Bento no. 23: Parsley lemon sushi with salmon


Bento contents:

  • Parsley and shiso leaves in lemon-flavored sushi with 1 cup white rice cooked with white zakkoku mix (approx: 200cal)
  • Lotus root slices (approx. 20 cal)
  • Salted salmon, about 50 g / 1 3/4 oz (approx. 80 cal)
  • Usuyaki tamago (thin egg omelette) (approx. 80 cal)

Total calories (approx): 380 (how calories are calculated)

Time needed: 20 minutes in the morning, 10-15 the night before

The weather here has been wonderful the last few days, and it’s beginning to feel a bit like spring. I’m pretty sure that that means we’ll have a big snowstorm or something in March, but it’s nice to imagine that we can jump straight to warmer weather.

Spring is a great time for sushi. This is another chirashizushi (see bento no. 20 for another one), where the sushi rice is not formed. Instead of the usual rice vinegar, I used lemon juice as the sour element in the flavoring sauce, and instead of the shiso leaves which are often used in sushi, I used flat leaf parsley. There’a lot of parsley in fact, which almost turns it almost into a rice salad. It has a very refreshing taste. Parsley is bursting with vitamins and such, so in this bento it serves as the green vegetable. The lemon juice adds vitamin C too.

I might normally shred up the salmon and mix it into the rice, but I kept it separate here just because I felt like it.

Here’s the Guy version of the bento, containing about 1 1/2 cups worth of rice and more salmon.


The recipe for usuyaki tamago or thin omelette is given on Just Hungry. Use about 1 egg’s worth of egg mix per person.

Lotus root poached in dashi and vinegar

The lotus root is cooked in a little dashi stock and vinegar the night before and chilled. It lasts for a few days so you can increase the amount if you like.

  • About a 2 inch / 5 cm length of fresh or parboiled lotus root, thinly sliced and cut in half
  • 1 cup dashi stock (you can use water plus 1 tsp. or dashi stock granules)
  • 2 Tbs. rice vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. soy sauce
  • 2 tsp. sugar

Combine all the ingredients except the lotus root and bring to a slow boil. Put in the lotus root slices and simmer for about 5 minutes. Store in the cooking liquid.

Parsley and lemon sushi rice

It’s rather more convenient to make this sushi rice in some quantity. Leftover rice can be well wrapped and refrigerated for a day, or frozen.

  • 2 rice cooker cups worth of cooked rice, optionally with zakkoku mix added (More about zakkokumai. )
  • 1 1/2 cups (about 330ml) of roughly chopped parsley leaves
  • 1/2 cup (110ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice (juice from 1 large lemon)
  • 1 Tbs. honey
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • Pinch dashi granules (optional)

Combine the lemon juice, honey and salt in a small pan and mix over heat until the salt is dissolved.

Put the hot rice in a bowl or hangiri. Pour over the lemon juice mix and mix in well, fluffing the rice up as you go. Add the parsley and mix well. The heat of the rice will wilt down the parsley a bit.


  • Wash the rice and set the timer on your rice cooker, and cook the lotus root the night before. You can also prepare the lemon juice mix and chop up the parsley. In the morning:
  • bake a small piece of salmon per person, sprinkle with salt if you’re using fresh salmon, and bake for about 10 minutes in a toaster oven. (If you don’t have a toaster oven, dry-roast the salmon in a non-stick frying pan.)
  • Mix the hot rice, lemon mix and parsley, as above.
  • Make the usuyaki tamago folowing these instructions, using 1 egg per person.
  • Put the warm sushi rice in the bento box. Allow to cool.
  • Drain the lotus root and put in the bento box.
  • Cool off the salmon a bit and put in the bento box.
  • Shred the usuyaki tamago and arrange on top of the rice.
  • Add some shredded nori if you like.


Note that you can, if you prefer, make the sushi rice the night before, but it will taste a lot better if you make it in the morning. The tamago can also be made in advance…but also tastes better cooked in the morning. Here I am assuming that you are cooking both in the morning.


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Thank you....

for sharing your ideas and recipies! I ‘ve just discovered your website as I was looking for bento boxes! I have started a blog recently whith a very similar approach for loosing weight (healthy food in a bento box) So I was quite surprised to read you….My blog is in french and not very full yet. I would like to put a link to your site if you don’t mind…and maybe translate some of your recipies? Hoping for a visit, SoAn

Hi Soan, please feel free to

Hi Soan, please feel free to link to my site. As for translations, as long as you link back to the original etc., that ‘s ok too. Good luck with your blog!

lotus root

Hi Maki, what a nice bento! I’ve already crossed freezed lotus root bags in some asian supermarket but was afraid not to like the taste. The shape is so nice that I thing, I’ll get some, next time. Could you tell which taste it has (is it like bamboo root?)

lotus root

Hi fossettes! The texture of lotus root really differs according to how long you cook it. Cooked briefly (as in this bento) it’s rather like water chestnut. Cooked longer or grated down (as for the mini-cakes) they turn rather glutinous. Taste wise they are fairly neutral (again, like water chestnut).

thank you, I will try it and

thank you, I will try it and tell you what I think about.

Lotus roots with dashi...


I really wasn’t sure what to expect with the lotus root and dashi recipe. Well, I made it last night and savored it today and it was good! I didn’t trust myself to cut the lotus roots as thinly as possible, so used one of those cheap mandolins from the dollar store. The resulting lotus root slices were quite thin. I cooked it and put it in mason jar and put in fridge. Tasted some slices this morning and put some in my bento lunch. It was nice. Thanks.

Re: Bento no. 23: Parsley lemon sushi with salmon

Many thanks for this very helpful site and all the recipes! I chose this recipe as my first bento and cooked at lunch time, it was delicious! I even got some miso soup to go with it! I found the lotus root a little bland (I found some ready-cooked ones in an Asian store). Is there a way to make them tastier?

Re: Bento no. 23: Parsley lemon sushi with salmon

Is there anything I can use instead of lotus root? I live in a small town with no asian market. (They do sell sushi rice though at the grocery store, go figure.)

Re: Bento no. 23: Parsley lemon sushi with salmon

Sure, just replace the lotus root with any vegetable side dish - there are tons of recipes on this site ^_^

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