Get your bags packed and get ready for a journey through the wonderful world of rice bowls. Carolina® Rice is here to take you on a culinary tour of the world with 7 international rice bowl recipes. From Asia to the Mediterranean, the tropical islands, and back home, we have a cuisine to suit every taste. Whether you’re cooking for friends and family, or just want to try something new for yourself, these lunch and supper rice bowls will satisfy both your creative side and your taste buds. But first, let’s define a rice bowl.

Where Do Rice Bowls Come from?

Although it’s hard to say exactly where and when rice bowls first appeared, it’s widely believed that they originated in Japan and made their way through Korea, China, and later other parts of Asia.

Typical Recipe Components of a Rice Bowl

One of the benefits of rice bowl recipes is that they are ideal for those of us who enjoy being creative and innovative in the kitchen. When it comes to rice bowl components, the sky is the limit, as long as you follow a few fundamental guidelines.

  1. Use rice as a basis. It may seem self-explanatory, but the dish is named ‘rice bowl’ for a reason. Make sure to cook a healthy serving of rice so that it gets center stage in your dinner.
  2. Fresh is Best. Remember: The success of your rice bowl is largely determined by the freshness of your ingredients, so choose wisely.
  3. Include a portion of protein. Korean rice bowl recipes often include beef, although chicken rice bowl recipes are also popular throughout Asia. Perhaps the most common source of protein in rice bowls is fish, particularly tuna and salmon. Vegans and vegetarians, on the other hand, opt for ingredients such as beans or tofu.
  4. Spice it up. Most rice bowls will incorporate a touch of spice. Sriracha, wasabi, chipotle, chili, and harissa are good ways to bring some heat to your bowl. 
  5. Innovate. Rice bowl dishes are intended for the dynamic. Bold flavors demand creativity. Consider using unconventional components. #Playwithyourfood and experiment with fruit and berries. 

Now that we’ve got to grips with what constitutes a rice bowl, let’s set off on our journey!

1: Mexican Vegan Tinga Bowl

The first stop on our trip is to our neighbors in Mexico. Few culinary traditions have had as great an influence on American cooking as that of Mexico. This is probably because Mexican dishes are fun to prepare and use ingredients creatively, as this Vegan Tinga Rice Bowl shows. Using a variety of spices synonymous with Mexican food, it’s a dish bursting with flavor. 

vegan tinga rice bowl with avocado
Vegan Tinga Rice Bowl

2: Hawaiian Tropical Flavors

Next up, we take you to the Hawaiian Islands for a tropical treat. This Jasmine Rice and Quinoa Breakfast Bowl is a great way to kick-start your day. It melds the aromas of jasmine rice and nutty quinoa with popular Hawaiian fruits such as mango, pineapple, and coconut, bringing zest to your breakfast table.

3: East Asian Salmon Rice Bowl 

As we approach the spiritual home of the rice bowl, we have something special for you. This Spicy Salmon Brown Rice Bowl is a classic option for connoisseurs. Tender fish and Carolina® Wholegrain Brown Rice make for a perfect pairing.

4: Japanese Poke Bowl in Minutes

Now that we’ve arrived in the historical birthplace of the rice bowl, what better opportunity to enjoy a classic: the Sticky Rice Tuna Poke Bowl. Rice bowl meals like these have become the epitome of this culinary trend. Made with miso paste, orange juice, asparagus, ginger, shredded carrots, edamame beans, and toasted sesame seeds, it adds a whole host of flavors to meals. What’s more, it only takes 25 minutes to prepare.

5: Middle-Eastern Rice Bowl Adaptation

Now it’s time for a U-turn as we travel across Asia to the Middle East. One of the glories of the modern world is the spread and evolution of kitchen traditions, as evidenced by our Fried Rice Bowl with Falafel and Tahini. Packed with delectable fruits and vegetables—kale, cauliflower, garlic, onions, pomegranate, and avocado, to mention a few—what sets this rice bowl apart is the addition of crunchy falafel, which adds a distinct texture to the dining experience.

White bowl filled with fried rice, kale, deep fried falafel, avocado and pomegranate seeds topped with tahini sauce
Fried Rice Bowl with Tahini and Falafel

6: Greece – Unique Souvlaki and Rice Recipe

We travel across the Mediterranean Sea to discover what the Greeks have to bring to the rice bowl table. This Grilled Chicken Souvlaki Rice Bowl combines all of the flavors of the Mediterranean. With juicy cherry tomatoes and succulent souvlaki chicken, this dish is sure to delight.

7: USA – Rice à la Tex-Mex

Finally, what better location to end our journey than back home? Appropriately, this Simple Tex Mex Rice Bowl Recipe contains a hint of our beginnings. Prepare to consume flavorful minced beef, black beans, and cheddar cheese over Carolina® Ready to Heat Cilantro Limón Jasmine Rice. It’s the ideal meal to come home to!And so concludes our tour through the wonderfully dynamic world of the rice bowl. Visit our blog for further cooking tips and kitchen inspiration.

Tex Mex Rice Bowl
Simple Tex Mex Rice Bowl Recipe
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