Salmon Poke Bowls

The best kind of delicious, healthy eating: Salmon Poke Bowls!

Chances are, you’ve eaten a Poke Bowl sometime, somewhere. And I’m guessing you love them as much as I do.

The first time I ate Poke was many years ago, when I spent 6 weeks in Oahu one summer. At first, I thought it was a little bit weird. A scoop of raw fish served with a scoop of warm white rice? But it wasn’t long before I understood, Poke is one of the most delicious, comforting foods ever.

Amazingly, Poke Bowls are ridiculously easy to make at home. The hardest part will be sourcing the ingredients.

Salmon Poke Bowl with salad base

Originally, this recipe began with a big salad base. But my daughter thought it was too much veg. Mind you, this is a girl who loves salad. But I understood; the comfort of poke and rice, eaten together, is something that cannot be easily replicated.

Salmon Poke with a salad base looks prettier. But Salmon Poke with a rice base is pure comfort food.

So I’ve left both options for you in the recipe below. My recommendation? Even if you decide to go with a salad base — add a small scoop of rice. And enjoy the comfort of poke + rice together.

Salmon Poke Bowl with rice base + wakame

What is Poke?

Poke (pronounced poh-kay) is Hawaiian seafood salad. Raw, marinated chunks of fish are seasoned and served with white rice. Poke means “to cut into chunks” in Hawaiian. Fisherman used to cut leftover fish scraps into chunks to combat food waste.

In Hawaii, there’s different kinds and varieties. Poke can be made with salmon, tuna, octopus, crab, scallops, etc. etc.! Every grocery store sells poke and it’s a universally loved food item served at bbqs and potlucks.

Poke Bowls are served as one bowl meals, usually over rice or salad or both. There’s a variety of different mix-ins, toppings, and sauces. Many Poke Bars provide customizable choices, made to your liking. The choices are truly endless!

Salmon Poke with rice base + wakame

When the quarantine lockdown ends, I’ll be be sure to throw a DIY Poke Bowl Party. But in the meantime, these individual bowls are what I’ll be making at home.

Ingredients for Salmon Poke Bowls:

The basic formula: Poke + Base + Mix-ins + Toppings + Sauce.

  • Poke: Sushi-grade (also called sashimi grade) raw fish is necessary! Don’t buy regular salmon thinking it’s the same thing. Sushi-grade salmon is flash frozen, killing all potential parasites. I buy sushi-grade salmon at my local Korean supermarket. But you can also purchase frozen salmon from the supermarket. Another option is to order sushi-grade salmon, by the pound, from your local sushi restaurant.
  • Base: Every Poke Bowl needs a base: rice or salad or both. For me, rice is preferable. Short grain rice or sushi rice only, please (see below). Feel free to swap out the rice for salad greens, or do a mixture. Any boxed salad greens will do.
  • Mix-ins: So many possibilities! I add avocado for its buttery richness. And cubed cucumbers, for that fresh, crunchy texture! For a rice base, wakame or seaweed salad is essential. Wakame is seaweed salad with bigger, dark green pieces. Seaweed salad contains thinner, light green seaweed strips. Both can be found in the prepared food section of Asian markets. In Korean markets, wakame is sometimes called Seaweed Muchim. They add a pickled, vinegary tang that is so delicious.
  • Toppings: Furikake is a must. I sprinkle all over! Optional: tobiko (flying fish roe) and minced jalapeno. They add so much flavor and heat.
  • Sauce: The poke is already very saucy so I don’t add extra sauce. But an extra drizzle of mayo and sriracha pulls everything together.

PIN FOR LATER:

hands holding salmon poke bowl with salad

Why Short Grain Rice?

For Poke Bowls, short grain rice is essential. Poke Bowls without short grain rice (also called sushi rice) is not the same!

Short grain rice is shorter and starchier than long grain varieties. The texture is slightly chewy and firm, not mushy. A slightly sticky quality keeps the rice grains together.

