I begged my sister, Jennifer, to share her recipe for sushi bowls, because it’s pure genius. Instead of trying to roll sushi at home, you take the same ingredients and toss them in a bowl. Ta-da! People have been known to go back for seconds and thirds, so be prepared. – Rebecca

By Jennifer Rather.

One of my greatest memories of living in Boston was a party hosted by two friends who’d just learned how to roll their own nigiri sushi and invited seven of us over to try it. They probably had 10 pounds of salmon, tuna, shrimp and crab. There was enough rice to sustain a small Chinese village for a couple of weeks.

It was an enormous affair that involved lots of cursing from them and muffled laughter from us. But we witnessed a major triumph when that first roll stayed glued together.

It was also a moment of epiphany for me, because that sushi was good. Not just, “Not bad, I won’t barf, ” but “Where can I get more of this?”

When I found Husband, he was a sushi virgin and had no interest in changing. I started him out slowly with a Philadelphia roll, filled with cream cheese and a sliver of crab.

He did not die or spit.

From there, we moved on to a California roll, and then I slowly started introducing him to other maki sushi rolls and nigiri sushi.

Suddenly, he was bona fide. He’d eat eel, octopus and things I wouldn’t touch with chopsticks or anything else.

Finally, I’d found something he really loved that did not contain barbecue sauce or peanut butter. But you can’t have non-stop sushi dinners on a bait budget.

I needed to learn how to make sushi.

Making sushi has never been one of my life goals. It’s akin to appreciating master artists, because I am not one, nor do I care to become one. I still remembered watching my friends cuss those sushi rolls. Not something I’d want to repeat in front of the four minors living in our home.

So, I started making Slacker Sushi Bowls. All of my favorite sushi ingredients in beautiful bowl form. No special rolling mat required.

Hot damn.

All you need is brown rice and your favorite maki sushi ingredients. I like to put out small bowls of cut carrots and cucumber, avocado, crab, shrimp, cream cheese, toasted Nori and sesame seeds, and then I hand everyone a bowl with a scoop of brown rice in it and let them go nuts.

Each bite is like its own roll, made just for you. No profanity required.

Slacker Sushi Bowls

Courtesy of Jennifer Rather (Ezra Pound Cake)

Makes 4 servings

    For Rice:

  • 1 cup uncooked brown rice
  • 4 teaspoons rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    Toppings:

  • 3/4 cup carrots, cut into matchsticks
  • 3/4 cup cucumbers, cut into matchsticks
  • 1 avocado, peeled, pitted and chopped
  • 3/4 cup cooked crab, cooled and chopped
  • 3/4 cup cooked shrimp, cooled and chopped
  • 2 to 3 ounces cream cheese, coarsely chopped into 1/4-inch chunks
  • 1 square sheet toasted Nori seaweed, cut into small pieces with scissors*
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted
  • Optional: soy sauce, chili sauce or wasabi*
  1. For the Rice: Cook rice according to package directions. Let cool to room temperature.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the rice vinegar, sugar and salt. Microwave 30-45 seconds. Stir until the sugar dissolves.
  3. Pour vinegar solution on rice, and stir to combine.
  4. To Assemble the Bowls: Spoon 1/4 cup of rice into each bowl. Top with your choice of carrots, cucumbers, avocado, crab, shrimp, cream cheese, Nori and sesame seeds. (If you’d like, add soy sauce, chili sauce or wasabi, to taste.) Serve immediately.

*Gluten-Free Tip: Double-check to make sure your Nori, soy sauce, chili sauce and wasabi are gluten-free.