Build your own Sushi Bowls at home with this quick, easy, and healthy recipe! Seasoned sushi rice is topped with crunchy vegetables, avocado, nori, and your choice of protein. Drizzle homemade spicy mayo over top for an affordable meal that hits the spot whenever you’re craving sushi!
Sushi is one of the best takeout and restaurant options, but it can quickly get expensive. That's where these build-your-own Easy Sushi Bowls come in!
They are easy to make, versatile, and you can feed your whole family or prep a week's worth of lunches for less than the cost of one restaurant sushi roll.
The other great thing about these sushi bowls is that you can make take inspiration from all your sushi cravings. Make a Calfornia Roll with imitation crab, cucumbers, and avocado. Make a salmon sushi bowl, spicy tuna bowl, or shrimp bowl. You can even make a bowl with chicken teriyaki or tofu.
All the tasty flavors of sushi without any complication rolling or prep.
What exactly is a sushi bowl?
Sushi bowls are essentially deconstructed sushi rolls. In other words, seasoned sushi rice is layered with seafood (or other proteins), fresh vegetables, nori, and creamy Sriracha mayo.
The beauty of sushi bowls is how customizable they are. We’ve listed ingredients to give you ideas, but you can add or swap in anything you have on hand! This meal is a great way to use up produce or leftovers in the fridge. Steam the rice, chop the add-ins, and throw everything in a bowl — it’s that easy!
The best part? The sushi-inspired flavors satisfy cravings for going out to a restaurant but at a fraction of the cost. There is no special equipment or time-consuming rolling methods required.
Why you’ll love this recipe
- Quick & easy: Deconstructed sushi is much easier to prepare than traditional sushi, but there is no sacrifice in flavor! You just need about 15 minutes to put it all together.
- Customizable: Since this is a true “build your own” sushi bowl, make it with whatever you have available. Switch up the proteins, vegetables, sauce, or toppings to make it your own.
- Healthy: Sushi bowls are protein-rich and full of healthy fats and carbs. Enjoy a flavorful meal while fueling your body with a variety of vitamins and minerals.
Ingredients and Substitutions
Here is everything you need to make your own sushi bowls at home!
- Sushi rice: Make your own sushi rice with steamed Japanese short-grain rice and seasoned rice vinegar. For a lower-carb option, use Cauliflower Rice.
- Vegetables: Cucumbers and carrots add a pop of color and a sweet, refreshing crunch. You can also use other veggies like radishes, edamame, or cabbage.
- Avocado: Who doesn’t love the smooth, creamy, and buttery texture of avocados? For a cheaper option, replace avocado with steamed yams.
- Nori: For that classic sushi flavor, use sheets of nori cut into strips. You should be able to find nori in the international section of most grocery stores or at Asian food markets.
- Seafood: Use your favorite seafood variety like crab, raw tuna, raw salmon, imitation crab, shrimp, or smoked salmon. For a vegetarian option use firm tofu or shiitake mushrooms.
- Mayonnaise: Provides a rich, creamy, and velvety smooth texture. If you prefer a lighter flavor, substitute half of the mayo with Greek yogurt.
- Sriracha: For a sweet heat! If you are sensitive to spice, half or omit the Sriracha. For a more intense flavor, use wasabi instead.
- Rice vinegar: You can substitute rice vinegar with regular white vinegar or white wine vinegar, but you will need to add a pinch of sugar.
How to Make Sushi Bowls
Follow these easy steps to make these delicious bowls.
1. Make the spicy mayo
In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, Sriracha, and rice vinegar. This sauce is very customizable, so make sure to taste and adjust the measurements to suit your preferences. For an extra hit of umami flavor, try adding some soy sauce, tamari, or liquid aminos.
2. Assemble the bowls
Add a layer of sushi rice to the bottom of the bowls you’ll be eating out of. Top the rice with vegetables, avocado, your protein of choice, and nori. Make the bowls as pretty or as thrown together as you’d like! Sometimes, you just need to get that food in your belly.
3. Add sauce and toppings
Lastly, drizzle on the spicy mayo sauce and any additional toppings you want to include. For a more even distribution of sauce, toss the seafood with spicy mayo before adding it to the bowl. We certainly prefer it this way!
