Cooked short-grain brown rice is something I always have in the fridge. I prefer brown rice because it’s more whole: the nutrient-rich bran is left intact, which means more flavor and better texture, but a longer cooking time. Prepare a big batch of rice Sunday night, and you’ve got fixings for an easy weekday breakfast porridge, a large-format rice cake, or my new lunch favorite, a sushi-inspired grain bowl. Swap the raw fish for cooked, and assemble the other ingredients you’d expect in a sushi roll: steamed rice and crunchy vegetables. Instead of meticulously wrapping everything in seaweed, spoon the ingredients into a bowl and top with nori. It’s that easy.
There are lots of ways to customize this meal: Tinned sardines make an easy swap for tuna. Crisp pea shoots or thinly sliced radishes can stand in for cucumber. I love the nutty flavor of edamame, but a portion of last night’s sauteed greens or steamed vegetables would carry a similar heft. Avocado is always a welcome addition.
You can’t have a grain bowl without a delicious sauce, and I love this simple vinaigrette: extra-virgin olive oil, lime juice, and soy sauce. Don’t forget to toast the sesame seeds -- that’s the best way to unlock their rich flavor. For small amounts, I like to toast the seeds in a dry skillet over medium heat. Move the seeds around with a wooden spoon until they’re golden brown, about 3 to 5 minutes. On the seaweed front, look for toasted nori sheets. To make the garnish, use kitchen shears to cut the sheets into thin strips.
The best part of all? This lunch can be assembled in under 10 minutes.
Tune in every Sunday for a new Healthy Appetite video from Shira Bocar.
Watch Shira make this super-quick, protein-packed rice bowl: