This Hawaiian Poke Bowl recipe is like a deconstructed sushi wrap in a bowl. This recipe can be made with rice, fish and a variety delicious toppings and sauces.
POKE BOWLS ARE OUR PASSION
Over the years, I have become obsessed with poke bowls and sushi.
If I need a quick and tasty lunch option for Friday, I go to my local sushi restaurant and order a spicy, crunchy roll and a bottle of kombucha.
When I have some time and a few friends to share a meal, I stop by our Aloha Poke Co. location. My entire family, including our soon-to be eighteen-year-old, is obsessed with the game.
This Hawaiian Poke Bowl recipe with Spicy Aioli was created in honor of Hatti. This is insane, as she would not have tried a dish like it a few years ago. She now eats this every week. Hatti is 18 years old! This poke bowl recipe is a hit!
Hatti is nearing the end her senior year at high school. Enjoying weekday lunches with her is one of my favorite memories. She is a student at both the high school and the local community college. This has made it possible for her to come home for lunch every day.
She has text me more than once from morning class: “Mom, how would you like some sushi for lunch?” I’ll get some .”
It wasn’t long before her passion for sushi turned into a love for poke bowls. It’s natural with so many of these same ingredients and flavours.
What is a POKE BOWL?
The term poke refers to cubes made from raw fish, which are then marinated in soy sauce and sesame oils and then mixed with onions. The bowl itself is a combination of traditional poke, rice, various vegetables, and umami-flavored condiments. You can make a poke bowl that suits your tastes.
Poke is pronounced pohKAY. It rhymes with okay. This traditional Hawaiian dish is served as an appetizer or main course.
Popular poke-bowl restaurants like Aloha Poke Co. have helped bring the Hawaiian traditional poke dish to the mainland. That’s something I am very happy about!
Learn More: Poke Mixed Bowls
WHAT IS COMMON IN A POKE BOWL?
I love the contrast of textures, colors and tastes in a poke bowl. Here’s how we make ours.
- Sushi rice
- Fresh mixed greens
- Sushi-grade salmon (also known as sashimi grade)
- Seaweed salad I’ve been a fan of this dish since last year when I tried it in a sushi restaurant. It’s great that Aloha Poke Co. offers it, and I found the ingredients for my own recipe at an Asian market’s food deli. It’s located in the middle of my poke bowl if you don’t already know.
- Shelled Emame
- Pickled Ginger – This stuff is a little addictive. Hatti is always prepared to request extra ginger for me when she picks up my sushi!
- Fried onions
- Sesame seeds
- Green onions
- Sesame vinaigrette
- Spicy aioli
You can find some other options for poke bowls, including my Sweet Potato Bowl and Teriyaki Chicken Poke Bowls.
HOW TO BUY SUSHI GRADE ISH
Poke bowls are made with raw fish, but they don’t always have to contain fish. Yellowfin (ahi), tuna, is the most popular. However, there are other types of seafood and fish like snapper and salmon. Salmon is my favorite fish.
“Sushi grade” refers to fish that has been inspected and rated as high-quality fish and suitable for raw consumption.
Tips to Success
- Locate a trustworthy fishmonger or market I live in Minnesota and I rely on a local market to have a variety of sushi-grade fish in its freezer. It was easy to let it thaw overnight in the refrigerator. A trusted fishmarket is also available in the Twin Cities. It flies in fish six times a week. Most Asian markets will also carry sushi-grade fish.
- Make use of your senses: Look for vibrant colors in fish. It should also smell and feel fresh, just like the ocean. It should not look old, be soft, flaky or smell funny.
HOW TO MAKE A POKE BOW
Making poke bowls is not difficult, even though it may seem intimidating. It’s an edible art project that I enjoy. 🙂
Start by layering the ingredients in the bowl. Continue with fresh cucumber strips, seaweed salad, shelled Edamame, fresh pineapple bits and plenty of pickled Ginger.
