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Poke Bowl

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    Are you ready for a satisfying bowl of deliciousness? Try this delicious Tuna and Salmon Poke Bowl recipe at home. Also, plenty of ideas on how to build a fantastic poke bowl for DIY Poke Party. 

    Poke Bowl and edamame on the wooden table.

    If you follow the trendy foods list closely, you probably have heard or eaten a bowl of poke by now. This beloved Hawaiian favorite is sweeping up a craze across the nation that has everyone talking. In Northern California itself, we’re seeing food trucks, trendy cafes and fancy restaurants serving up poke bowls with modern twists. The level of passion for poke is strong. Many of my friends cannot stop raving about it and how they can eat poke bowl everyday. I can see why.

    The good news is, poke is incredibly easy to make at home, so long you have access to fresh quality fish. If you’re all about big, abundant bowls of colorful food, I hope I’ll win you over with today’s poke bowl recipe. You don’t have to wait in line at the restaurant or fly to Hawaii to enjoy this delicious invention, because the best poke bowl can be made at home.

    Watch How To Make Poke Bowl (Recipe) ポケボウルの作り方

    Refreshing and delicious tuna and salmon Poke Bowl recipe. This easy recipe is great for parties (DIY Poke Bowl Party!) or to enjoy as a one dish meal. It only takes 15 minutes to prepare.

    What’s Poke?

    Poké (pronounced POKE-AY, not POKE-EE) is chunks of raw fish marinated in soy sauce and sesame oil, tossed with sesame seeds and seaweed. However, it can mean anything chunked as poke comes from the verb “to section, slice, or cut” in the Hawaiian language. Popular seafood used for poke includes ahi (yellowfin tuna), he’e (octopus, tako) and aku (skipjack tuna, katsuo), and salmon.

    With heavy influences from Japanese and other Asian cuisines, poke represents the diverse and multifaceted culture of Hawaii. Now that poke is being spread all over the country, the dish is taking on another whole new level of interpretation. Whether you prefer a classic Hawaiian poke or a modern version, I believe poke is here to stay.

    Poke Bowl with shiso on the table.

    One Dish Meal – Poke Bowl!

    Poke is often served as an appetizer like a salad, but you can make it into a wholesome one dish meal by serving poke on top of steamed rice, like Japanese rice bowl Donburi. If you prefer a lighter version, you could serve poke over kale salad, leafy green salad, chopped romaine or quinoa instead of steamed rice. The possibilities are endless!

    For the most basic components of the dressing, you just need soy sauce and sesame oil. There are many variations you can get creative with. Ponzu sauce, sriracha, gochujang, wasabi, grated ginger juice are just some of the seasonings you can work with. Feel free to experiment and find your favorite. My family loves rice vinegar in the sauce, so I always dash in a few splashes. The vinegar adds a light and refreshing tang, a bit like salad dressing.

    If you’re gluten intolerant, poke can be easily made gluten-free by just switching regular soy sauce to gluten free soy sauce.

    Poke Bowl with soy bean and avocado on the table.

    DIY Poke Bowl Party

    Considering how popular poke is nowadays, you can make it a fun event to invite friends over for a DIY (Do It Yourself) Poke Bowl Party. It’s super easy and quick to prepare for a large crowd.

    All you need to do is to chop up some fresh sashimi-grade fish and prepare some colorful and refreshing vegetables and side dishes for toppings.

    For “raw” fish, only consume fish you know that has been frozen properly for sashimi use. Do not use raw fish even though it “looks” fresh (Read more).

    Poke Bowl and ingredients on the table.

    Poke Bowl Topping Ideas

    The concept for poke bowl opens up to plenty of possibilities. To build an incredible bowl, you want keep these in mind – textures, freshness, colors, and balance. Below are some topping ideas for you to work with:

    Avocado – Richness of avocado resembles fatty tuna and adds a creamy texture.

    Cucumbers – Sliced or cubed cucumbers add juiciness and refreshing crunch to the poke bowl.

    Edamame –  Adds nice substance to the dish and it’s a great source of protein.

    Green onions – Gives some little spice to the dish.

    Masago – Creates a different texture when eating and who can resist the tiny eggs.

    Seaweed salad – If you can purchase premade seaweed salad, it adds new flavors to the poke bowl.

    Seaweed – Shredded nori or julienned seaweed provides crispy texture to the poke bowl.

    Sesame seeds – Add an aromatic nutty flavor to the bowl and beautifies the dish.

    Furikake (rice seasonings) – Adds extra umami flavors and textures from sesame seeds and nori.

    Pickled sushi ginger (recipe) – Refreshing and spicy flavors.

    Wasabi – If you’re into wasabi, I highly recommend it with fresh sashimi.

    Sriracha sauce – The sauce gives the bowl a spicy kick!

    Poke Bowl and Edamame on the wooden table.

    Hawaiian Ingredients – Limu & Kukui Nut

    For today’s recipe, I added limu, a type of seaweed, and grated kukui nut (candlenut). These are often included in authentic poke recipes. However, depending on where you live, these ingredients can be hard to find. In that case, you can save your time and energy trying to track them down and just skip them. It’s nice to have for extra flavors and textures, but definitely not a deal breaker if you can’t find them.