Short grain rice not only mimics the texture of sushi rolls, but it’s pure pleasure and comfort to eat alongside poke. Sometimes people describe rice as “filler” food or say it tastes like “nothing.” Sadly, they’ve never eaten good rice.

For Koreans, rice is everything. The word for “food” and “rice” are actually the same word in the Korean language. Have you eaten food? Have you eaten rice? They are one and the same.

Even though Poke Bowls are not Korean (we have Hwe Dup Bap), you definitely need short grain rice for this recipe. Long grain rice (Uncle Ben’s, carolina gold, basmati, jasmine, etc.) won’t taste the same!

How To Make Salmon Poke Bowls:

Make salmon poke. In a medium bowl, mix together mayo, sriracha, ginger, mirin, and soy sauce. Chop salmon into 1-inch chunks. Mix salmon, spicy mayo, and green onions together.

For salad base: For each bowl, add two big handfuls of mixed salad greens and a small handful of pea shoots. Add avocado and cucumber. Add a small scoop of rice (optional, but highly recommended). Divide Salmon Poke equally between two bowls. Drizzle extra sriracha and mayo. Sprinkle with furikake. Add tobiko and minced jalapeno, if using. Enjoy!

For rice base: For each bowl, add a generous scoop of warm, short grain rice. Add wakame, cucumber, and avocado. Divide Salmon poke evenly between two bowls. Drizzle extra sriracha and mayo. Sprinkle with furikake. Add tobiko and minced jalapeno, if using. Enjoy!!

Salmon Poke Bowls

The best kind of delicious, healthy eating: Salmon Poke Bowls!
Prep Time20 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Fusion Food
Keyword: Poke, Salmon
Servings: 2
Author: The Subversive Table | Lis Lam

Ingredients

Salmon Poke

  • 1/2 lb sushi grade salmon
  • 2 Tbsp mayo (Kewpie mayo, preferably)
  • 1 Tbsp sriracha
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp mirin
  • 1/2 inch ginger, grated

Salad Base:

  • 4 big handfuls mixed salad greens (2 handfuls per bowl)
  • 2 small handfuls pea shoots (1 handful per bowl)
  • 1 avocado, diced (1/2 avocado per bowl)
  • 1 mini cucumber, diced (1/2 mini cucumber per bowl)
  • 1 cup short grain/sushi rice (cooked) (1/2 cup per bowl)

Rice Base:

  • 2 cups short grain/sushi rice (cooked, preferably warm) (1 cup per bowl)
  • 1 1/2 cup wakame or seaweed salad (3/4 cup per bowl)
  • 1 avocado, diced (1/2 avocado per bowl)
  • 1 mini cucumber, diced (1/2 mini cucumber per bowl)

Toppings (optional):

  • furikake (sprinkle each bowl generously)
  • tobiko (flying fish roe) (1 Tbsp for each bowl)
  • jalapeno, seeded and minced (1 Tbsp for each bowl)
  • kewpie mayo, extra drizzle
  • sriracha, extra drizzle

Instructions

  • Make Salmon Poke: In a medium bowl, mix together mayo, sriracha, ginger, mirin, and soy sauce. Chop salmon into 1-inch chunks. Mix salmon, spicy mayo, and green onions together.
    cubed salmon and spicy sauce in bowl with spoon

For salad base:

  • For each bowl, add two big handfuls of mixed salad greens and a small handful of pea shoots. Add avocado and cucumber. Add a small scoop of short grain rice (optional, but highly recommended). Divide Salmon Poke equally between two bowls. Drizzle extra sriracha and mayo. Sprinkle with furikake. Add tobiko and minced jalapeno, if using. Enjoy!
    salmon poke bowl with salad base in white bowl

For rice base:

  • For each bowl, add a generous scoop of warm, short grain rice. Add wakame, cucumber, and avocado. Divide Salmon poke evenly between two bowls. Drizzle extra sriracha and mayo. Sprinkle with furikake. Add tobiko and minced jalapeno, if using. Enjoy!!
    salmon poke bowl with rice and wakame
15 minutes, All Recipes, Asian Inspired, Dinner with Friends, Main, Salad, Weeknight Meals

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