seafood / the main course

Salmon and Cucumber Rice Bowls

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These salmon rice bowls are a healthy weeknight dinner that comes together in minutes thanks to fast-cooking salmon and quick pickled cucumbers. We love how it lends itself to convenient meal prep since the rice and the pickles can easily be made ahead of time.

Recipe and photos by Maren Ellingboe

Recipe makes 4 salmon rice bowls


  • 4 Persian cucumbers, very thinly sliced
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ c unseasoned rice vinegar
  • ¼ red onion, very thinly sliced
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp neutral oil, such as avocado or canola
  • 1 lb salmon, cut into 4 fillets
  • 2 ½ c cooked white rice, for serving
  • Shichimi togarashi or toasted sesame seeds (optional)


  1. If you haven’t already, cook the white rice according to the directions on the package. We recommend a water to rice ratio of 2:1.
  2. Place the cucumbers and salt in a medium bowl and stir to combine. Let sit for 10 minutes.
  3. Add the rice vinegar, red onion and sugar to bowl and stir to combine. Let sit at room temperature while you cook the salmon.
  4. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Place salmon fillets in pan, and cook until golden brown, 2-3 minutes. Flip and cook until other side is golden brown and salmon is cooked through, 1-2 minutes.
  5. Divide rice between 4 bowls. Top each bowl with cucumber salad and salmon fillet. Sprinkle with shichimi togarashi and/or sesame seeds and serve immediately.

Recipe Notes and Variations

  • Shichimi togarashi is a Japanese spice mix containing nori, and adds a nice umami flavor to an otherwise simple dish. It can be found in many grocery stores or online.
  • This quick pickling method works well for other vegetables too—try it with corn, green beans, or radishes to add a hit of acidity to your cooking!
  • This format of rice bowl + tangy vegetables + protein would work well with any of the other protein options you can get in your Imperfect order.
salmon rice bowls with quick pickled cucumbers

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