Deconstructed Sushi Bowl

How shall I put this?

I’m a bit of a…klutz at times. I missed the coordinated gene, but I got more than my fair share of the clumsy one.

I’ve been dying to make my own sushi for ages, but, psychic that I am, I realized that any roll I tried to wrap would likely fall apart before making it to my mouth.

Why not go for the preemptive strike and deconstruct it before I even get it together? 

Deconstructed Sushi Bowl

I took all of the elements of my favorite sweet potato and avocado sushi roll and plopped them into a one-dish dinner! Salty and chewy seaweed, deliciously sticky rice, creamy fresh avocado, lightly crisped sweet potato slivers, zippy wasabi and earthy, tangy soy sauce came together for perfect quasi-Japanese entrée.

dried edible seaweed

Sticky rice is the key here – it makes the dish more than just a grain topped with veggies and soy sauce. Sticky rice requires a lot of rinsing and pre-soaking, and neither step can be skipped without sacrificing the starchy texture. It’s a bit of a pain in the arse to make, but the end result is worth the bazillion steps.

sushi rice, sweet potato and avocado

I love that you can play around with the ingredients to replicate your favorite roll. I designed the recipe as a vegetarian sushi bowl, but crab, salmon or any other sushi ingredient would be equally impressive!

vegetarian sushi bowl

Sweet Potato and Avocado Deconstructed Sushi Bowl

Vegan, Gluten Free, Serves 3-4


  • 1 cup (dry) sushi rice. DO NOT sub any other type of rice – it won’t get sticky!
  • 2 cups water (plus more for rinsing)
  • 1/2 large sweet potato
  • 1/2 large avocado (Haas is my preference over California for this dish)
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup Mirin
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 2 large strips dried seaweed (I used Lavash)
  • Wasabi and soy sauce to taste


  • Pour your Japanese sushi rice into a small bowl and fill to the brim with water. Stir the rice until the water becomes cloudy; drain and repeat 3-4 times until the water runs clear.
  • Fill the bowl up one last time with water and allow the rice to soak for a minimum of 30 minutes (up to 2 hours is ideal).
  • After rice has soaked, bring two cups of water to a rolling boil in a large pot. Drain rice from soaking water and pour rice into boiling water. Cover tightly and cook for one minute.
  • Reduce heat to medium and cook for 4-5 minutes, leaving the lid tightly on the pot.
  • Turn heat to very low and continue to cook until all of the water is absorbed.
  • Once the water is absorbed, remove pot from heat, remove lid and loosely drape a towel across the top. Allow to cool for 10-20 minutes.
  • Peel, dice and boil your sweet potato. Once boiled, add sesame oil to a small saucepan, stir in sweet potato chunks and lightly brown until the edges begin to crisp.
  • Cube avocado.
  • In a small dish, stir together mirin, sugar and water. Once your rice is room temperature, gently pour mirin mixture over rice (half at a time) and fold into rice.
  • Stir sweet potato and avocado cubes into rice. Plate and garnish with seaweed strips.
  • Serve chilled, room temperature or warm with your choice of sushi condiments.

sushi bowl

Even though the directions sound slightly complicated, the entire process took me no more than an hour to an hour and a half.

Holy wasabi, was the payoff ever worth it – and so much simpler than wrapping a roll!

sticky rice and veggies

What is your absolute all-time favorite sushi roll? I think I’ve made abundantly clear which one mine is!


3 Comments on “Deconstructed Sushi Bowl”

  1. Jenny says:

    I would have never thought to make a deconstructed sushi roll before! Love the idea, it’s so clever. My favorite sushi roll would have to be a rainbow roll 🙂

  2. Sonia says:

    Such a great idea! I love any roll with sweet potato…and also any tempura-fried roll 🙂

  3. I like spider rolls!!! But I love almost all sushi.

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