the taste space

Sushi Bowl with Asparagus and Avocado

Posted in Mains (Vegetarian), Salads by Janet M on July 11, 2011


I didn’t think I was going to eat any sushi while I was in Vancouver.

But I did.

Trust me, I didn’t succumb to the traditional sushi rolls.

Instead, I had a delicious raw sushi roll at Organic Lives. Completely inauthentic, it was filled with a pecan pate, sprouts, veggies, avocado and mango. With the zippy fruit-based dipping sauce, it was so completely different from any sushi roll I have ever had. The only similarity was that it was a nori roll wrap.

Once the hubbub subsided after I returned home, I was craving a more traditional sushi roll. Without all the hard work of actually rolling the little buggers…

When I visited Japan, one of my favourite meals was eating sashimi at the Tsukiji Market, which is the wholesale marketplace for seafood in Tokyo. With daily auctions, this is where you can eat the freshest fish. The sashimi was unbeatable. I have never been able to enjoy sea urchin anywhere else. So fresh, it was so buttery soft and creamy.

I actually visited Tsukiji two days in a row and sampled sashimi from two different vendors. Both times, I ordered a sushi bowl with an assortment of sashimi. One resto had better sashimi and the other had better rice. The rice was so good, it eclipsed the fish. And I don’t really like rice, actually. I consider it filler in sushi rolls, when I would rather be eating the filling. I tolerate rice for the most part, but here, I learned how great rice can taste.

I have experimented with a few rices since my return, and I still remain partial to a short-grain Japanese-style rice. Recently, I bought the Taiwanese Yih Chuan Aromatic Rice, which has a faint aroma of taro (yes, on sale at T&T). It brings rice to the next level. The rice is nicely flavoured, shaped and most importantly, tastes great.

My whole preamble about rice is because if you are going to make a sushi rice bowl, you should try to use a nice rice! The dressing helps, too. The toppings, too. But let the rice get the spotlight it deserves as it isn’t supposed to be a bland side.

Adapted from 101 Cookbooks, I wouldn’t call this an authentic Japanese recipe, but a lively citrus-flavoured sushi bowl. Top with your favourite sushi toppings such as steamed asparagus, avocado, grilled tofu, and dare I suggest mango? (Mango, next time…). The key to keep this a sushi bowl, and not a rice salad, though, is to include the toasted nori strips. You can buy them pre-shredded, but you could also toast the nori and then cut it into thin strips yourself.


This is my submission to this month’s Healing Foods featuring whole grains, to this month’s Simple and in Season and to Ricki’s new Summer Wellness Weekends.

Sushi Bowl with Asparagus and Avocado

3 cups cooked brown short-grain rice
1 bunch of asparagus (400g), trimmed and cut into 1″ pieces
zest and juice from 1 orange (1/4 cup fresh orange juice)
zest and juice from 1/2 lemon (1 tbsp lemon juice)
1 tbsp agave nectar (or your choice of sweetener)
2 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1 avocado, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted
1 sheet of nori, toasted and finely sliced

1. Steam asparagus for 3 minutes, until a brilliant green.

2. Create dressing by combining orange and lemon juices and zests, agave nectar, tamari and rice vinegar. Toss with rice.

3. Create bowl by plating rice, top with asparagus, avocado and nori. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.

Serves 4.

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15 Responses

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  1. Grace@ FoodFitnessFreshair said, on July 11, 2011 at 9:03 AM

    I love this! This sounds so great. Raw sushi sounds like a real treat too!

  2. Joanne said, on July 11, 2011 at 2:17 PM

    Authenticity is overrated in the face of delicious food! I would love a huge bowl of this!

  3. tigerfish said, on July 11, 2011 at 5:41 PM

    Three flavorsome ingredients = delicious sushi bowl!

  4. Caitlin said, on July 13, 2011 at 10:27 AM

    omigosh- this looks DELICIOUS!

  5. Ricki said, on July 14, 2011 at 8:47 PM

    I don’t care in the least that it’s not authentic–it’s beautiful and I bet it tastes amazing! Your bowls are always so beautifully presented. :) Thanks so much for submitting this to WW this week! :)

  6. [...] Sushi Bowl with Avocado and Asparagus from The Taste Space (I mean, what could be bad about deconstructed sushi?) [...]

  7. Simona said, on August 1, 2011 at 7:18 PM

    A very pretty dish and yes, I would go with mango ;) Thanks for sending it to Healing Foods!

  8. Ashley said, on August 14, 2011 at 1:14 PM

    Ooo I would love this for lunch!! I recently made the edamame sushi salad from Appetite for Reduction and really enjoyed it. That taro aroma rice sounds amazing. I always just stick to my brown basmati that we get from Costco.

  9. [...] to pick a theme: like this sushi bowl with brown rice, topped with asparagus, avocado and toasted nori sheets. Or my millet bowl, topped [...]

  10. [...] and other veggie dishes. While this was Heidi’s best meal of her trip, I will admit that my fresh sashimi was unbeatable at the Tsukiji Market.  If I were vegan at the time, I would have really [...]

  11. [...] The point of making a sushi rice bowl salad is that it is easier than rolling numerous sushi rolls. I know, I’ve done it before. [...]

  12. [...] Tacos skipping the onion in the salsa, Thai Tempeh Wraps with a Mango Ginger Sauce, Sushi Salad Bowl with Avocado and Asparagus, among others with minor modifications). In the end, Ellen made my Vanilla Sweet Potato and Kale [...]

  13. […] recipes, too, so this is where you should start eating: Warm Carrot and White Bean Salad with Dill, Sushi Bowl with Asparagus and Avocado, Green Soup with Ginger, Cranberry Bean Mole with Roasted Butternut Squash, and Nikki’s […]

  14. […] Sushi Bowl with Avocado and Asparagus from The Taste Space (I mean, what could be bad about deconstructed sushi?) […]

  15. […] version was light and flavorful and worked well with the multitude of veggies. It reminded me of my citrus-spiked sushi rice bowl with the miso twist. I am not sure the oil was completely necessary so I may remove it next time. […]


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