Sushi Bowl Toppings
After you’ve built the base of your sushi bowls, you can really get creative with the toppings! We love black or white sesame seeds, furikake (rice seasoning), pickled ginger, wasabi, green onions, and edamame.
Try incorporating additional vegetables and fruits like daikon radish slices (fresh or pickled), shredded cabbage, enoki mushrooms, steamed kabocha squash, Japanese eggplant, beets, or mangoes.
Storage and Leftovers
If stored correctly, sushi bowls are great for leftovers and meal prep. Just follow these tips:
- Fridge: If your bowl contains raw fish, it’s best consumed within 2-3 hours of preparation for food safety reasons. For the rest of the ingredients, keep them in separate airtight containers for up to 3-4 days in the fridge.
- Freezer: It’s not recommended to freeze raw fish if you’re planning to consume it raw later. However, we recommend storing steamed rice in the freezer for up to 1-2 months. Keep it in single-serving containers, then microwave or steam it directly from frozen for perfectly tender and fluffy rice to serve with your bowls.
Variations and Ideas
There are so many ways to customize these bowls and make them your own. Here are some of our favorite variations.
- Poke bowl: Combine raw salmon (or tuna), rice, avocado, nori, sesame seeds, soy sauce, and sesame oil.
- Chicken teriyaki bowl: Mix grilled teriyaki chicken with sushi rice, nori, and cucumber or vegetables of your choice.
- Unagi bowl: Top the rice with eel, veggies, and flavorful unagi sauce.
- Veggie bowl: Make a vegetarian option with tofu, tempeh, seitan, or extra edamame.
- Calfornia roll bowl: Use imitation crab mixed with a touch of mayo or seafood salad. Add cucumbers, avocado, and carrots.
- Salmon sushi bowl:Use sushi-grade salmon, leftover cooked salmon, smoked salmon, or canned salmon. Then add avocado, cucumber, carrots, and edamame.
- Spicy tuna sushi bowl: Combine canned or fresh tuna with the spicy mayo to make your own spicy tuna to add to these sushi bowls.
- Shrimp bowl: Use any kind of cooked shrimp for these easy sushi-roll inspired bowls.
Tips for making sushi bowls
- Perfect the rice: Since it will serve as the base of the bowls, take extra care to properly cook the rice. You’re going for fluffy and tender, not soggy and mushy!
- Cool your rice: To prevent the vegetables from being steamed by the rice, give it a bit of time to cool before building the bowls.
- Sushi-grade fish: If you’re opting for raw seafood, make sure it is sushi-grade. It should be labeled as “sashimi grade.” You’ll be able to find this at most grocery stores or specialty seafood markets.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the most common questions about making these homemade sushi bowls.
You can enjoy sushi bowls hot or cold, depending on your preference. Most of the time, the rice is served at room temperature and the protein and vegetables are chilled or at room temperature, similar to sushi rolls.
Other types of sushi bowls may require ingredients to be sautéed, making them more suitable for serving hot.
Sushi bowls are not a traditional Japanese recipe. While they stem from Japanese culture, they did not originate there. They have become especially popular in the United States and other Western countries.
Poke bowls and sushi bowls share many similarities, but they are not exactly the same thing. Sushi bowls are a Japanese-inspired dish whereas poke bowls come from Hawaii.
Poke bowls are typically served with marinated raw fish, rice, and toppings like avocado, seaweed, sesame seeds, and soy sauce. You can consider virtually any deconstructed sushi roll a sushi bowl. The most common combination is California roll bowls.
Easy Sushi Bowls (Build Your Own)
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- 2 cups cooked sushi rice (see notes)
- 1 cup cucumber, diced
- 1 avocado, chopped
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- 2 sheets nori seaweed, cut into strips
- 2 cups imitation crab (or raw tuna, raw salmon, shrimp, tofu, smoked salmon)
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise (or half Greek yogurt)
- 2 tsp Sriracha (adjust to taste)
- 1 tsp rice vinegar (more to taste)
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- Nutritional Information
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.
Quick sushi rice: If using plain cooked rice instead of sushi rice, make sushi vinegar by combining 1/4 cup rice vinegar with 1.5 tbsp sugar and 1 tsp sea salt. Add 1 tbsp of this mixture to every cup of cooked rice.
Spicy seafood: Toss the seafood (crab, tuna, salmon, etc) with the spicy mayo before adding it to the bowl.
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