DC chefs told us how they’d make the bowl of salmon and rice that exploded on TikTok



Illustration by Zach Bright.

The steps for Emily Mariko’s Salmon and Rice Bowl that went big on TikTok last month are simple.

Crush some salmon fillets, add white rice and send the dish to the microwave (but not before adding an ice cube and covering the food with baking paper, to prevent it from drying out). Next are a few dashes of soy sauce, sriracha and Kewpie mayo. Mariko mixes everything together, then serves it with avocado, kimchee and dried seaweed.


original sound – Emily Mariko

His recipe has racked up over 33 million views and countless viewer recreations. So we asked three DC chefs how they got their own trick up.

A Puerto Rican interpretation

Illustration by Zach Bright.

Joancarlo Parkhurst, chef / owner of La Famosa at Navy Yard, says he thinks the meal has become so popular because it’s easy to prepare and has decent nutritional value.

“Ice cube is ingenious for any microwave heating of rice,†says Parkhurst. “He lets it swell and heat properly and sort of reapplies moisture to it.”

For its own dish, Parkhurst would replace the salmon with salt cod, canned mackerel, sardines or tuna. he would add Curiously, a spicy coleslaw and “lots of coriander”. An aioli would tie the ingredients together and a crispy onion would add texture on top.

But while Parkhurst thinks bowls like Mariko’s have a time and place, he wouldn’t serve them in his restaurant.

“I did everything in my power to avoid the rice bowls and the chipotleisation of the food,†he says. “For me, I think of it more as a convenience meal. “

French style

Illustration by Zach Bright.

Cédric Maupillier, chef / owner of Shaw’s Convivial, says he doesn’t quite understand the hype surrounding the dish.

“I wasn’t very impressed,†he says, “Everything about social media is more for the highs than what it can actually taste.â€

What comes to Maupillier’s mind is the cuisine of France, where he grew up and began his culinary career. The chef says he could combine rice pilau with a salmon and sorrel sauce to create a richer, more refined flavor.

Smoked and jerky

Illustration by Zach Bright.

Peter Prime, chef and co-owner of the Trinidadian Cane on H Street and the future St. James in Logan Circle, is no stranger to bowls of rice. Cane offers variety, with toppings including oxtail, pork belly, beef curry, and Chinese-style chicken.

“I totally understand,†Prime said of the popularity of the dish. “Rice is a comfort food for me. ”

Prime’s riff would keep the salmon, but he would smoke it quickly and season it with jerk spices. He would place it over jasmine coconut rice and serve it with tamarind mayonnaise.

Zach Bright

Zach joined the Washingtonian in October 2021. In the past, he has written for The Colorado Sun, The Nevada Independent, and SRQ Magazine.


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