Buddha bowls are said to take their name from their resemblance to the famous round Buddha belly. But some might say it’s because of the wholesome or “zen” feeling you get after eating one! We’ve used the pasta method to cook the black rice (available at Asian markets or online) to account for the variation in cooking times depending on the type of black rice. Simmered in excess water and drained at the end means it won’t boil dry, even if it takes 45 minutes. No black rice? Substitute with brown or wild rice.
¼ cup white miso
2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
2 teaspoons honey
1½ teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon grated garlic
1 portion any salmon (10 to 12 ounces), skin and pin bones removed, cut into 2 pieces
1 cup uncooked black rice, rinsed
Olive oil for drizzling
1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch dice
1 pound beets with tops, peeled and cut into ½-inch dice, greens sliced and reserved
Toasted sesame seeds, sliced avocado, shelled edamame, sliced scallions, sriracha for serving
Make the Dressing and Marinade
Preheat the oven to 425°F with a rack in the center position.
In a small bowl, whisk the miso, rice vinegar, ginger, honey, sesame oil, and garlic to form a paste. Transfer 2 tablespoons of the mixture to a small bowl and reserve for the fish. Whisk in 2 to 4 tablespoons of water into the remaining mixture to form a pourable dressing.
Prepare the Fish
Pat fish dry and evenly coat with the reserved 2 tablespoons of miso paste. Refrigerate while preparing the rice and root vegetables.
Cook the Rice
Meanwhile, in a large pot, combine 6 cups of water, the rice, and 1 teaspoon salt and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat for around 35 to 40 minutes, until tender but chewy. Drain rice using a fine-mesh strainer.
Cook the Vegetables and Fish
Meanwhile, line a rimmed 9-inch by 13-inch baking sheet with parchment paper. Add sweet potatoes and beets (keeping them separate so the beets do not bleed). Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Toss to coat. Bake until nearly tender, about 25 minutes, stirring once or twice.
Scrape off and discard any excess marinade from the fish and place it on the sheet pan in between beets and sweet potatoes. Bake fish for 8 to 10 minutes, until the thickest part of the fish gently flakes but is still a little pink inside, the beets are fork tender, and the sweet potatoes are fork tender and golden at the edges.
Finish and Serve
Brush the fish with some of the ginger-miso dressing and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Divide the rice, beets, beet greens, and sweet potatoes between 2 bowls. Add avocado, shelled edamame, and scallions. Break the salmon into flakes, add to the bowls, and drizzle with the remaining dressing. Serve with Sriracha on the side.
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Pair it Up
Off-dry Riesling is a good match for salty miso and sweet potatoes. For beer drinkers, try a crisp and light Japanese rice lager.
Level It Up
Remove the salmon skin after the fish is done cooking and then roast it until crisp for a crunchy topping to crumble over the bowl.
Change It Up
Buddha bowls are perfect for using up leftover fish and veggies. Toss leftover fish with the salty-sweet dressing before adding to the bowl, and swap grains and add-ins depending on what you have on hand.