This 20 minute Hawaiian Inspired Salmon Poke Bowl recipe is full of fresh colourful ingredients that burst with flavour! Made with seasoned rice, fish, and bright fresh toppings, this Poke bowl is a treat for your taste buds!
Please join me and travel to the stunning islands of Hawaii without ever leaving our kitchens! This Salmon Poke Recipe is Hawaiian Inspired, as I would never dare to say that I make it authentically as I have not been taught by a native Hawaiian, nor do I have access to the perfectly fresh ingredients from the ocean! I would love to pay respect to the Hawaiian origin of poke bowls and how much I truly ♡ it.
CONTENTS (JUMP AHEAD ANYTIME)
- How to make Hawaiian Inspired Salmon Poke – Short Video & PIN.
- Why we ♥︎ Poke Bowls.
- What is a Poke Bowl?
- Ingredients in my Hawaiian Inspired Salmon Poke Bowl.
- What is Sushi Grade Fish?
- How to make a Poke Bowl.
- Can I make it vegetarian?
- Can I store left overs – how long will it stay fresh?
HOW TO MAKE SALMON POKE BOWL – SHORT 1 MINUTE VIDEO!
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WHY WE ♡ POKE BOWLS!
I love the versatility of a Poke Bowl! You can use the same marinade mix for tuna, salmon, even tofu! In our house, we all have our favourite ingredients that we love to pile onto our bowls! My daughter sometimes like to eat it vegetarian with the marinade as a topping ♡.
My family are seriously OBSESSED with Poke Bowls! Ever since I had the pleasure of travelling to Hawaii in my early 20’s, I’ve had a lasting craving for authentic Hawaiian Poke Bowls! The craving just never really leaves me 🤣! I found it hard, however, to find places that served Poke Bowls that could meet my dietary needs. So I decided to create one that is gluten, dairy, egg & corn free with soy, nut & even vegetarian options.
IS THIS RECIPE AUTHENTIC HAWAIIAN?
I would never even dream of saying that my recipe is authentic, because I am not of Hawaiian heritage, however, it satisfies my craving and I hope it will for you as well! Nothing could EVER replace the freshness and incredible taste of a Hawaiian Poke Bowl made in Hawaii by locals! However, for me, this is as good as it gets without actually hoping on a plane!
Please join me and travel to Hawaii, USA without ever leaving our kitchens! Let’s make a delicious, Hawaiian Inspired Salmon Poke Bowl!
WHAT IS A POKE BOWL?
Poke = “poh-kay”
Poke Bowls (pronounced ‘poh-kay’ and rhymes with okay) originated in Hawaii and can be served as an appetizer or main course. From my understanding, the word poke means “to cut or slice crosswise into pieces” in Hawaiian.
When most people hear the word poke, they think of cubed pieces of raw fish tossed in a some sort of salt or soy sauce. What we know today as poke, is typically a combination of Hawaiian poke and Japanese sashimi.
HOW IS POKE TRADITIONALLY MADE?
Traditionally, Hawaiian Poke is made with raw fish (like tuna or salmon) that is marinated with salt, kukui relish (made from roasted kukui nuts, candlenuts, and sea salt ) and limu (edible sea plants aka seaweed). The Japanese influence adds the shoyu or Japanese soy sauce (1).
The bowl itself typically combines rice, poke (marinated raw fish), and a variety of vegetables and sea plants (seaweed). There are literally endless ways to build your poke bowl suited to your preferences and dietary needs!
If anyone reading this is from Hawaii and would like to further expand on my description or share any tips and tricks, I’d ♥︎ to hear from you in the comments!
INGREDIENTS IN MY SALMON POKE BOWL
The ingredients in my Hawaiian Inspired Salmon Poke Bowl are some of my favourite ingredients! They are not all traditionally found in a Hawaiian Poke Bowl, but I love the flavour combinations. I was so inspired by the incredible Hawaiian diet when visiting the islands. I tend to change the toppings for my bowl and the type of fish I chose, based on what is available & fresh in the particular season.
MY POKE MARINADE INGREDIENTS:
This marinade is so easy to make and tastes SO divine with the raw fish! You can either marinate the fish in the sauce, or simple drizzle it on top of the entire dish as a dressing. The choice is yours!
- Fresh Raw Salmon or Tuna
…or make a Tuna Poke Bowl
This recipe is delicious with fresh sushi grade red tuna as well. Here it is shown with or without veganaise (or mayo). Enjoy it both ways to suite your individual tastes!
