One of my favorite takeout lunches from Whole Foods is their sushi rice bowl, which usually contains a mixture of fish and vegetables over a bed of sushi rice. Since I don't have easy access to sashimi-quality fish, vegetable-based rice bowls are much easier (not to mention more budget-friendly) to throw together at home! This rice bowl is chock-full of delicious vegetables and hearty enough to make a satisfying lunch or dinner.
The first time I made these rice bowls, I had planned to season the rice like traditional sushi rice, as well as make a dressing for the vegetables. As fate would have it, I forgot to season the rice and realized that the tangy miso dressing was flavorful enough on its own that I could just drizzle some of it directly on the ginger-flavored brown rice instead!
As for the toppings, I have spring on my mind right now, so I used a combination of sautéed asparagus, crunchy sliced radishes, leafy radish tops tossed with the dressing, and creamy avocado. Feel free to change up the vegetables to whatever's in season or catches your eye, though.
If you like a little spicy heat, you can also sprinkle a little togarashi (Japanese seven-spice) on top of everything, but even some sesame seeds and shredded seaweed on their own are great finishers for these rice bowls.
These pretty rice bowls hit all the marks for me: delicious, full of veggies, satisfying, and easily adaptable to whatever I happen to have in my crisper drawer.
Vegan Sushi Rice Bowls
For the rice:
1 cup short-grain brown rice
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
2 cups water
For the toppings:
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1/2 bunch (about 8 ounces) asparagus
1 bunch radishes with tops attached, washed and dried
Toasted sesame seeds
For the dressing:
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons red miso paste
1 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce or tamari
1 1/2 teaspoons packed dark brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
For the rice: Rinse the rice thoroughly and drain. Heat the oil in a small saucepan over medium heat until shimmering. Add the rice and ginger and cook, stirring frequently, until toasty smelling, about 1 minute. Add the water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to the lowest setting, cover, and cook until the rice is tender, about 45 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the toppings and make the dressing.
For the toppings: Trim the asparagus and thinly slice on the bias into 1-inch-long pieces. Heat the oil in a small frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the asparagus, season with salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes; set aside.
Thinly slice the radishes and set aside. Coarsely chop the tops and place in a medium bowl.
For the dressing: Whisk all the ingredients together in a small bowl.
Rice bowl assembly: Fluff the rice with a fork and divide among 3 bowls. Drizzle a tablespoon of dressing over each serving of rice.
Add 2 tablespoons of the dressing to the bowl of radish tops and toss to combine. Divide the radish tops, radishes, and asparagus among the bowls of rice. Thinly slice the avocado and divide among the bowls. Drizzle with more of the remaining dressing as desired, sprinkle with the sesame and nori, and serve.