Published Jul 01, 2022, Updated Jan 07, 2023
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Make poke bowls at home by combining sushi-grade ahi tuna with rice, fresh vegetables, mango, seaweed salad and a simple Sriracha Mayo.
I love bowl meals! No, seriously, they are truly one of my favorite meals. Throw grains, protein and veggies into a bowl, add a delicious sauce or dressing and voila! How could you not love that?!
My new bowl obsession = this poke bowl! It’s a great source of protein thanks to the ahi tuna and is loaded with so much flavor, texture and a variety of colors as well. My mouth is watering just thinking about it!
What is a Poke Bowl
Poke (pronounced poh-keh) is a Hawaiian word meaning “to slice or cut” and refers to pieces of raw, marinated fish. The traditional components of a poke bowl include the marinated or seasoned fish (usually ahi tuna), rice, a variety of veggies and a tasty, sometimes spicy, dressing or sauce to tie it all together. It kind of reminds me of deconstructed sushi!
Poke bowls are found everywhere in Hawaii, even in gas stations and roadside stands. My kind of “fast food.”
- rice – for the base layer of the bowl. I prefer to use white sushi rice, short grain brown or white rice.
- sushi-grade ahi tuna – the star of the poke bowl! Make sure you are getting sushi-grade fish, which means that it’s safe to prepare and eat raw. I recommend buying it from a reputable fishmonger or market that specializes in raw fish. Tuna is a highly nutritious, lean protein. Most of its fat comes from Omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for brain and heart health, as well as, anti-inflammatory properties. Tuna also contains iron, potassium, and B vitamins. Plus, it’s an excellent source of selenium, a trace mineral that acts as an antioxidant.
- tamari, lime juice and sesame oil – for marinating the tuna. I suggest using low-sodium tamari.
- mango – fresh mango adds a bright, sweet, juicy punch.
- cucumber – for a fresh crunch.
- jalapeño pepper – for a spicy bite.
- green onions – for a mild flavor enhancer.
- avocado – adds a creamy texture.
- radishes – for a crisp, crunchy peppery flavor. Watermelon radishes would also be a fun, colorful addition.
- seaweed salad – adds a briny, “from the ocean” depth of flavor. Ogo seaweed, a reddish brown seaweed, is what you normally find in traditional poke bowl recipes, but I went for a fresh seaweed salad mix from Whole Foods. This pre-packaged seaweed salad mix also looks like a good type of seaweed.
- black sesame seeds – for topping the bowl and adding more crunch. Sesame seeds are high in Omega-3 fatty acids and fiber.
- spicy mayo – mayo and sriracha mixed together to make a deliciously spicy sauce to drizzle over the bowl.
How to Make
Cook rice: Make rice according to the package.
Prep tuna: Whisk together tamari, lime juice and sesame oil in a small mixing bowl. Add chopped tuna and mix so that all of the pieces are coated in the sauce. Place in the fridge while preparing the rest of the ingredients.
Make sriracha mayo: Whisk together mayo and sriracha in a small bowl. Add water as needed to reach desired consistency. Set aside.
Make bowls: Add ½ cup cooked rice to two bowls and top each bowl with tuna, cucumber, mango, jalapeño, green onions, avocado, radishes and seaweed salad. Drizzle on sriracha mayo and sprinkle with black sesame seeds. Serve immediately.
Customize Your Poke Bowl
A poke bowl typically consists of some pretty traditional ingredients, but feel free to add in, substitute or leave out anything you desire. Here are a few suggestions:
- Tuna – Raw ahi tuna is the star of this poke bowl, but sushi-grade salmon and snapper would work well, too. If raw fish isn’t your thing or you are unable to eat it, see the options listed below.
- Rice – If you don’t have sushi rice or short-grain rice, most any kind of rice works well with this bowl. You can also use quinoa or for a low-carb option, try greens, zucchini noodles or cauliflower rice.
- Tamari – Don’t have tamari and don’t need the sauce to be gluten-free? Swap out for soy sauce, instead. Coconut aminos are also another great alternative.
- Lime juice – If you don’t have limes on hand, lemon juice will work in a pinch. Rice vinegar would also be a good substitute to the lime juice.
- Vegetables – If you prefer more veggies, try adding grated carrots, edamame, sliced bell peppers and/or red cabbage. The sky’s the limit when it comes to veggies!
