TikTok trend explained: Emily Mariko salmon sushi bowl

It's difficult to scroll through TikTok at the moment without seeing someone taking leftover salmon out of the fridge, scooping some rice into a bowl, and reheating it with an ice cube.

The sudden abundance of salmon rice bowls on your feed is thanks to influencer Emily Mariko, who shared the recipe of herself making her lunch at the end of September.

The video now has over 3.4 million views on the platform with thousands posting their recreations of the dish.

The 29-year-old's follower numbers skyrocketed since the clip became popular, with her now boasting almost five million followers.

Emily Mariko shown in her viral video. Source: TikTok/@emilymariko
Emily Mariko's video has been viewed over 56 million times. Source: TikTok/@emilymariko

What is the actual trend?

The original video shows Emily pulling the salmon out of the fridge, mashing it with a fork then adding some rice on top.

She then gets a single ice cube out and puts it in the centre of the rice (reportedly to steam the rice), covers it with baking paper and microwaves it.

Once that's done, she adds soy sauce, kewpie mayonnaise and sriracha. She then mixes everything together and eats with seaweed and avocado with kimchi on the side.

The clip is captioned "my favourite lunch of the week" and apparently it is TikTok's too - with over 56.5 million views on the video.

To recreate Emily Mariko's salmon bowl


  • One fillet of cooked salmon

  • One cup of white rice

  • Baking paper

  • An ice cube (if you're using leftover rice)

  • Soy sauce

  • Kewpie mayonnaise

  • Sriracha

  • Seaweed

  • Kimchi (optional)

  • Avocado (optional)


1. Using a fork, mash the cooked salmon on a plate and transfer it to a bowl.

2. If the rice needs reheating, Emily suggests placing an ice cube on top followed by a sheet of baking paper, which will steam the rice.

3. Once removed, add your soy sauce, Kewpie mayonnaise, and sriracha and mix it all together.

4. (Optional) Add sliced avocado and kimchi on the side and eat with dried seaweed.

What's with the ice cube?

Although millions of users were enchanted by the recipe, an equal amount were amazed and confused by the addition of the ice cube to the meal, it's a method meant to prevent rice from drying out in the microwave when it's being reheated.

Christopher Arturo, chef-instructor at the Institute of Culinary Education told the HuffPost it copies a common method of reheating rice by covering it with a bit of water.

“Over time, rice dries out and the exterior can be crunchy, almost hard,” Mr Arturo told the publication.

“Putting the ice cube and cover on top before microwaving creates steam, which will fully reheat the food.”

Biggest videos of the trend so far

Emily's original video is the biggest one so far, although there are some notable mentions that have racked up tens of thousands of views.

There are almost 30 million videos with the hashtag #salmonricebowl and 82 million for #salmonbowl.

Some users showing simpler or more affordable versions of the dish while others are sharing vegan, vegetarian and non-salmon options.

Sadly, a few have found supermarkets are sold out of all the necessary ingredients, posting videos of shelves out of stock of seaweed, Kewpie mayonnaise, and Sriracha.

Why is the trend so popular?

Tiktok is known for kicking off food trends, recipes, and hacks so if an achievable (and delicious) dish is seen it's sure to be tried!

TikTokers also love a challenge — and why not challenge yourself in the kitchen?

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