Sweet-and-Spicy Salmon Rice Bowl


If you have never cooked with sambal oelek, here is the 411 on this flavorful ingredient. Sambal oelek is simply a ground fresh chile paste - crushed raw red chiles, a little vinegar, and salt. Sambal oelek can be found in most grocery stores in the Asian food section, right next to the sriracha. Use sambal oelek straight from the bottle as a condiment. Instead of grabbing your favorite hot sauce, drizzle sambal oelek over burgers and chicken wings. For this recipe, the paste is blended with vinegar, honey, and other ingredients to make a glaze for the salmon. A teaspoon or two is usually all you need, so a bottle of sambal oelek will last a while. Stir it into mayonnaise for a sandwich spread with a kick or add it to your stir-fry dishes. You can substitute the brown rice with quinoa or another whole grain. Purchase salmon that is about 1 1/2 inches thick and avoid the fillets that are from the tail flap.

Sweet-and-Spicy Salmon Rice Bowl
Photo: Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall
Active Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
30 mins
4 serves


  • 1/3 cup unsalted chicken stock

  • 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch

  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons honey

  • 2 teaspoons Sriracha chile sauce

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil, divided

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided

  • 4 (5-oz.) skinless salmon fillets (about 1 1/2 inches thick)

  • 2 (8.8-oz.) pkg. precooked microwavable brown rice

  • 6 ounces fresh snow peas, trimmed (about 2 cups)

  • 3 scallions, diagonally sliced (1/2 cup)

  • 1 small English cucumber, diced (about 3/4 cup)

  • 3 medium radishes, cut into matchsticks (1/2 cup)

  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds


  1. Whisk together stock and cornstarch in a small saucepan. Add vinegar, honey, Sriracha, 1/2 tablespoon of the oil, and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt; bring to a simmer over medium, whisking constantly. Cook, whisking occasionally, until reduced to 1/2 cup, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat. Place 2 tablespoons of the sauce in a medium bowl, and let cool slightly. Set aside remaining sauce. Add salmon to bowl, toss to coat, and let stand 5 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, microwave rice according to package directions.

  3. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add snow peas. Cook, stirring often, until tender, about 4 minutes. Stir in rice, scallions, and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt; cook, stirring occasionally, 1 minute. Remove mixture from skillet; keep warm.

  4. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to skillet. Sprinkle fish with remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt. Add salmon to skillet. Cook until lightly charred and a thermometer registers 130°F (medium doneness), 3 to 4 minutes per side. Divide rice mixture and salmon evenly among 4 shallow bowls. Top evenly with cucumber, radishes, and sesame seeds. Drizzle with remaining sauce.

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