The crazy-fresh fish and rice bowls at the fast-casual New York City spot Chikarashi have a healthy secret—and it’s mayo. But this isn’t your average dollop. Chef Michael Lim uses a sichuan “white” mayo made with more egg whites than egg yolks, with a few key spices to add a flavorful punch.
“Most of the mayo that people consume in this country is bought commercially made, with various ingredients and preservatives, which we don’t use,” says Lim. “Also, the amount of egg yolks and sugars is substantially less, and we our own infused oils for flavor.”
The result is a mayo that’s big on spicy flavor but surprisingly delicate, lacking any of that rich, custard-y feeling of yolk-based mayo—perfect foil for Chikarashi’s fresh fish. At the restaurant, the chefs toss it with slices of fresh salmon to top the popular Sichuan Salmon Bowl, but it’s also the perfect finishing touch on fish tacos, tossed with Asian noodles and crunchy vegetables, or spread on a baked salmon fillet.
If you’ve never made mayo from scratch, you may be surprised at how simple it is: The process of emulsion turns eggs and oil into one creamy, cohesive mixture right before your eyes. The trick is to drizzle the oil in slowly, so it can be evenly and fully incorporated into the egg mixture.
Keep reading to get the game-changing spicy salmon bowl recipe—and to watch a video of how it’s done.
Chikarashi’s salmon bowl with sichuan white mayo
For the daikon radish pickles
4 cups soy sauce
1 cup rice wine vinegar
1 cup nikiri sake
1 cup mirin
1 tsp Yuzu juice (or lime and lemon juice)
1 tsp orange juice
12 dried bird chilis
1 sheet of kombu
1 large daikon radish, thinly sliced
For the sichuan mayo
2 cups dried bird chili
1 tsp sichuan peppercorns
1 tsp sansho pepper
3 cups soy oil (or any vegetable oil)
3 egg whites
Salt (to taste)
1/2 tsp sugar
Splash rice wine vinegar
Juice from 1/2 lemon
For the salmon bowl
8 oz. wild salmon fillet, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
4 Tbsp kosher salt
2 Tbsp sugar
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/4 cup bonito flakes, crumbled
1 small white onion, thinly sliced
3 cups cooked, short-grain sushi rice
2 Tbsp furikake
1 scallion, thinly sliced
1. Make the daikon radish pickles: In a large jar, stir together soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, nikiri sake, mirin, yuzu juice, daidai juice, 12 dried bird chilis, and kombu. Refrigerate for one week.
2. Make the sichuan mayo: Add dried bird chili, sichuan peppercorns, sansho pepper, and soy oil into a blender and puree until smooth. Let chili-infused oil rest for one day. Add egg yolk and whites, rice wine vinegar, lemon juice, and sugar into a blender. With blender running, slowly add sichuan oil until emulsified. Season to taste with salt and more sugar, if desired. Refrigerate in an airtight container, up to two weeks.
3. In a small bowl, stir together four tablespoons kosher salt and two tablespoons sugar. Toss the salmon with the salt-sugar mixture until completely coated and refrigerate, three hours. Rinse salmon and pat dry. Toss salmon with onion and desired amount of sichuan mayo, season with salt.
4. Make panko breadcrumbs: In a small skillet, heat vegetable oil until shimmering. Add panko breadcrumbs and bonito flakes and stir until breadcrumbs are golden, three to four minutes.
5. Arrange bowl: In each bowl, scoop up one heaping cup rice, sprinkle with furikake. Top with daikon radish pickles, scallions and salmon mixture. Sprinkle with toasted panko.