Spicy Salmon Buddha Bowls {low-carb}

Last Updated on December 15, 2022 by Kayla

This Salmon Buddha Bowl recipe is fun, healthy, and loaded with flavor! 🍲 Easily customize to fit your dietary preferences, including low-carb, keto, paleo, gluten-free, dairy-free, and more.

I love Asian-inspired buddha bowls like this because it’s interactive, and everyone can build their own. It makes for a fun family meal or date-night-in.

And, just in case you’re intimidated by cooking the perfect salmon fillet, check out my step-by-step instructions here.

Spicy salmon buddha bowl

What is a buddha bowl?

While “buddha bowl” doesn’t have a specific definition, the dish consists of primarily plant-based whole foods. Buddha bowls are popular among vegans and vegetarians, though following a “plant-based” diet doesn’t necessarily rule out meat or fish. For this reason, you’ll notice many variations – some with meat and some without.

Unlike a salad, buddha bowls don’t typically contain salad greens outside of a garnish such as microgreens or arugula. And compared to a poke bowl, known for its staple ingredient – raw, marinated fish – buddha bowls are more likely to contain cooked fish. You can think of this recipe, for instance, as a cooked salmon poke bowl. 🥢

Aside from the variety in meat and protein sources, buddha bowls tend to be colorful, consisting of an assortment of vegetables, mostly raw but sometimes cooked. They may or may not contain a grain or starch, such as rice or legumes. Flavorful sauces might also be hit or miss depending on the recipe. As you can see, the options are endless!

To recap, buddha bowls don’t follow a specific guideline; however, some common themes include:

  • plant-based ingredients
  • may or may not include meat
  • variety of colors, textures, and flavors
  • enjoyed hot or cold
  • served in a bowl or deep plate

Overall, buddha bowls are made from minimally processed foods, making them a healthy, customizable meal everyone will enjoy!

Salmon buddha bowl ingredients
Salmon buddha bowl ingredients

Asian buddha bowl ingredients

This salmon buddha bowl recipe contains a combination of raw and cooked vegetables. You can make the dish as simple or complex as you wish. Below are my suggestions for assembling a build-your-own buddha bowl buffet!

I typically prepare the base of this recipe {rice} two ways.

First, I make a low-carb/keto/paleo base using cauliflower rice. I love using the frozen riced cauliflower stir fry from the Tattooed Chef I purchased at Costco. It’s perfectly seasoned and super convenient!

Second, for my dear husband, I make white rice. He has yet to board the cauliflower rice train. 😆 To add flavor, I mix in a couple of spoonfuls of unsweetened coconut milk. I like to use unsweetened canned coconut milk because the consistency is creamy and not too sweet.

Vegetables

Ok, now here comes the fun part – color! 🌈 Vegetables offer up a host of nutritional benefits and take center stage when it comes to making this healthy salmon buddha bowl recipe. I used simple ingredients for the sake of ease {and price!}, and again, you can make this recipe as fancy as you’d like.

Aim for a rainbow of color to get the best photo-friendly bowls, and choose at least 2-3 vegetables from the list below:

  • bell pepper
  • broccoli
  • cabbage
  • carrot
  • celery
  • cilantro
  • cucumber
  • green onion
  • jalapeno
  • microgreens
  • mushroom
  • pickled ginger
  • radish
  • seaweed
  • snap or snow peas

More options {not technically vegetables}:

  • avocado
  • chickpeas
  • edamame
  • green peas

Have fun with it! Experiment with a variety of vegetable preparations, shapes, and textures. For example, you can shred or dice vegetables and opt for pickled vegetables for extra zing. Try introducing new vegetables into your diet using this salmon buddha bowl recipe as your canvas!

Spicy mayo

Last but not least – I love garnishing my Asian buddha bowls with sesame seeds and, of course, spicy mayo! After all, that’s what makes it a spicy salmon bowl. 🔥 If you’re not fond of heat and spice, omit the spicy mayo and/or replace it with soy sauce or your favorite teriyaki. If you avoid gluten, opt for liquid aminos^ which is a gluten-free soy sauce alternative.

