TikTok’s Emily Mariko Salmon Rice Bowl is Overtaken by Emily Mariko

TikTok’s Emily Mariko content has increased in volume over the past 2 weeks.

three panel image showing lifestyle youtuber emily mariko shredding salmon, drizzling it with kewpie mayo, and taking a bite of rice with seaweed

TikTok’s icon Emily Mariko was born after she posted a viral video in which she transformed leftover salmon and rice to make a lunchbox.


Emily Mariko — a lifestyle content creator who posts about cooking, style, and fitness — is suddenly everywhere on TikTok.

Mariko is an a YouTuber with 39,000 SubscribersThe platform was founded by a 2012 user who began posting in 2012. In September, her profile on TikTok shot up after the app’s algorithm pushed her videos onto numerous For You Pages. SocialBlade data, Mariko’s following skyrocketed from 223,000 followers on September 16 to 2.4 million on Wednesday — an approximately ten-fold increase in just a fortnight (She’s now on Substack too

This incredible leap is partly due to Mariko’s viral video, posted September 21. The video shows Mariko making lunch bowls with leftover salmon, rice. Kewpie mayo, Kewpie mustard, Sriracha and Kewpie mayo. It is served with roasted seaweed, avocado and kimchi.

It is a simple recipe that draws on Japanese cuisine (Mariko is Japanese). There’s also an ice in-the-microwave step which helps to reheat the rice. Mariko developed the recipe in real-time using TikTok. A version of this dish was posted on August 25,Commenters suggested that she add avocado, Kewpie mayo and an ice cube to steam the rice. She has since done so. Later iterations

Mariko enjoys other bowl videos, where she eats it with various sides. She also uses pickles to replace the meat. takuanInstead of kimchi, you can use yellow pickled daikon, radish. 

However, none of those videos became as viral as the September 21, version which has been liked by 3.7million people and viewed 34.4 million times. Mariko posted the video one week ago. TikTok has been holding a corner of it in a chokehold for a week. 


Mariko’s salmon rice bowl became a viral sensation and eventually became a TikTok food trend.

comments on one of emily mariko's videos of her making salmon; they say things like "y'all know what tomorrow is" alongside ice cube emoji, or make comments like "tomorrow is... LEFTOVER SALMON BOWL DAY." mariko has responded commenting particularly on the emoji usage in the comments

Mariko’s video in which she prepares salmon has received a lot of attention from viewers.


Recreation This is Mariko’s Dish You can find it here sprung Up All More TikTok.

Mariko posts almost every meal she prepares on TikTok. This makes it easy to see when Mariko is making salmon for dinner, and hinting at leftovers the following day. Users are flooding Mariko’s comments with excitement over her salmon rice bowl obsession. 

TikTok has also commented on the trend by tweeting about the recipe, and commenting on one her videos. 

The TikTok food trend is well documented. Other foods such as Dalgona Coffee in South Korea, and the TikTok-famous TikTok-famous Feta pasta in Finland have followed similar routes. 


TikTokers find it so routine that they love it. @jazsocial_Have you ever seen?, who creates content about social media trends and other topics? Mariko made some observations about Mariko’s bowl falling down.

Mariko’s dish is an example of a TikTok-style Japanese food. Or, season the rice and serve it with kimchi. takuan, or fish, or seaweed isn’t novel – it’s a staple of Asian cuisine. 

Mariko’s method was exactly what I tried to replicate at home. I used leftover salmon, rice, and microwaved it with an icecube. Then I season the dish with Sriracha and Kewpie Japanese mayonnaise. You’ll have to try it! It turned out delicious as expected. Sriracha and Kewpie mayonnaiseTo Not taste good, or Rice with seaweed roastedMariko’s instructions are very clear and easy to follow.

I decided to try the famous lunch — and began by cooking salmon and rice the night before, in true Mariko fashion.

a bowl of rice, a cooked salmon fillet, an avocado, kewpie mayonnaise, kikkoman soy sauce, and sriracha on a wooden countertop

Before I started cooking, I collected the primary ingredients for Mariko’s rice dish (minus the roasted seaweeds and kimchi).