Although poke is often made from raw, marinated fish, I prefer my poke “naked” without marinade. I love the fresh ocean flavor and the sesame vinegar and spicy aioli provide the extra flavor. These fresh bowls are so pretty! Add it to your other ingredients.
Add some fried onions for a wonderful texture and flavor contrast. Sprinkle on sesame seeds, sliced green onions and some salt.
Pour a sesame vinegar over the entire thing and then add a creamy, spicy aioli.
Gah! It’s so much fun!
Is the rice served hot or cold?
Poke bowls consist of warm rice mixed with cold tuna and other ingredients. This dish is even more interesting because of the contrast in temperatures.
MY FAVORITE TOPPINGS
You can use premade vinaigrette and aioli but these homemade versions will elevate your poke bowl to the next level.
A salty dressing is a great way to highlight the fish in poke bowls. My favorite dressings include toasted sesame oil. This is how I make my sesame dressing – it’s so easy! Pour this over your poke bowl to get incredible flavor.
Equipment & Ingredients
Most often, I make my salad dressings using a pint container or halfpint container with tight-fitting lids. You can read my tip about lids below. Grab a container or jar with a tight-fitting cover and add the following ingredients.
- soy sauce
- rice vinegar
- Olive oil
- toasted sesame oil
- Freshly squeezed lime juice
Making the Vinaigrette
Secure the lid tightly and shake vigorously until everything is well combined. Keep the finished vinaigrette refrigerated until you are ready to use it. Give it another shake before serving.
The vinaigrette will harden if it is left in the refrigerator for a long time. If this happens, leave your vinaigrette on the counter for at least 20-30 minutes before you use it with your poke bowls.
For a delicious Asian salad, you can drizzle any vinaigrette that remains over greens or vegetables.
A tip for you! I’ve moved away from 2-piece metal rings or lids and now prefer the 1-piece plastic lid. These are the regular and large mouth lids. Some of the off-brand lids are not recommended. They don’t work as well as those from major jar makers like Ball. I have ordered them.
HOMEMADE SPICY AIOLI SOUP
This condiment is incredibly delicious and I add it to every poke bowl. It’s easy to make a creamy and spicy aioli sauce. Here is my easy recipe:
I love mayonnaise so I get my favorite mayo along with a bottle Sriracha and make a simple sauce. That’s it.
Sriracha is my go-to spice if I want more heat. You can make it as spicy or mild as you want!
Tip: Make two batches of spicy aioli and keep them in a jar or squeeze bottles in the fridge. It can be used to top burgers and tuna melts. You can also use it as a dip for fresh or roasted vegetables, such as French fries, tatortots, and onions rings.
Poke bowls can be customized in many different ways. There are so many topping options!
- Use white rice for the base (I prefer a medium-grain sushi Rice), brown rice or a full base with fresh greens.
- The main protein (the poke): Choose from ahi tuna or albacore tuna as well as salmon, tuna, scallops and octopus. You can also cook raw fish if you don’t like it raw.
- No fish? To go beyond the seafood and fish worlds, try tofu or chicken.
- The vegetables are: You can use creamy avocado, sweet onion and garlic as well as shredded carrots, cucumbers, sweet onions, sweet onion, sweet potato, Napa cabbage, green onion, jalapeno, green onions, and the crunchy bite of radishes. Fresh herbs are also a great option for this dish, such as cilantro!
- For the fruit: I have a bowl that includes pineapple just like Aloha Poke Co., but mandarin orange wedges and mango are beautiful additions to my bowl. They add some sweetness.
- Additional bowl toppings: You can’t have enough of the above toppings to make it a complete meal. Pickled ginger, pickled ginger, spicy horseradish paste, tobiko (fish roe), furikake, japanese seasoning mixture, togarashi (Japanese Red Chili Spice Mix), togarashi, togarashi, togarashi, furikake, dried seaweed, seaweed salami (hydrated seaweed with sesame oils, vinegar, etc. You can also make fried wontons, chopped macadamia nuts and sesame seed chips.
- You want to keep it low carb? Use zucchini noodles or cauliflower rice instead. You can also use all greens.