Hawaiian poke bowls are refreshing, packed with flavor and super healthy. This dish will take your mouth straight to the islands!
Hawaiian poke bowls are best made with the freshest ingredients you can find. Oftentimes, store bought versions are quite pricey. Making them at home means you save money without skimping on quality!
If you have ever been to Hawaii and experienced the joy that is a fresh poke bowl, you probably got hooked on the first bite. You’re not alone. Poke bowl shops have absolutely swept the United States in the past decade and for good reason. They are incredible and cheaper than a night out for sushi.
What Is Poke?
Poke (po-kay) is a general term used for marinated raw fish. Typically cut into cubes and seasoned with soy sauce and onion, poke is a style that Hawaiians have been chowing down on for years. From salmon to tuna and beyond, nearly every fresh fish can be used to make it.
A poke bowl is like a deconstructed sushi roll. Typically, you customize it just the way you want at a poke shop, much like going down the sandwich assembly line at Subway.
Poke Bowl Toppings
Poke bowls are meant to be customized! Mix-and-match the following ingredients to make each bowl perfect:
- Protein – Tuna, salmon, yellowtail and crab are popular choices. You can chop up your fish into cubes and leave it be, or marinate your cubes in soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, oil, lime juice, honey and green onions for at least 10 minutes.
Hot Tip: If you’re marinating your fish and you like it spicy, add fresh chopped jalapenos to your marinade.
- Veggies – Leafy greens, seaweed (wakame), cucumbers, edamame, avocado, red onion, pickled ginger, green onions and radish make for a great bowl. Add all of them or just a couple of your favorites!
- Fruit – Mango, pineapple and watermelon can be tasty additions.
- A few other toppings – Sesame seeds (black or white), fried garlic and fried shallots add a nice crunch to your bowl.
- Sauce (more details below) – Sriracha and/or wasabi mayo are go-tos. You can also purchase a store bought poke sauce.
- Grains – White rice is the most traditional option, but you can use quinoa, brown rice or kale salad as well. Serve your grain nice and hot. The contrast between the hot grain and cold rice is to die for!
Hot Tip: Head to your local Asian grocery store if you’re having a hard time finding these ingredients.
Fish to Use in your Poke Bowl
Always buy sushi-grade fish for your poke bowls. All “sushi-grade” means is the same quality a sushi chef would use to make restaurant-quality rolls or nigiri. It’s the freshest fish you can buy and perfectly safe to eat marinated or raw. If you can’t find it at your local grocery store, pop over to a specialty fish market.
Poke Bowl Sauce
The sauce is the key in the poke bowl because it brings all the ingredients together. Here’s a breakdown of the most popular poke bowl sauces:
- Spicy Aioli Sauce – This is simply a 50/50 combination of sriracha and mayonnaise.
- Sesame Oil – For the purists out there, a simple drizzle of toasted sesame oil does the trick.
- Soy Sauce – If you like is salty and simple, add a drizzle of soy sauce and call it a day.
- Sesame Vinaigrette – Whisk together soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, honey, lime juice and oil for a tangy and puckery sauce.
Other Seafood Recipes
- Air Fryer Salmon – extra crispy on the outside, so juicy on the inside.
- Air Fryer Cod – healthy, flavorful and extra easy recipe.
- Grilled Tilapia Recipe – this recipe is the perfect family night dinner.
- Air Fryer Shrimp – the best toping for any salad or rice!
- 12 oz sushi grade tuna (or salmon) cut into cubes
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- 2 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp honey
- 1/2 cup chopped green onions
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tbsp sriracha sauce
- 1 large cucumber thinly sliced
- 2 cups cooked rice
- 1 avocado thinly sliced
- 1 seaweed salad (Sold at most Asian markets)
- 3 large radishes thinly slices
- 1/4 chopped green onions
- 1 mango chopped into small cubes
- 1/2 cup dry seaweed garnish
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds garnish
- In a large bowl comber tuna with the marinade ingredients. Leave it to marinade in a refrigerator for at least 10 minutes.
- Prepare all the ingredients for the poke bowls. You can leave it as a buffet style and everyone adds their own toppings or serve in individual bowls.
- For the poke bowl, place rice on the bottom, followed by tuna (or salmon), add the seaweed, veggies and mango. Sprinkle some sesame seeds and dry seaweed pieces. Serve it with the spicy aioli. Enjoy!
I just home from a month on Maui & Oahu.... Eat Poke every day, and this recipe with a little personal tweak from a Professional Chef, is a great starter recipe. I pickled the radish and added pickled shaved red onion & carrot. The contrast with crunch & flavor is fantastic... Great Recipe !!!!
Hi Thomas, Thank you for the kind compliment! I love how you made this recipe your own, sounds like it turned out delicious!! Enjoy!
Can I use fresh salmon which was frozen and marinate? Can’t find sushi grade in the area.
If you use Fresh Salmon, soak it in sea salted ice water for 90 minutes and rinse, all Salmon contain parasites, PNW salmon contain twice as Northern Atlantic
Hi Tom, thank you for sharing your feedback. I always recommend using specific sushi fish for these recipes for the safest results.
Hi Rimma, I really recommend that you use sushi grade fish because that will ensure freshness and its safe to eat raw or marinated. Thank you for reaching out.
The rice combo seems appealing. My wife and I want to try healthier diets. I'll have to consider getting more Hawaiian food onto our plate.
Hi Tex, Thank you so much! I think y'all will love this recipe! It is very satisfying and you don't feel guilty after eating it. Let me know what you think when you give it a try. Enjoy!
How many people does this recipe serve? I am trying to figure out how much fish per person to order
This recipe makes 4 servings. Enjoy!!
This looks like something I would love! Can't wait to try it.
Katie, when you do, please report back!
The taste just bursts in your mouth! I love the options for the meat! It's like a new bowl each time you eat!
Kristyn, you are too kind! Thank you!
Some of the best flavors!! It feels so fresh & healthy!
Thank you Natalie!
These were fantastic! I love that you added mangos to the bowls.
Yes, they add freshness and so much more flavor.