Palmer Haasch

Mariko’s salmon leftovers are a hallmark of her recipe. I prepared a salmon fillet with leftover salmon. Cooks’ Illustrated: Oven-roasting MethodKeep it simple by using salt, pepper, olive oil, and keeping the flavors subtle.

Because I was going to shred the salmon the next morning, I didn’t bother trimming the skin. To reheat the salmon the next day, I prepared short-grain white rice the night before.

I got all my ingredients together and was ready for the start. 

I microwaved salmon and rice with small ice cubes, a piece parchment paper and some salt.

a white bowl with shredded salmon, white rice, and three intact ice cubes on a wooden countertop

When I took the salmon bowl out of the microwave, my ice cubes were still intact.

Palmer Haasch

Finally it was time for Mariko to show us the rice reheating tip she uses in the video. This trick was given to her by a commenter. You left the tip on an August TikTok

My ice cubes were a little smaller than Mariko’s so I put three on top of the rice and covered the bowl with parchment paper. I cooked it for 45 seconds and then added another 20 to get it warm enough.

When I took the microwave bowl out, my ice cubes were still intact. This is due to the crystal structure of ice. America’s Test Kitchen reported — microwaves operate by vibrating molecules in food (mostly water ones), but the molecular structure of ice means that the water molecules within don’t vibrate and leave the ice intact. This is a particular method of reheating. Spread on TikTok.

I usually heat rice by covering it with a damp towel. But, the ice cube/parchment-paper method works surprisingly well. The salmon did heat up slightly quicker than the rice, but that was not a problem and it was well worth the inconvenience. 

I used Sriracha, soy sauce, and Kewpie mayo. However, it was not as graceful as Mariko.

a white bowl with shredded salmon and white rice, drizzled with soy sauce, Sriracha (a red sauce), and Kewpie mayonnaise (a white sauce). it's a little pretty but still messy.

Although my drizzling wasn’t as uniform or visually pleasing as Mariko’s was, it did the job.

Palmer Haasch

Part of the appeal of Mariko’s video is the way that she drizzles her condiments — specifically the red Sriracha and white Kewpie mayonnaise — artfully over the salmon-rice mixture. 

My version was not quite as pretty, but it did the job. My mixture looked similar to Mariko’s.

Mariko’s salmon Rice Bowl is an excellent weekday meal or quick dinner.

two side by side images: left shows a bowl of reddish colored salmon and rice with bright green pieces of avocado in it, a small bowl of red kimchi to the side as well as a plastic container of roasted seaweed sheets; right shows a close up of a bite of rice and salmon wrapped in a sheet of nori, held by chopsticks

The bowl came with avocado, kimchi, seaweed, and roasted seaweed.

Palmer Haasch

I had to finish Mariko’s lunch by dicing up an avocado. It was beautiful, but not quite ripe yet. 

It was difficult to resist eating it immediately. I opened a second packet of roasted seaweed just before I had even finished the bowl. 

Mariko’s salmon-rice bowl was as good as I expected. It took me less than five minutes to prepare, even though I didn’t take photos all the time.

I might tweak the process by heating the rice and salmon separately, or even using fresh rice. You could also serve the bowl with extra vegetables such as cucumbers or seasoned ramen eggs. (ajitsuke tamago, Here’s a link to Just One Cookbook.), or adding green onions — whatever might be in my fridge.

While deviating from Mariko’s process means that you’re not necessarily taking part in the trend anymore — putting food on rice isn’t a novel invention, nor a TikTok trend in and of itself — her content seems to be making an impact.

TikTok doesn’t sell Emily Mariko a diet. Mashable’s Tim Marcin wrote. It’s the aspirational idea that you can make food that’s filling, healthy, and delicious — something that’s not always common among lifestyle influencers, Emilia Petrarca of The Cut reported.

Mariko’s salmon rice bowl was a great lunch break. I had to pause my workday, even though I was taking photos all day. It allowed me to eat food that actually satisfied me and tasted good. This is a good achievement for TikTok food trends. 

You can read more stories by Insider’s Digital Culture Desk.

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