Poke Bowl: the mouthwatering recipe for the popular Hawaiian dish

Total time: 20 Min + Refrigerating time
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 4 people
By Cookist

Making delicious, healthy meals at home isn't as hard as some folks might think, especially when it comes to poke bowls. Poke bowls easily top the list of the most famous Hawaiian dishes. It's packed with nutrient-dense sushi-grade fish coated in a spicy, tangy soy marinade and served with fruit, fresh veggies like cucumber, edamame, and radish over rice.

Poke bowls are ultra-flavorful, healthy, and less than 20 minutes of prep time. Not into raw fish? You can easily use cooked fish, chicken, or beef in a poke bowl. There's no limit! Get creative with your poke bowls and make fabulous meals you'll never grow bored of.

What is a Poke Bowl?

A poke bowl (pronounced pow-kay bowl) is a Hawaiian dish made from raw fish. The fish is cut into bite-sized cubes and coated in a spicy soy-ginger marinade. After marinating, the fish is served over cooked rice with an assortment of raw fruits and vegetables like mango, avocado, radish, and cucumber.

In Hawaiian, poke means “to cut.” Although originally made from raw fish, just about anything can be used as the protein in a poke bowl. Chicken, tofu, beef, fish, and more!

Are Poke Bowls Healthy?

Thanks to nutritious ingredients like fatty fish and fresh vegetables, poke bowls are incredibly healthy. They can be made even healthier by making them with brown rice, quinoa, or cauliflower rice.

Poke Bowl Ingredients

The most essential ingredient for making a classic poke bowl is sushi-grade ahi tuna (or any type of sushi-grade fish like salmon or yellowfin tuna). You can't use just any fish to make a poke bowl. Eating regular fish raw is a recipe for food-borne illness.

Soy sauce is the base for the marinade. Rice vinegar adds a sweet tanginess to the sauce.

Ginger and red chili flakes add heat, while sesame oil adds a savory layer of flavor.

Green onions give the marinade a bit of a bite.

You'll also need rice for serving the poke bowl, plus your preferred fruits and veggies for serving.

How to Make a Poke Bowl

Making an authentic poke bowl from scratch couldn't be simpler. First, wash and cook the rice, then drain it and set it aside until cool. Next, combine all of the ingredients except the tuna in a bowl. Whisk everything well to combine. Put the tuna in the sauce, and stir it well to coat all the pieces of fish. Wrap the bowl in plastic and pop it in the fridge for at least 15 minutes up to one hour. The longer you leave the fish to marinate, the more flavorful it will be.

Place rice in four bowls, then lay the tuna over the rice. Add desired toppings. Sprinkle additional scallions and sesame seeds over the poke bowl, and enjoy!

Tips for Making the Best Poke Bowls

You'll need sushi or sashimi-grade ahi tuna to make this poke bowl recipe. This is the only type of fish safe for being consumed raw. You may need to go to a specialty market or order from an online specialty store. When in doubt, ask your local fishmonger.

When choosing your fish, avoid tuna with white streaks – these white streaks are the fish's chewy connective tissue. If your piece of tuna does have white streaks in it, cut them away and discard them. No one wants chewy fish in a poke bowl.

Poke Bowl Variations

You can swap out rice for quinoa for a healthier poke bowl. Cauliflower rice can be used instead of regular rice as a low-carb option.

Add chopped pineapple, or shredded carrot for sweetness or some sliced jalapeno for a spicy kick.

Use ponzu dressing instead of soy sauce, or swap out the ahi tuna for sushi-grade salmon, pan-fried salmon, stir-fried beef, or cooked shrimp.

What to Serve with Poke Bowls

Serve your homemade poke bowls with rice, avocado slices, cucumber wheels, edamame, and sliced radish. Either white rice or brown rice work in a poke bowl.

Serve with a side of soy sauce, wasabi, and chili to add some heat.

How to Store a Poke Bowl

Because you're dealing with raw fish, it's best to eat your poke bowl in one sitting. If you have leftovers, make sure you wrap them well in plastic wrap and transfer them to an airtight container, then put them in the fridge as quickly as possible. Eat leftover poke bowl within a day.

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Soy sauce
1/4 cup
Rice vinegar
2 tsp
Sesame oil
2 tsp
freshly grated ginger
1 tsp
red pepper flakes, crushed
a pinch
scallions, thinly sliced
toasted sesame seeds, plus extra
1 tsp
sushi-grade ahi tuna
1 pound
for serving
sushi rice
360 g
250 g (1 cup)
Avocado, diced
radishes, thinly sliced
mango, chopped
Spinach leaves


Collect the rice in a fine-mesh strainer. Rinse it very thoroughly until the water is clear.

Pour the rice into a saucepan with 360 g of water, cover with a lid and cook on a low flame for 15 minutes or according to the time indicated on the package. Once cooked, drain and set aside until cool.

Cut the tuna in bite-sized pieces.

Pour soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, ginger, red pepper flakes, scallions, sesame seeds, and salt into a large bowl. Whisk to combine, the add the tuna and salt.

Toss well to coat. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes up to 1 hour.

Place rice in four bowls.

Arrange the tuna over the rice.

Add avocado.

Top with mango.

Add edamame.

Top with radishes.

Add spinach leaves.

Sprinkle additional scallions and sesame seeds over the poke bowl. Serve and enjoy!


If you're trying to lower your salt intake, use low-sodium soy sauce.

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