This spicy mayo recipe is unique because it’s free from inflammatory seed oils that conventional mayonnaise is generally made with. Instead, you’ll have a healthier, anti-inflammatory buddha bowl sauce by using mayo made with avocado or olive oil!

A couple of considerations when purchasing your mayo:

  1. Check the ingredients list for other oils. Even though the label says “avocado oil mayonnasie” or “made with olive oil” doesn’t mean it’s free of the not-so-good oils like soybean oil. Two mayos I trust are Sir Kensington’s avocado oil mayonnaise^ and Primal Kitchen mayo with avocado oil^.
  2. Expect to pay more

Don’t sweat it if the extra cost isn’t in your budget! You can still make this recipe with any ol’ mayonnaise you have laying around. And now you’ll know the differences next time when perusing the ingredient label of your staple mayo. 🤓

This spicy mayo recipe is gluten-free and keto-friendly, just like most spicy or sriracha mayos you’d find at the supermarket. So, if you are following a low carb or keto protocol, this spicy mayo makes for a great topping! I love using it to top cauliflower fried rice, burgers, chicken, salmon, stir fry – you name it. I literally keep a squeeze bottle^ in the fridge at all times! 😆 It’s that good!

Keto Spicy Mayo Ingredients
Keto spicy mayo ingredients

Spicy mayo recipe

This low carb, keto spicy mayo is incredibly simple and only consists of two ingredients:

Mix to combine and adjust to suit your ideal level of spiciness. 🔥 We like things spicy in our house, so I mixed approximately 1 cup mayo with 1/4 cup hot sauce. Mix to combine and transfer any leftovers to a squeeze bottle^ if you’ve got one handy!

Yours truly,

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Spicy salmon rice bowl

Spicy Salmon Buddha Bowls

This Salmon Buddha Bowl recipe is fun, healthy, and flavorful! Customize it to fit your dietary preferences including low-carb, keto, paleo and more.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Chinese, Japanese
Servings 3
Calories 560 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 Tbsp avocado oil
  • 3 6-oz salmon fillets
  • coarse salt
  • pepper
  • 1 pkg frozen cauliflower stir fry
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk canned, optional

Vegetables

  • 1/2 cup carrots shredded
  • 1/2 cup celery sliced at a diagonal
  • 1/2 cup cucumber diced
  • 1/2 cup radishes sliced thin
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas thawed
  • 2 sheets roasted seaweed torn into pieces
  • 1 jalapeno sliced thin

Spicy Mayo

  • 1/4 cup avocado oil mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp hot sauce

Garnish

  • Sesame seeds optional
  • Pickled ginger optional

Instructions
 

  • In a large saute pan, heat avocado oil over medium-high heat. Preheat oven to 425F.
  • Pat salmon fillets dry with paper towel. Season both sides with coarse salt and pepper.
  • Sear salmon fillet skin side up (if fillet has skin) until half-way cooked through.
  • Transfer salmon to a baking sheet, seared/cooked side facing up. Roast for 5-10 minutes until internal temperature reaches 140F.
  • While salmon is cooking, increase heat of saute pan to high and add frozen cauliflower rice mixture and coconut milk (if using). Cook until heated thorugh, about 8-10 minutes.
  • Once salmon is removed from oven, let rest for 5 minutes. While salmon is resting, you can begin to assemble your bowl by layering cauliflower rice and assorted vegetables.
  • Remove skin from salmon and add to bowl. Drizzle with spicy mayo and garnish with sesame seeds and pickled ginger, if desired.

Spicy Mayo

  • In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise and hot sauce. Mix until combined.

Nutrition Facts

Per serving: 560 calories, 40g fat, 13g net carbohydrates, 40g protein
Keyword dairy free, gluten free, keto, low carb, paleo

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