A poke bowl is something I could literally eat every day of my life! And this Hawaiian Salmon Poke Bowl is at the top of my list.
It’s got buttery, melt-in-your-mouth fresh fish in a ginger soy marinade on top of a bed of fluffy, sticky sushi rice.
And wait till you see how easy it is to make this healthy, fresh bowl right in your own kitchen.
Poke bowls can get really expensive when you order them at restaurants. Depending on the toppings and mix-ins you choose, you could be looking at almost $20 per bowl.
It’s much more cost effective and personal to make a delicious salmon poke bowl at home that each family member can customize to their own taste.
We love this as an easy weeknight meal!
What exactly is poke?
It’s a common misconception that poke originated in Japan. It’s actually a Hawaiian dish!
The term “poke” (pronounced poh-KAY) is derived from the Hawaiian word meaning “to slice” or “cut crosswise into pieces.”
Historically, poke was a simple dish made by native Hawaiians who combined freshly caught fish with seaweed, salt, and chopped kukui nuts. It was uncomplicated and easy to prepare.
Over time, various cultural influences (this is where Japan comes in) and ingredient availability led to the evolution of poke into the super versatile dish we know today.
And while traditional poke uses ahi tuna, these days the lush, buttery texture of salmon is almost as popular.
What’s in this Hawaiian Salmon Poke Recipe
Here’s what you’ll need to make these Hawaiian poke bowls:
- Sushi grade salmon. As the star ingredient in this recipe, the salmon should be as fresh as possible. Your best bet is either a seafood market, Japanese grocery store or – if you’re lucky like me – the sushi bar at your local grocery store. Our local Wegmans has a sushi bar that sells whole pieces of sushi-grade fish. You may also be able to find sushi grade fish at the fish counter of your local grocery store.
- Sushi rice. Sushi rice is short grain white rice that has a high starch content. More starch, more stickiness. And that’s what we’re going for. If you prefer brown rice, make sure you find the short grain kind so that it will be stickier.
- Green onions
- Soy sauce. To keep this recipe gluten free, choose gluten free soy sauce.
- Sesame oil
- Rice wine vinegar
How to Make a Hawaiian Style Salmon Poke Bowl
While the rice is cooking, make the poke. Slice your salmon into small pieces, along with the avocado.
Combine all of the sauce ingredients together in a bowl, and gently toss the cubed salmon and avocado in the sauce to coat.
How to Serve Salmon Poke
Serve this delicious poke over a bed of sticky rice. The rice should be warm or at room temperature, but not hot.
Garnish your poke bowl with additional chopped green onions, sesame seeds or furikake.
If you’re looking for a lower carb option, consider enjoying your poke over a bed of cauliflower rice, microgreens or even seaweed salad.
Variations and Toppings for this Salmon Poke Recipe
There are so many delicious ways to customize these poke bowls. Each member of our family does it our own way!
Here are some of our favorite toppings and mix-ins:
- cubed mango
- cucumber slices
- spicy mayo or sriracha sauce
- crushed macadamia nuts
- shelled edamame
- pickled radishes
Tips for Working with Raw Fish
Enjoying high quality raw salmon is such a treat, as long as you take the following considerations:
1. Freshness. Consume raw salmon the same day you buy it. If you use frozen sushi grade fish, consume it the day you defrost it.
2. Quality. Purchasing high-quality salmon, i.e. sushi grade salmon, is very important, not only for the health factor but for the flavor. Even the best quality regular salmon will taste fishy if it’s not sushi grade.
3. Hygiene. Wash your hands, knives and cutting surfaces thoroughly before and after working with raw fish. Use a separate cutting board for the fish than you use for the vegetables. And keep the fish at the right temperature until you’re ready to work with it.
Can leftover salmon poke be stored safely?
I treat this salmon poke recipe the same way I treat sushi. If I have any left over, I’ll seal it in an airtight container and consume it within 24 hours.
After that, trash it. It’s not worth the risk.
When you make this Hawaiian Salmon Poke recipe, I’d love to hear about it! Drop a rating or leave a comment below. Enjoy!
For more sushi-inspired recipes, try these:
- Spicy Tuna Mayo Onigiri Recipe (Japanese Rice Balls)
- Sushi Bake Recipe with Spicy Tuna
- Wasabi Cream Cheese Spread (Easy Appetizer)
For more rice bowl recipes, try these:
- Chicken Bibimbap Recipe (Easy Korean Rice Bowl)
- Falafel Rice Bowl with Easy Tahini Sauce
- Salmon Rice Bowl with Avocado & Spicy Mayo
Salmon Poke Bowl Recipe with Avocado (Hawaiian Style)
Rice Cooker Instructions
- Place 2 cups of uncooked sushi rice into the rice cooker. Pour in 3 cups of water. Turn on the rice cooker. Once the rice cooker turns itself off, let the rice steam for 10-20 minutes.
Stovetop Instructions for Rice
- Bring 3 cups of water to a boil in a medium-sized saucepan. Stir in the 2 cups of sushi rice using a rice paddle or wooden spoon. Cover and reduce heat to low. Cook rice, covered, 15-20 minutes until the water is absorbed.
Poke Bowl Instructions
- Combine soy sauce, honey, sesame seeds/furikake, scallions, ginger, sesame oil, rice vinegar and red pepper flakes in a large bowl.
- Slice the salmon into bite-sized cubes. Gently toss the salmon in the marinade ingredients.
- Peel, pit and cube the avocado. Gently fold the avocado into the poke mixture.
- Divide rice among 4 serving bowls. Spoon poke on top of rice. Garnish with additional chopped scallions and sesame seeds.