    If you live in Peninsula (SF Bay Area), Takahashi Market in San Mateo sells limu and kukui nut in the deli section of the supermarket. 🙂

    Poke Bowl with soy bean and cucumber on the wooden table.

    Gluten-Free Soy Sauce for Poke Bowl

    This Poke Bowl can be easily converted to a gluten free dish if you use gluten-free soy sauce.

    Bottles of gluten free soy sauce on the table.

    Kikkoman offers 3 varieties of gluten-free soy sauce and for this recipe, I used the gluten-free soy sauce on the left which tastes just like regular soy sauce. If you want to know more about this product, click here. If you’re not gluten intolerant, you can use regular Japanese soy sauce to make the poke seasonings. Remember Chinese and Korean soy sauce taste different, so please use Japanese soy sauce only.

    If you’re gluten intolerant, please check out my Gluten Free Recipes for additional recipe ideas.

    Poke Bowl and soybean on the wooden table.

    On a hot summer day when you’re too lazy to cook, poke is definitely a great dish to prepare. It does not require cooking over the stove or in the oven. What’s not to loved? With sashimi being served cold, it’s just the perfect refreshing meal to cool you down. Not too heavy but packed with protein, poke bowl has quite a bit of nutrients. The sesame oil used in the poke seasoning is known to improve your appetite (at least we say so in Japan), and the nutty flavor rounds up the dish.

    With this, I hope you have fun making poke at home! If you throw a DIY Poke Bowl Party, don’t forget to snap a picture and share it with all of us at JOC Instagram or Facebook.

    Don’t want to miss a recipe? Sign up for the FREE Just One Cookbook newsletter delivered to your inbox! And stay in touch with me on FacebookGoogle+, Pinterest, and Instagram for all the latest updates.

    4.36 from 31 votes
    Poke Bowl | Easy Japanese Recipes at
    Poke Bowl
    Prep Time
    15 mins
    Total Time
    15 mins
    Are you ready for a satisfying bowl of deliciousness? Try this delicious Tuna and Salmon Poke Bowl recipe at home. Also, plenty of ideas on how to build a fantastic poke bowl for DIY Poke Party. 
    Course: Main Course
    Cuisine: Japanese
    Keyword: poke salad, sashimi, tuna bowl
    Servings: 3
    Author: Namiko Chen
    • ½ lb sashimi-grade tuna (227 g)
    • ½ lb sashimi-grade salmon (227 g)
    • Handful limu (a type of seaweed) (optional)
    • 2 green onions/scallions
    • ¼ onion (preferably Maui onion)
    • 1 tsp kukui nut (optional; make sure they are roasted/toasted)
    • 1 Tbsp toasted white and black sesame seeds
    • 2-3 bowl cooked Japanese short-grain rice
    1. Gather all the ingredients.

      Poke Bowl Ingredients
    2. Cut sashimi-grade salmon and tuna into bite size pieces. I recommend cutting into slightly “bigger” bite size for the better texture and taste.
      Poke Bowl 1
    3. Cut limu into smaller pieces, about ½“ (1 cm) pieces. Thinly slice the green onions.
      Poke Bowl 2
    4. Thinly slice the onion and then cut into ¾ inch (2 cm) length.
      Poke Bowl 3
    5. Put the salmon and tuna in a large bowl and sprinkle ¼ tsp. sea salt. Then add the onion, green onion, limu, and kukui nut.
      Poke Bowl 4
    6. Add ⅓ cup (80 ml) gluten-free or regular soy sauce and 2 Tbsp. sesame oil.
      Poke Bowl 5
    7. Add 1 Tbsp. rice vinegar. Sprinkle 1 Tbsp. toasted white and black sesame seeds.
      Poke Bowl 6
    8. Serve steamed rice in a large donburi bowl or plate. Let it cool down a little bit then pile poke on top. Add toppings as you like and enjoy immediately.
      Poke Bowl 7
    Recipe Notes

    Additional Toppings Ideas:
    Avocado (diced or thinly sliced)
    Cucumber (diced or thinly sliced)
    Masago (fish eggs)
    Seaweed salad
    Shredded nori seaweed
    Pickled sushi ginger

    Recipe by Namiko Chen of Just One Cookbook. All images and content on this site are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission. If you’d like to share this recipe on your site, please re-write the recipe in your own words and link to this post as the original source. Thank you.

    Full Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Kikkoman USA. Thoughts and opinions stated are my own.

    Editor’s Note: The post was originally published on May 27, 2016.

    Our Recommendations for Buying Sashimi Online

    Catalina Offshore Products banner with salmon
    When we have a sudden craving for sashimi we usually buy from our local Japanese supermarkets. If you don't have a reliable shop to purchase quality sashimi nearby, we would recommend buying from Catalina Offshore online.

    They've been in business for over forty years and all the sashimi products we've tried from them are outstanding. Disclosure: We earn a small percentage commission from your purchase of products linked to Catalina Offshore.

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