Hawaiian poke bowls are refreshing, packed with flavor and super healthy. This dish will take your mouth straight to the islands! 

A poke bowl with all the toppings

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: 

Ingredients for the poke bowl
  • 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. 

Ingredients for Poke bowl

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: 

A poke bowl with all the toppings
  • 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.   

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About Author

Natalya Drozhzhin

Natalya founded Momsdish to demonstrate that placing a homemade meal on the table is not hard at all. Natalya makes cooking easier and approachable, by simplifying the ingredients, while still producing the same great taste.