- Seaweed salad – If you’re unsure about seaweed, give it a try! But if you’re really not into it, try subbing greens like spinach or kale. If you can’t find it, you could use sushi nori wraps instead and chop into strips for the bowl.
- Jalapeños – Not a fan or the spice or don’t have any on hand? Leave these out or add a dash of red pepper flakes.
- Black sesame seeds – Don’t have any on hand? Use white sesame seeds or leave out completely. Furikake would also make for a great topping if you have that in your spice drawer.
- Sriracha – Don’t have? Sub in any hot sauce or even wasabi for some kick.
- Mayo – This is the perfect topping for the poke bowl when mixed with Sriracha, but I bet my peanut dressing would taste delicious, too!
Are Poke Bowls Healthy?
Poke bowls are healthy in the sense that they’re usually high in lean protein and heart-healthy fats from the fish, avocado and sesame seeds. The colorful veggies pack in a ton of nutrients and if you make the base of your bowl with a whole grain (like brown rice or quinoa) or use veggies are your base, you’ll be getting more fiber and nutrients! Of course, it’s important to keep in mind that soy-based marinades can be high in sodium and the calories and fat from the sauce(s) can add up quickly as well.
Can I Make a Poke Bowl without Raw Fish?
It’s recommended that pregnant and breastfeeding women, children, older adults and anyone with compromised immune system should talk to a doctor before consuming raw fish or avoid it completely. With this in mind you may be wondering how to make a poke bowl without the raw fish and I’m here to tell you that it is totally possible. I’ve seen different poke bowls that replace the raw fish with cooked shrimp or crab. You can also use tofu or watermelon poke for a vegetarian option!
More Bowl Recipes to Try
- Vegan Power Bowl
- Buddha Bowl
- Chicken Protein Bowl
- Egg Roll in a Bowl
- Caribbean Jerk Shrimp Bowls
- Falafel Bowls (Homemade Cava Bowls)
- Grilled Chicken and Quinoa Meal Prep Bowls
- Maple Mustard Tempeh Meal Prep Bowls
- Mashed Avocado Bowl
- Coconut Curry SunButter Noodle Bowl
- Mediterranean Quinoa Bowl
- Mother Earth Bowl (Flower Child Copycat)
- Salmon Burrito Bowl
More Tuna Recipes
- Sweet Potato Tuna Salad (No Mayo)
- Tuna Salad with Egg
- Spaghetti Squash Tuna Noodle Casserole Boats
- Tuna Stuffed Bell Peppers
- Tuna Salad
- Lentil Tuna Salad
Be sure to check out all of the tuna recipes as well as the full collection of dinner recipes on EBF!
- 1 cup cooked sushi rice or short grain white or brown rice
- ½ lb sushi grade Ahi tuna cut into ½ inch cubes
- ¼ cup reduced sodium tamari
- 1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 mango chopped into ½ cubes
- 1 cup cucumber chopped
- 1 jalapeno pepper sliced
- 2 green onions chopped
- 1 avocado sliced
- ½ cup radishes thinly sliced
- ¼ cup seaweed salad
- Black sesame seeds for topping
- 3 Tablespoons mayo
- 1 teaspoon Sriracha
- Water to thin if desired
- Cook rice according to the package if you haven’t done so already.
- Whisk together tamari, lime juice and sesame oil in a small mixing bowl. Add chopped tuna and mix so that all of the pieces are coated in the sauce. Place in the fridge while preparing the rest of the ingredients.
- Whisk together mayo and sriracha in a small bowl. Add water as needed to reach desired consistency. Set aside.
- Add ½ cup cooked rice to two bowls and top each bowl with tuna, cucumber, mango, jalapeno, green onions, avocado, radishes and seaweed salad. Drizzle on sriracha mayo and sprinkle with black sesame seeds. Serve immediately.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
I have saved this recipe for weeks now and finally made it tonight. I followed the recipe except I cooked the tuna because I couldn’t find sushi grade and I only had sesame seeds. It was so good- full of flavor and texture. My husband liked it very much too. We will definitely make it again! Thanks for giving me something new to make!
Yess! I am so happy that you and your husband enjoyed this recipe, Lynne. It sounds like your substitutions worked great. Thank you for your review + star rating, I appreciate it!