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Easy Spicy Salmon Poke Bowl (at Home!)

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Craving a mouthwatering salmon poke bowl that’s not only super easy to make at home but also saves you from the hefty price tags at poke bowl shops? Try this fantastic spicy salmon poke bowl, featuring fresh salmon, a slightly spicy sauce, and an array of nutritious toppings such as avocado, edamame, cucumber, mango, radish, and a hint of lime.

poke bowl composed of spicy salmon, edamame, mango, radish, avocado rose, lime and furikake

Poke bowls seem pricey all over the world which is probably one of the reasons why I rarely order them when eating out. Another reason is that they never seem to have enough sauce to satisfy my taste buds! :’) And god knows how much I love sauce in all of my dishes.

Poke bowls have been trending for the past decade, so I thought I’d share my homemade recipe with you. It’s incredibly easy to make, and the longest part is simply waiting for the rice to cook.

The beauty of poke bowls lies in their versatility, allowing you to customize them in countless ways to suit your personal preferences and cater to your current cravings.

What is a poke bowl?

A poke bowl is a traditional Hawaiian dish that typically consists of diced, marinated raw fish (often sushi-grade salmon or tuna) served over a bed of rice or salad.

The fish is commonly seasoned with soy sauce, sesame oil, and other flavorful ingredients. Poke bowls are then topped with an assortment of fresh vegetables, fruits, seaweed, and various sauces or dressings. The result is a colorful and flavorful bowl that combines the textures and flavors of the ingredients for a refreshing and satisfying meal.

Origins of poke bowl

The origins of poke bowls can be traced back to Hawaii, where the dish has a rich history rooted in Hawaiian cuisine. The word “poke” in Hawaiian means “to slice” or “to cut” referring to the way the fish is traditionally prepared by slicing it into small, bite-sized pieces.

Historically, poke was a simple dish made with freshly caught fish, sea salt, and seaweed. It was often enjoyed as a snack or a quick meal by fishermen. Over time, the dish evolved and began incorporating various seasonings, sauces, and toppings, reflecting the diverse cultural influences present in Hawaii, such as Japanese, Korean, and Filipino flavors.

In recent years, the popularity of poke bowls has spread beyond Hawaii, becoming a global food trend. The dish has undergone further innovation and adaptation, allowing for a wide range of ingredients and flavors to be incorporated.

WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS RECIPE

  • Highly customizable. With endless combinations, you can tailor the flavors and ingredients to suit your personal taste and dietary preferences, making each poke bowl a unique culinary creation.
  • Restaurant-quality at home. This recipe allows you to enjoy the same restaurant-quality poke bowl experience without breaking the bank, allowing you to indulge in a satisfying and impressive meal in the comfort of your own home.
  • Healthy and nutritious. Packed with nutritious ingredients like salmon, avocado, and edamame, this spicy salmon poke bowl provides a balanced meal that is both satisfying and nourishing.
  • Fusion of flavors. The fusion of Japanese-inspired flavors in the spicy mayo, soy sauce, and sesame oil marinade brings a delightful umami punch to the dish.

Ingredients

  • rice – I always use short-grain rice, specifically Korean or Japanese rice, when making poke bowls. I don’t recommend using long-grain rice as it alters both the texture and flavor of the dish.
  • Which rice to use for poke bowls?

For a traditional poke bowl, it is recommended to use short-grain rice. Short-grain rice has a sticky texture and slightly sweet flavor, which complements the other ingredients in the bowl. The stickiness of the rice helps to hold the toppings and sauce together, creating a cohesive and enjoyable eating experience.

If you prefer a healthier option, you can also use brown rice or even cauliflower rice as a substitute. However, keep in mind that the texture and taste will be different compared to using traditional sushi rice.

rice seasoning

Some of you may prefer plain rice in their poke bowls, but personally, I enjoy the seasoned rice akin to sushi rice. In this type of dish, plain rice can taste too bland for my liking. However, if you prefer plain rice, feel free to omit the rice seasoning ingredients mentioned below.

