A Simple Brown Rice Sushi Bowl

This sushi bowl recipe is simply a de-constructed sushi roll - brown rice, tofu, avocado, toasted nori and green onions served with a simple citrus-soy dressing. Simple and delicious.

A Simple Brown Rice Sushi Bowl

I first published this recipe in 2007, on page 156 in Super Natural Cooking - the Sushi Bowl. Looking back at the recipes included in that book, this is one that has remained a personal favorite of mine (top five for sure), and from what many of you have told me, it has long been a favorite for many of you as well. Simply stated, we are talking about a de-constructed sushi roll - brown rice, tofu, avocado, toasted nori and green onions served with a tangy, sweet citrus-soy dressing. When I don't have toasted nori on hand, I swap in a handful of crushed kale chips. 
Brown Rice Sushi Bowl

The Citrus Dressing

This dressing rules. You do a quick simmer of a bit orange and lemon juice, and then season it with a bit of brown sugar and rice vinegar. I wrote the recipe calling for orange and lemon, but I often make the dressing with grapefruit or blood orange juice, and it is exceptionally good - puckery citrus sweetness coating the grains of rice throughout each sushi bowl.
Brown Rice Sushi Bowl
So! If you love avocado rolls, this is a tricked out version, in bowl form. So simple, especially if you have cooked brown rice at the ready. This is the sushi bowl from lunch today, made with kale chips in place of toasted nori. If you have guacamole on hand, by all means use that in place of the avocado. Keep it casual & tasty!

Sushi Bowl-ing

When I originally wrote this recipe, it was conceived as a lazy day way to enjoy my favorite sushi roll ingredients. In an attempt to pre-empt comments related to sushi & bowls, I'll leave you with this. I think there is occasional confusion with the idea of a sushi bowl, because the perception is that sushi is the roll itself. But, as Haruhiko mentions in the comments down below, “Sushi is a term that technically refers to the seasoned rice itself. There’s makizushi, inarizushi, chiraishizushi, etc., and what they have in common is the seasoned rice. You don’t need raw fish for sushi to be sushi." xo Haruhiko! Hope this helps!

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A Simple, Brown Rice Sushi Bowl

4.17 from 30 votes

I've included the instructions for cooking brown rice here, but when I'm pinched for time I just grab for frozen, pre-cooked brown rice (freeze it yourself, or look for it in the freezer section at Whole Foods).

  • 2 (4-inch) square sheets nori seaweed
  • 6 ounces extra-firm tofu
  • grated zest and juice of one orange
  • grated zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons (raw) brown sugar (reg. sugar is ok too)
  • 2 tablespoons shoyu sauce (or soy sauce)
  • 2 tablespoons (brown) rice vinegar
  • 4 cups cooked brown rice, warm
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted
  1. Toast the nori in a preheated 300F degree oven or a medium-hot skillet for a few minutes. Crumble or chop coarsely.
  2. Drain the tofu and pat it dry. Cut the block of tofu lengthwise through the middle to make four 1/4-to 1/2-inch thick sheets of tofu. Two at a time, cook in a dry skillet or well-seasoned skillet over medium-high for a few minutes until browned on one side. Flip gently, then continue cooking for another minute or so, until the tofu is firm, golden, and bouncy. Let cool, enough to handle, then cute crosswise into matchsticks (see photo). Repeat with the remaining sheets.
  3. To make the dressing, set the sheets aside. Combine the orange juice lemon juice, and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a gentle boil. Cook for 1 or 2 minute, the add the shoyu and vinegar. Return to a gentle boil and cook another 1 or 2 minutes, until slightly thickened. Remove from the heat and stir in the zests.
  4. Stir in 1/3 cup of the dressing into the rice and add more to taste. Scoop the rice into individual bowls and top with the toasted nori, green onions, tofu, avocado slices, and a sprinkling of sesame seeds.


Makes 4-6 servings.

Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
20 mins
If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

Post Your Comment


Congratulations Heidi!!! We just love your book(s), and they have helped to convert a serious meatloving husband into a more than occasional vegetarian!!!

ms tammy

I just love, love your book and your e-mail updates. And, well, I can't begin to explain this, but I can't count how many times I've fixed lunch or dinner, and... the very next e-mail update I get from you is eerily similar...


Hi Heidi! I've been busy and haven't stopped by in a while, but I've loved a lot of your most recent recipes and am looking for a chance to try them. This one looks especially great...we are going through a sushi phase right now, so I may have to try this, although I think my carnivorous boyfriend will demand the addition of fish. I do like th idea of tofu since I'm not a tofu lover but think I would enjoy it in this dish. Have a great NY trip!


Heidi, I love your site and even though I don't often cook I look forward to your entries. And I have all the respect in the world for vegetarians. But sushi has fish in it. Californians seem to be trying to hijack the word. But fish is one of 2 essential ingredients of sushi. I'm taking a stand!


I make your sushi bowl all the time, its lovely!


The recipe looks delicious - as usual. Plus I'm a sucker with anything featuring a gorgeous avocado like that. If only they were in beautiful abundance in Chicago... :)


This is my personal fave from the book. Well, this and the mesquite flour cookies...yum!


We've been making this recipe regularly ever since SNC came out -- everyone in my family loves it! Congrats on the nomination and happy NYC eating!


We've made the sushi bowl several times and every time it is outstanding. You would think the avocado would steal the show, but everything rounds out well. I love the flavor of toasting the nori.


Oh yum! This looks delicious. Can't wait to try it.


I am so excited to try this. Thanks for the new and different recipe.

Mrs. Mordecai

Congratulations! I am so looking forward to making this recipe! I've been enjoying your blog for a few weeks now, and I truly love making your recipes. Thanks so much!


Wow!!! How exciting!!!! I feel blessed to have found your blog and that I am "in the know" about you and your awesome food. Have a blast.


This is one of my favorite dishes from your book. Thanks for reminding me about it, I'll be making it again soon.


Congrats on your nomination!


Congratulations and good luck! And thank you for another great recipe! Kate


Congratulations Heidi! Wishing you best of luck.


Heidi, I've tried cooking tofu in a dry skillet before and it just sticks to the pan and gets burnt. Do you have a trick (i.e. a certain temp in the pan before adding the tofu) or do I lack the touch? I usually pan fry mine in my wok with some sesame oil. Btw, thank you for all the wonderful vegan recipes. I've made a whole vegan dinner party for friends using your posts.


this is like chirasizushi. I've made a similar version of this and it's an excellent thing to know of. Thanks for the reminder. It makes me think of 'summer risotto.'


Congrats, Heidi! I have a Trader Joe's brown rice and seaweed precooked rice bowl sitting in my cabinet waiting to be jazzed up into a meal; this sounds perfect, and I've already got the first couple steps done. Thank you! Can't wait to try it.


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