“Sushi Grade” is a confusing term, means the fish that is intended to be consumed raw (including raw, marinated & partially cooked fish) has been inspected for parasites and deemed safe to be consumed and or has been frozen at -20C or below for 7 days or -35C for 15 hours. I found that depending on the country you live, the rules and regulations vary greatly.
The Alberta government (Alberta, Canada) has guidelines for preparing sushi products (like raw salmon or tuna) which you can read about here.
My humble advice would be to consume raw fish that has been frozen as above. In Calgary, you can find good quality salmon and tuna (frozen “sushi grade”) at TnT Market.
- Veganaise or Mayo (optional)
I love the creaminess that comes from adding mayo to the marinade!
It is UBER easy to make your own in less than 5 mins! Check out my recipe for DIY Vegan Mayo that is made with 4 simple ingredients that you probably already have in your fridge and pantry!
Veganaise also comes in many pre-made types that are free from gluten, eggs, soy, dairy & preservatives. I love Follow Your Heart brand.
- Gluten-Free Tamari or Coconut Aminos
- Sesame Oil
I love the flavour of sesame oil, however, it is quite strong. If you’re new to cooking with it, try starting with just a splash & move up from there. Don’t over do it or it will take over. The perfect amount brings an incredible flavour! I use Lee Kum Kee brand found at the Superstore in Calgary (Loblaws) or TnT Market.
- Fish Sauce
I just ♡ the flavour boost a splash of good fish sauce brings to this dish! It truly enhances the flavour and doesn’t make it taste to fishy, I promise. Be mindful though to check the ingredients on your fish sauce label! Many contain additives derived from wheat or corn! I use Squid brand fish sauce as it contains only 3 ingredients (anchovy, salt & sugar).
- Fresh Ginger & Garlic
I love the combination of ginger and garlic in this marinade. I think it adds a depth to the marinade. Make sure to grate it fresh as the bottled ginger & garlic often have additives which may be derived from corn, wheat or soy! If you add chilli garlic paste you can omit the garlic here so you don’t overpower the dish!
- Chilli Garlic Paste
I have not been able to find a chilli paste or sirracha that is totally corn free! All of the ones I have found contain xanthan gum (which can be derived from either corn, soy or wheat sugars) so I avoid them. If you can consume xantham gum there are several options for you. If not, I have created a very SIMPLE recipe for DIY Chilli Garlic Paste (coming soon).
- Fresh Ground Pepper
I think salmon loves pepper!
- Fresh Lime Juice
I love the fresh kick that lime juice adds!
SPICE UP YOUR RICE
- Sushi Rice (or your fav rice)
I like to use sushi rice for this dish as it has a lovely sticky texture that lends well to support the other ingredients. Feel free to use your favourite type of rice and spice it up the same way!
- Salt, Cane Sugar & Rice Wine Vinegar
Chose your own favourites from the list of ideas or come up with your own! Really, you can use whatever veggies you have kicking around in your fridge! All of these toppings are optional so just choose the ones that suite your fancy!
CHOOSE YOUR FAVOURITE VEGGIES!
Gives a lovely creaminess and healthful kick.
Shred, julienne or peel curls of carrot to add some lovely crunch, colour & health benefits.
I love to slice my cucumber and create a curled flower. I just love when my food looks like art!
- Green Onion
Use kitchen scissors to save time!
I love to pickle my radishes. See how I do it with my Perfect Pickled Radish recipe!
As far as I know, fruit is not traditionally added to Hawaiian Poke Bowls, however, I just LOVE the little sweet and tart flavour that the mangoes bring to this dish! They perfectly compliment the salmon.
- Bell Peppers
If you have a bell pepper laying around in your fridge, they can add lovely colour and texture to your bowl!
- Red Cabbage
I love pickled Red Cabbage. You can pickle red cabbage in the same way as radishes. Check out how I do it (coming soon)!
- Dried Seaweed or Seaweed Salad
I like to add dried seaweed to my poke but if you prefer seaweed salad it is lovely too!
- Crunchy Toppings
Peanuts, Sesame Seeds & Roasted Brown Rice are some of my favourite toppings to add that crunch and creaminess. If you are nut free, simply omit the peanuts!
OTHER TOPPING OPTIONS:
- Edamame – shelled
- Mixed Greens
- Fried Onion
- Any of your favourite veggies!
HOW TO MAKE SALMON POKE BOWL
Check out my instructional video above!
STEP 1: Cook your rice! This is literally the longest step (15-20′) so get this going straight away.
STEP 2: Mix your marinade ingredients together. If you chose to make your own Vegan Mayo start with blending those ingredients together.