  • rice vinegar – depending on your personal preference, feel free to adjust the amount of rice vinegar to suit your taste and modify the sugar and salt ratio accordingly.
  • sugar – make sure you use white sugar.
  • salt – use table salt only.

salmon

  • sushi-grade salmon – if you’re using raw salmon, ensure that you purchase fresh sushi-grade salmon. Avoid using defrosted salmon or any previously frozen variety, as the texture and quality may be compromised. Opting for fresh salmon also ensures a safe and enjoyable poke bowl. However, if raw salmon isn’t your thing, you can cook the salmon and mix it with the sauce. In this case, you can use any salmon available at the supermarket, not exclusively sushi-grade.
  • Which salmon to use for poke bowl?

Using sushi-grade salmon for a poke bowl is recommended due to its freshness, superior taste, and delicate texture, particularly if you plan to consume the salmon raw.

Sushi-grade salmon is specifically handled and stored to minimize bacterial contamination, ensuring a safe and enjoyable raw consumption experience. Its quality enhances the overall flavor profile of the dish, allowing you to fully appreciate the freshness and premium quality of the salmon.

  • kewpie mayo – kewpie mayo has a creamier texture and a slightly saltier taste compared to regular mayonnaise. However, you can substitute it with regular mayonnaise without making a significant difference to the overall outcome.
  • sriracha – if you like the sauce more spicy, feel free to increase the amount of sriracha 🙂
  • soy sauce – soy sauce brings some umami and a hint of saltiness to the spicy salmon sauce.
  • sesame oil – while not essential, sesame oil adds a delightful nutty flavor that complements this poke bowl PERFECTLY.

sauce

toppings

  • avocado – you can slice or dice the avocado, but for presentation purposes, I like arranging it in the form of a rose. In this case, ensure that you use a ripe avocado. For detailed instructions on how to make it, refer to the recipe below.
  • cucumber – slice or dice the cucumber.
  • edamame
  • radish – radish not only adds a vibrant pop of color to the poke bowl but also provides a delightful crunch.
  • mango – you can use fresh or frozen mango. If using frozen mango, ensure it is completely defrosted before adding it to the bowl.
  • furikake – adding furikake enhances the overall taste and adds a delightful umami flavor. It brings a unique combination of textures and a hint of oceanic essence from the seaweed.
  • lime – I usually add a touch of lime to my poke bowl for brightness, to balance the heat, and to introduce a refreshing element, but I prefer using just a few drops instead of pressing the entire lime quarter.
  • roasted seaweed – this step is optional, but I personally enjoy stuffing my poke bowl ingredients into roasted seaweed, similar to Korean ssam. I like to have a pack of Korean roasted seaweed on hand specifically for this purpose when enjoying a poke bowl.
spicy salmon poke bowl ingredients

How To Make this spicy salmon poke bowl?

  1. Prepare the rice – Cook the rice as you normally would. When using a rice cooker, the rice-to-water ratio should be 1:1¼.
  2. Mix all rice seasoning ingredients together. Then pour the seasoning over the cooked warm rice. Using a spatula, mix it well.
  3. Make the sauce – Mix all the sauce ingredients together and set aside.
  4. Prepare the salmon – In a large bowl, mix together kewpie mayo, sriracha, soy sauce, sesame oil, and diced salmon.
  5. Assemble the poke bowl – Place the rice in a bowl, then top it with the salmon, avocado, cucumber, edamame, radish, mango, furikake, lime, and roasted seaweed.
  6. (Optional) To create an avocado rose, you’ll need a ripe avocado. Start by slicing it lengthwise as thinly as possible. Arrange the slices in a line, placing them next to each other. Then, carefully roll up the slices from one end to the other to form a rose shape.
  7. Serve – Serve the poke bowl with the sauce.
four photos showing how to make spicy salmon poke bowl at home

Substitutions

  • Protein options – instead of salmon, you can try using other seafood such as tuna, shrimp, or even tofu as a vegetarian option.
  • Vegetables – feel free to substitute or add other vegetables like shredded carrots, sliced bell peppers, or steamed broccoli to suit your preferences.
  • Sauce variations – experiment with different sauce combinations such as an eel sauce, ginger soy sauce, or a sesame dressing for a unique twist on the flavors.
  • Rice alternatives – if you prefer a healthier option, you can substitute white rice with brown rice, quinoa, or cauliflower rice.

