Smoked Salmon and Seaweed Rice

Salmon, seaweed and sesame seeds are a popular filling in onigiri (rice balls), especially those sold in conbini (Japanese convenience stores). Tim Anderson has created a one-pot recipe for a Smoked Salmon and Seaweed Rice bowl based on these same flavours. He adds his personal touch by using hot-smoked salmon (which isn’t traditional but works wonderfully well). The recipe is from his latest book, JapanEasy Bowls & Bento.

Smoked Salmon and Seaweed Rice

Find out more about the cookbook in our full review of JapanEasy Bowls & Bento.

Smoked Salmon and Seaweed Rice (Sumōku Sāmon Kaisō Meshi)

This is a one-pot rice recipe based on one of my favourite varieties of conbini onigiri, made with salmon, wakame (a type of sea vegetable) and sesame seeds. This version uses hot-smoked salmon, which is not traditional, but I love the way the smoked fish echoes the flavour in dashi.


  • 300 g (10½ oz/ 2 rice cooker cups) rice
  • 1 cm (½ in) fresh ginger root, washed and finely sliced
  • tablespoons sesame seeds
  • ½ teaspoon dashi powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons mirin
  • 2 teaspoons sake
  • 390 g (13¾ oz) water
  • a few drops of sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons dried wakame
  • 80 g (3 oz) hot-smoked salmon (or any salmon, boneless and skinless)
  • 1 tablespoon aonori flakes


  • Serves 3–4 or makes 6 onigiri; could also serve 2–3 as a one-dish meal
  • Rice Cooking Instructions - If you have a rice cooker, just do what the rice cooker says. If you have a gas or electric hob*, place the rice and measured rice in a saucepan with a snug-fitting lid, and place over a high heat, with the lid off. When the water boils, place a lid on the pan, and turn the heat all the way down. Set a timer for 15 minutes, and do not disturb the rice during this time. When the timer goes off, remove the lid and gently fluff the rice with chopsticks or a rice paddle, then put the lid back on the pan and leave to rest for another 10 minutes. *(If you have an induction hob, follow the instructions above, but start the rice on low power; if you start high, the rice will stik to the bottom of the pan almost immediately,a nd your rice will be ruined. Proceed with caution!)
  • Measuring the water for rice cooking - The ratio for stovetop cooking is almost always 1 part rice o to 1.3 parts water. So for 300 grams of rice you'll need 390 grams of water. 


  • Wash the rice and combine in a rice cooker or saucepan along with the other ingredients, except the wakame, salmon and aonori. Sit the wakame and salmon on top of the mixed rice and cook everything according to the instructions in the Notes section. When the rice is done, remove the ginger, sprinkle over the aonori and fold it in, breaking up the salmon as you go. Serve at any temperature. It lasts four days in the refrigerator or one month in the freezer.

Once again, we were wowed by how quick, easy and delicious this recipe is to make. Another perfect choice for a quick midweek lunch or dinner, and of course, it works beautifully formed into onigiri or as part of a multi-dish meal.

Smoked Salmon and Seaweed Rice

Made the recipe? Let us know how you got on in the comments.

You may also enjoy these recipes, cookbook reviews and restaurants reviews for Japanese food.


Kavey Eats received a review copy of JapanEasy Bowls & Bento by Tim Anderson from publishers Hardie Grant. Book photography by Laura Edwards. 

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3 Comments to "Smoked Salmon and Seaweed Rice"

  1. Rory

    This sounds delicious, and I am keen to try it, but part half-way through the instructions it says “cook everything according to the instructions on page 27”. Obviously, we don’t have page 27. Can you give a clue? Does it just say “cook according to your rice cooker instructions for your type of rice”?

    I’m going to try all 3 of the recipes, and if as good as they look, I’ll be buying the book.


    Hi Rory, I’ve amended the recipe to include Tim’s instructions on cooking rice!


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