Easy Teriyaki-Glazed Salmon, Cucumber, and Avocado Rice Bowls Recipe

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Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt

Why It Works

  • Starting the salmon over high heat, then reducing the heat, allows you to achieve crispy skin while maintaining a moist, medium-rare center.
  • Crunchy diced fresh vegetables provide texture and flavor contrasts to the sweet and savory glaze on the salmon.

Having a batch of teriyaki sauce in your fridge at all times (it lasts forever) allows you to pull together a dinner like this rice bowl with teriyaki-glazed salmon and avocado in the amount of time it takes to steam a pot of rice. Once you have the rice on, all you've got to do is sear the salmon, dice up some avocado and cucumber, slice a couple of scallions, and pull that leftover teriyaki sauce out of the fridge.

Recipe Facts

Active: 15 mins
Total: 15 mins
Serves: 4 servings

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Ingredients

  • 4 salmon fillets, about 5 ounces (140g) each
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) vegetable or canola oil
  • 4 cups cooked white or brown rice (about 680g cooked rice)
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1 Persian or Japanese cucumber, diced
  • 6 to 8 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) homemade or store-bought teriyaki sauce
  • Furikake and/or toasted sesame seeds, for serving (see note)

Directions

  1. Press salmon fillets between paper towels to dry surfaces thoroughly. Season on all sides with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large stainless steel skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add salmon fillets, skin side down. Immediately reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, pressing gently on back of fillets to ensure good contact between the skin and the pan, until skin is rendered and crisp, about 6 minutes. If skin shows resistance when you attempt to lift with a spatula, allow it to continue to cook until it lifts easily.

  2. Flip salmon and cook on second side until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 120°F for medium-rare or 130°F for medium, about 1 minute longer. Transfer salmon to a paper towel–lined plate to drain.

  3. Divide rice evenly between 4 serving bowls. Top with diced avocado, cucumber, and scallions. Top each with a salmon fillet and spoon sauce on top, using the back of a spoon to evenly glaze each fillet. Sprinkle with furikake and/or sesame seeds. Serve immediately.

Special equipment

Instant-read thermometer

Notes

Furikake is a blend of seasonings typically used to flavor rice. It is available in multiple flavors at Japanese groceries or online.

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