Asian Salmon Grain Bowls
Topped with lightly pickled cucumbers, roasted carrots, mushrooms, bell peppers, tender salmon and finished with a bright dressing, this grain bowl makes a satisfying hot dinner or a great packed lunch. The base of our grain bowls is a nutty and chewy PHM Brands Specialty Grains short-grain brown rice. It is very easy to make especially if it is boiled in plenty of boiling salted water like pasta.
During the time the rice is cooking, roast the vegetables in a hot oven and lightly pickle the cucumbers in a sweet ginger brine. The cucumbers will add a crispy bright flavor to the bowls. After the vegetables are half-roasted, simply clear a space in the middle of the baking pan and roast your salmon with a kiss of hoisin to boost color and flavor. For a potent and flavorful dressing, we mixed a portion of the cucumber brine with scallions and oil and a little more hoisin, stirring some of the dressing into the rice to make sure every bite was full of wonderful flavor.
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 tsp. sesame oil
4 scallions, sliced thin on the bias
1 Tbsp fresh ginger
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp. Salt for Life Low Sodium Salt alternative
1 English cucumber, quarter lengthwise and sliced very thin
2 cups Specialty Grains Organic short grain brown rice*
1 lb carrots, any color, sliced thin, about ½ inch thick
2 red bell peppers, seeded and sliced thin
1 lb shiitake or button mushrooms, stemmed, cut in half
1 lb skin on Salmon fillet, about 1 ½ inches thick (vegan alternative, use firm tofu)
2 Tbsp hoisin sauce, divided
2 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds
Pepper to taste
Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 475°. Combine the vegetable oil and sesame oil in a small bowl or measuring cup.
Bring 7 cups water to boil in a large saucepan. While water is coming to boil prepare pickled cucumbers. Whisk vinegar, sugar, ¾ teaspoon salt alternative, and ½ tsp ginger in medium bowl until sugar is dissolved. Add cucumber and half of the scallions and stir until coated. Set aside, stirring occasionally.
Add rice and 1 teaspoon salt alternative to boiling water. Reduce heat and simmer until rice is tender, about 30 minutes. Drain rice well and return it to saucepan. Cover and set aside.
While rice is cooking, toss carrots with 1 tablespoon oil mixture and ½ teaspoon salt alternative. Spread in even layer on 1/3 of rimmed baking sheet. Toss mushrooms with 1 tablespoon oil, and ½ teaspoon salt alternative and spread in even layer on another 1/3 of sheet. Toss bell peppers with 1 Tbsp oil and ½ tsp salt alternative and spread in an even layer on the last 1/3 of the sheet pan. Roast until vegetables are just beginning to soften and brown, about 10 minutes.
While vegetables are cooking, cut salmon in half. Halve each piece crosswise to create 4 equal pieces. Make 2 shallow slashes about 1 inch apart along skin side of each piece, being careful not to cut into flesh. Brush flesh side of each piece with 1 teaspoon hoisin.
Reduce oven temperature to 275° and remove sheet pan. Push vegetables to either side to clear space in middle of the sheet pan. Carefully place salmon, skin side down, in clearing. Return the pan to oven and roast until vegetables are tender and browned and centers of fillets are still translucent when checked with tip of paring knife and register 125 degrees (for medium-rare), 10 to 12 minutes.
To make dressing, measure out ¼ cup cucumber liquid, remaining oil, ginger and scallions. Whisk in remaining hoisin.
Stir 2 tablespoons dressing into the rice and season well with pepper. Spoon rice into 4 wide bowls. Place 1 piece of salmon or tofu on top of rice. Arrange carrots, mushrooms, bell peppers and cucumbers in piles that cover rice. Drizzle salmon and vegetables with remaining dressing. Sprinkle generously with toasted sesame seeds and additional scallion greens if desired. Serve, passing sriracha separately, if using.
*You may use any of the following grains instead of brown rice: farro, red or white wheat, Kamut®, barley, rye, or buckwheat. Cooking time increases by 10 minutes for Kamut. Cooking time decreases by 5 minutes for buckwheat.