I mean, get this man a lifetime achievement award already! Here’s his method for perfectly cooked long grain (basmati, jasmine, etc.) rice:
Combine 1 cup rice with 1-1/4 cups water in a small saucepan (a medium/large sized saucepan will cause the water to evaporate before it can be absorbed by the rice,) with salt and a drizzle of oil. Bring to a boil, place a lid on top, then turn the heat to low and cook for 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat then let sit with the lid on for 5 minutes before stirring. Boom – fluffy, perfectly cooked rice. Try it!
The method for cooking short grain sushi rice is very similar. First wash 1 cup rice to remove excess starch. You can do this in a fine mesh sieve or in a bowl. Just add the rice then cover with water, swish with your fingers, and drain. Sushi rice is very heavy so it will stay in the bottom of the bowl. Keep doing that until the water runs clear then add the rice to a small saucepan with 1-1/4 cups water (no oil or salt.) Follow the cooking directions for long grain rice – 10 minutes on low then 5 off the heat – then add 2 Tablespoons rice vinegar, 1/2 Tablespoon sugar, and a dash of salt and stir to combine.
Voila, you now have sticky sushi rice!
Set the sushi rice aside to cool (I like it warm for this dish,) then prep the sushi roll toppings. For the vegetable roll route peel, seed and chop 1 cucumber, cut 1 carrot into matchsticks, slice 1 avocado, and cut seaweed snacks/nori into matchsticks.
Nori has become an incredibly popular snack, available in all grocery stores – regular and specialty – in the last 5-7 years, from what I’ve seen. It’s just toasted seaweed and, like I said, is a must for making this dish taste like a sushi roll in a bowl vs a bowl of rice and raw vegetables! If for some reason you can’t find the little snack packs, you can get the full size sheets of nori, typically found in the Asian Foods aisle, and slice those up.
Last stop, assembly! Scoop the rice into bowls, top with the vegetables, then drizzle with gluten-free Tamari (or soy sauce, though the bowls won’t be gluten-free if using soy sauce.) Sprinkle with sesame seeds to really get the sushi roll flavor, then DEVOUR. Enjoy this fabulous, easy Vegetable Sushi Roll in a Bowl!
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Vegetable Sushi Roll in a Bowl
Vegetable Sushi Roll in a Bowl is a quick, healthy, gluten-free recipes that tastes just like a vegetable sushi roll, without all the work!
- 1 cup short grain sushi rice
- 1-1/4 cups water
- 1-1/2 Tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1/2 Tablespoon sugar
- heavy pinch of salt
- 1 avocado, sliced
- 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
- 1 carrot, cut into matchsticks
- .17oz package nori/seaweed snacks, cut into matchsticks
- gluten-free Tamari or soy sauce (dish will not be GF if using soy sauce)
- sesame seeds, for garnish
- Add rice to a fine mesh sieve or a bowl then rinse with water until the water runs clear. Add rice to a small saucepan with water then bring to a boil. Stir rice then place a lid on top, turn heat down to low, and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove pot from heat then let sit with the lid on for 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile combine rice vinegar, sugar, and salt in a small bowl then microwave for 15-20 seconds, or until the sugar dissolves once stirred. Pour into cooked rice then stir to combine and set aside to cool.
- Once rice has cooled, scoop into two bowls then top each with half the avocado, cucumber, carrot, and nori. Drizzle with Tamari then sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve.
- Add crab or cooked shrimp for a little more protein!
This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.