How to make the salmon rice bowl that's all over TikTok

TikTok makes half of our culinary decisions these days, prompting us to try 15-hour roast potatoes and tomato soup toasties alike.

A new recipe appears to have the platform in something of a chokehold, though, which is strange given its simplicity.

The salmon rice bowl was shared initially by influencer Emily Mariko on TikTok, and her videos showing how to make the dish have been watched over 60 million times.

Called a ‘gamechanger’ by commenters, the meal features cooked salmon and rice, which is covered with greaseproof paper (and an ice cube, but we’ll get to that) and put in the microwave.

Emily then drizzles all over with soy sauce, sriracha, and Japanese Kewpie mayo, the ingredient du jour due to its unique flavour, which is slightly sweeter than the mayonnaise we’re used to.

From there, she mashes everything up again before adding avocado and kimchi on the side and using nori sheets to almost create a sushi hand roll in her mouth.

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We all like an easy lunch idea – and this ticks all the boxes – but one thing Emily does in the video had people stumped. Before microwaving the cooked salmon and rice, she places an ice cube in the middle of the plate, but removes it (still intact) once the dish is heated.

This is actually optional, but is a useful hack if you regularly reheat rice. Many people splash water on their food to keep it moist in the microwave, but an ice cube will do an even better job.

That’s because microwaves agitate the molecules in water to heat it up, but can’t do so to an ice cube as the molecules are effectively locked in place. The water from the ‘regular’ melting of the ice will keep your food moist, but it won’t be wet or soggy.

Now that’s cleared up, here’s how to make what Emily calls the ‘best lunch of the week’.


  • A leftover cooked salmon fillet (hot smoked salmon also works for this)
  • As much pre-cooked sushi or white rice as you want
  • Half an avocado
  • Kimchi
  • Soy sauce
  • Sriracha
  • Kewpie mayo
  • Nori seaweed sheets


  • Put your salmon and rice on a microwave-safe plate.
  • Place an ice cube in the middle, before covering the plate with greaseproof paper.
  • Microwave until piping hot.
  • Remove the ice cube and paper.
  • Drizzle all over with your chosen condiments.
  • Mash everything together.
  • Put your avocado, kimchi, or other accompaniments alongside the salmon mixture.
  • Use nori sheets as wraps, filling with your ingredients and eating in one go – just like you would a piece of sushi.

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