Brown Rice Bowl with Teriyaki Ocean Trout and Asazuke (Japanese Pickle)

I never used to be that into rice. We’d have it occasionally if the main part of the meal called for it, but I’d rarely base a meal around it. Singapore definitely changed that, now rice is just as comforting and delicious to me as a bowl of pasta is.

This brown rice bowl was inspired by an Adam Liaw recipe which can be found here. I’ve changed up the protein a bit by including some teriyaki ocean trout. Ocean trout is my all time favourite fish (and seafood for that matter) and I’ve missed it a lot as it wasn’t easy to come by in Singapore. The asazuke is definitely based on Adam’s recipe. It is a Japanese style of quick pickle and it adds a great crunch and fresh saltiness to this dish.

I’ve gone very non-traditional with my rice bowl garnishes, taking advantage of some cool roasted rice that I bought on my mini tour of Canberran Asian grocers. Don’t be deterred if you can’t find any roasted rice, just sub some crumbled rice crackers (like Sakata) the texture and crunch is pretty similar.

A big bowl of rice, ocean trout, pickles and crunchy bits on top. This is a big bowl of healthy comfort food for me.


This is a Japanese style dish, but it is definitely non-traditional with the use of the brown rice. You can of course use white rice if you prefer. I’ve used ocean trout fillets, but you could also use salmon if you prefer.



The marinade is a somewhat traditional teriyaki, similar to the one that I used in my Sesame Soba Noodle Bowl. You will need to marinade the fish for at least 4 hours (up to 8 hours) for a really good penetration of flavour. The marinade won’t go to waste, it will later be heated up for a saucey glaze for the rice bowl.



The asazuke is meant to be chunky and rough so don’t be too precious with your sizes. Cut the radishes first and then try to get the cucumber and carrot similar sized chunks.



The wombok should be cut into quite thick chunks too, but this will collapse right down during the pickling process.



Wakame is a dried sea vegetable. You can by it dried and already shredded from Asian grocers and supermarkets with a good Asian section. I got mine from Asian Provisions in Woden. If you can’t find it, you can substitute some pieces of dried kombu that you have cut up with scissors. The wakame will rehydrate and plump up a little during the pickling process and will lend a lovely salty and nori-like flavour to the dish.


quick pickle

Place all of the asazuke ingredients into a sealable bag and then give them a light massage for about 30 seconds or until they start to look wet. Squeeze out as much excess air as possible, seal the bag and then pop it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, or up to 1.5 hours.



You can use ocean trout fillets with or without skin. I’ve tried both and they both work well. If you are using fillets with the skin on, make sure you start cooking the fillets skin side down. If you would like some more detailed ocean trout cooking instructions, check out my Salmon with Creamed Cauliflower recipe here. Salmon and ocean trout have very similar textures and cook in exactly the same way.


ocean trout

Don’t worry if the trout blackens a little (it looks more cooked and black in this photo than mine actually was) that’s just the sugars in the marinade caramelising.



These are the roasted rice snacks that I got from a Korean grocer. Some crumbled rice crackers would be a great alternative.


brown rice bowl

To assemble the rice bowls, flake the ocean trout into large pieces then place on top of the rice in bowls. Pour a small amount of the teriyaki sauce over each serve and then top with the asazuke, snow pea shoots and roasted rice snacks.



Serve with extra asazuke on the side.


brown rice bowl with teriyaki ocean trout


Brown Rice Bowl with Teriyaki Ocean Trout and Asazuke (Japanese Pickle) – Adapted from an Adam Liaw Recipe

Ingredients – Serves 2-3

For the Teriyaki Ocean Trout

  • 2 x 200g ocean trout fillets. Alternatively salmon can be used.
  • 1/3 cup of mirin
  • 1/3 cup of light soy sauce
  • 1 tsp of raw sugar


For the Asazuke

  • ½ tsp of fine salt
  • 1 tbs of dried and shredded wakame. Alternatively use kombu.
  • ½ cup of roughly chopped wombok cabbage
  • ¼ cup of roughly chopped baby cucumbers. Approximately 1 baby cucumber.
  • ¼ cup of roughly chopped carrot. Approximately less than 1 normal-sized carrot.
  • ¼ cup of roughly chopped radish. Approximately 3 small radishes.


For the Rice and Garnish

  • 1 cup of brown rice
  • Crumbled roasted rice snack for garnish. Alternatively use crumbled rice crackers.
  • Small handful of snow pea shoots (aka Dou Miao)



  1. To marinade the fish, place the mirin, soy sauce and sugar into a sealable bag or bowl. Shake or lightly stir to start to dissolve the sugar and then add the fish fillets.
  2. Seal the bag or cover the bowl and then refrigerate to marinate for 4-8 hours. Shake the bag or turn the fish occasionally if able.
  3. To make the asazuke add all of the ingredients to a medium sized sealable bag then seal and lightly massage for a short time until the vegetables start to look wet. Remove any excess air from the bag and then reseal and refrigerate for ½ an hour up to 1½ hours.
  4. About 40 minutes before serving time, start cooking the rice as per the packet instructions. Brown rice will take about 25 minutes to cook via the absorption method with 5 minutes resting time added. At this time, also take the fish out of the fridge to help it come up to room temperature.
  5. Once the rice has been cooking for about 15 minutes, remove the fish from the marinade liquid and then transfer the liquid to a small saucepan. Heat over a medium heat until the sauce boils and then reduce and simmer uncovered for 3-5 minutes or until it has thickened very slightly. Be careful to only reduce the sauce slightly so that it does not become too salty. Turn off the heat once done but leave on the stove top to reheat when serving.
  6. Once the rice is almost finished, heat a lightly oiled, large frying pan over medium high heat and cook the fish fillets. Start cooking skin side down if you are using fillets with the skin on.
  7. Cook the fish for about 2 minutes on each side for medium rare or cook to your preferred doneness.
  8. Once the fish has finished cooking, rest the fillets for at least 2 minutes. Use this time to finish off the rice and really quickly reheat the teriyaki sauce by putting it back onto a high heat for a minute or so.
  9. To assemble, flake the ocean trout into large pieces then place this on top of the rice in bowls. Pour a small amount of the teriyaki sauce over each serve and then top with the asazuke, snow pea shoots and roasted rice snacks. Serve with extra asazuke on the side. Best served as soon as made.





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Hi! I’m Taryn. The Wooden Spoons is a food blog and collection of wooden spoons, recipes and stories. I’m a Canberra fan-girl with a passion for all things food. I love South East Asian food, fusion food done well and slow cooked anything. I don’t get quinoa, have a mild phobia of milk touching my skin and custard from a package freaks me out. Thanks for joining me on my cooking and food adventures.
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