STEP 3: Cut salmon or tuna into small bite sized chunks with a very sharp knife.
STEP 4: Add marinade to fish and place in refrigerator.
STEP 5: Prepare toppings. Chop or slice veggies and fruit to your liking. Create your own food art! This is where I like to get the children involved and allow them to express themselves and be creative! Food that is presented well is enjoyed more don’t you think?
STEP 6: Spice up your rice if desired. This is not absolutely necessary. So if you are on a salt or sugar restricted diet you can simply add rice wine vinegar or skip this step all together.
STEP 7: Layer your ingredients. Think of the rice as your canvas and start decorating with your salmon and other beautifully delicious toppings!
STEP 8: Sprinkle with peanuts &/or sesame seeds if so desired. You can also reserve a little of the marinade and drizzle on top of your bowl!
IN JUST 20 MINUTES YOU CAN ENJOY EATING YOUR MASTERPIECE! EASY AS 1-2-3!
CAN I MAKE A VEGETARIAN POKE BOWL?
Absolutely! You can either create a Poke Bowl with rice, veggies & fruit or you can fry up tofu and use the marinade (omit the fish sauce) as a dressing. Both are delicious! My daughter sometimes prefers it this way.
CAN I STORE LEFTOVERS? HOW LONG WILL IT STAY FRESH?
It really is best to eat it on the day you make it to be safe, however, I always try and make enough poke for dinner plus a little left over for lunches. I find it stays fresh until the following day, however, this really depends on how fresh your fish was to begin with. I don’t like to save the left overs longer than 1 day. Honestly, we eat every last bite!
I just know that you’ll LOVE how easy, fast and incredibly delicious this Hawaiian Inspired Salmon Poke Recipe is to make! If you try it and love it, please let me and others know by quickly rating and commenting below!
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Thanks once again for your readership and support!
- 1 Mandoline optional – to cut and slice fresh vegetables
Spiced Up Rice
Fish Marinade (and or topping)
- 1 lb Salmon Sushi Grade – cut into bite sited cubes
- 2 Tbsp Vegan Mayo (see my recipe to make your own)
- 2 Tbsp Tamari (gluten-free or Coconut Aminos) (use Coconut Aminos for soy free option – I use Bragg's brand)
- 1 tsp Sesame Oil (I use Lee Kum Kee brand)
- 1 tsp Fish Sauce (I use Squid brand)
- 1 tsp Ginger (freshly grated)
- 1-2 tsp Chilli Garlic Paste or Sriracha (I make my own with garlic & chillies (red jalapeno)
- 1 Tbsp Lime Juice – freshly squeezed (about 1 lime)
- ½ tsp Black Pepper – freshly ground to taste
Fresh Toppings – choose your favourites (not limited to list below)
- 1 cup Carrot – julienned or shredded (1 or 2 carrots)
- 1 Avocado sliced
- 2-3 stems Green Onion sliced
- 1 bunch Radishes sliced thinly (or pickled)
- ½ Cucumber sliced thin
- 1 Mango cut into cubes
- 4 pieces Dried Seaweed
Crunchy Toppings (all optional choose your favourites)
- 1 Tbsp Peanuts – chopped
- ½ tsp Sesame Seeds – black & or white (1/2 tsp will be plenty for all 6 bowls)
- 1 tsp Roasted Brown Rice I get mine at our local Japanese/Korean market (E-mart)
- Cook rice according to package directions.
- Once cooked, spice up rice by adding rice wine vinegar, cane sugar & salt.
- Mix all marinade ingredients together & add to salmon cubes. Mix gently. Set in refrigerator until ready to create your bowls.
- Choose & prepare toppings to your liking.
Construct your Poke Bowl
- Layer spiced up rice on the bottom of bowls. Use your rice as your canvas.
- Add marinated salmon on top of rice.
- Add all other toppings beside your salmon. Be creative! Food that looks appealing always seems to taste better!
- Sprinkle with your favourite crunchy toppings.
- ENJOY your beautifully tasty creation!
- Feel free to add whatever veggies you have laying around the fridge! Red Cabbage is also a delightful topping I often use. I love to pickle it like I do my radishes.
- All colours of Bell Peppers are also a delicious option.
- Many people like to add edamame as a topping as well.
- I love using Sushi Rice for my poke bowls as it has a lovely texture and helps hold my toppings together, but any type of rice you have kicking around will work!
- Want to make your own Vegan Mayo? Here’s my quick and easy vegan mayo recipe!
www.hawaiinewsnow.com has an informative video where they explain the meaning of poke in Hawaiian and how it is traditionally made.