Other poke bowl topping ideas

  • Julienne carrots
  • Shredded lettuce or cabbage
  • Sliced radishes
  • Chopped green onions
  • Pickled ginger
  • Sesame seeds (toasted or black)
  • Masago or tobiko (fish roe)
  • Sliced jalapeños (for some heat)
  • Microgreens or sprouts
  • Marinated mushrooms
  • Crispy fried onions or garlic
  • Chopped cilantro or Thai basil
  • Marinated seaweed salad
  • Teriyaki sauce or glaze
  • Sliced mango or papaya
  • Grated daikon radish
  • Sliced almonds or crushed peanuts (for added crunch)
  • Fried tofu or tempeh (for a vegetarian option)
  • Quail eggs (soft-boiled or marinated)
  • Kimchi or fermented vegetables
  • Wasabi peas (for a spicy kick)
  • Sliced pineapple

How to serve a poke bowl? What to serve with X?

Serve the poke bowl immediately to ensure the freshness of all ingredients; avoid refrigerating it beforehand as it can cause the rice to become dry and hard.

Serve the sauce separately and drizzle it over the poke bowl just before eating.

I usually always keep a big batch of Korean roasted seaweed (kim) to enjoy the poke bowl like Korean ssam. It just makes it extra delicious. If you want to see what ssam is, check out my Jeyuk Bokkeum (Korean spicy pork) recipe. Ssam is a term used to describe the practice of wrapping a variety of ingredients, such as meat, vegetables, and rice, in lettuce leaves or roasted seaweed.

How To Store?

I highly recommend enjoying your poke bowl immediately for the best taste.

However, if you prefer to prepare your poke bowl in advance, you can store the prepped ingredients separately in airtight containers in the refrigerator. However, it’s important to note that raw salmon should be consumed the next day at the latest.

Avoid refrigerating the rice as it may become dry and hard. Instead, cook the rice a few hours before serving and refrain from refrigerating it to maintain its texture.

Emma’s Tips

  • Choose fresh, sushi-grade salmon for the best flavor and texture in your poke bowl.
  • Use short-grain rice to provide a soft and sticky base for your poke bowl.
  • Avoid overcooking the rice by using a rice cooker to achieve perfectly cooked rice.
  • Adjust the spice level according to your preference by adding more or less sriracha to the sauce or marinade.
  • Serve the poke bowl immediately after assembling to ensure the ingredients are fresh and vibrant.
  • Don’t forget to drizzle the sauce over the bowl just before serving to enhance the overall taste.
2 spicy salmon poke bowls on a table with spicy mayo sauce

RECIPE FAQ

Yes, a poke bowl can be a healthy meal option. It typically contains a balance of protein from the fish, healthy fats from ingredients like avocado, and a variety of vegetables, providing a good mix of nutrients.

However, the overall healthiness of a poke bowl depends on the specific ingredients and preparation methods used. Opting for fresh, high-quality ingredients and being mindful of portion sizes and added sauces can help keep a poke bowl nutritious.

Yes, traditionally, a poke bowl is mixed together before eating.

After assembling the ingredients in the bowl, you can use chopsticks or a fork to gently mix everything together. This allows the flavors to blend and ensures that each bite contains a combination of all the ingredients.

However, some people prefer to enjoy the components of the bowl separately without mixing them. It ultimately comes down to personal preference.

This spicy salmon poke bowl typically contains approximately 928 calories. However, the calorie content may vary depending on the specific ingredients you choose to include.

Yes, you can definitely make a poke bowl with cooked fish. While traditional poke bowls often feature raw fish, you can cook the fish then mix it with the sauce instead.

More Salmon recipes

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a poke bowl with rice, spicy salmon and other healthy toppings

Easy Spicy Salmon Poke Bowl (at Home)

Craving a mouthwatering salmon poke bowl that's not only super easy to make at home but also saves you from the hefty price tags at poke bowl shops? Try this fantastic spicy salmon poke bowl, featuring fresh salmon, a slightly spicy sauce, and an array of nutritious toppings such as avocado, edamame, cucumber, mango, radish, and a hint of lime.
5 from 6 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main
Cuisine: Hawaiian
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 1 poke bowl
Calories per serving: 928kcal
Author: Emma Choi

Ingredients

  • 1 rice cooker cup short-grain uncooked rice (equals 150g uncooked rice) (Note 1a)

rice seasoning

  • 30 ml rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • tsp salt

salmon

sauce

toppings

  • ½ avocado , sliced or diced
  • ¼ cucumber , sliced
  • 50 g edamame
  • 4 radish , thinly sliced
  • 70 g mango , cut in cubes
  • ½ tbsp furikake
  • ¼ lime , optional (Note 4)
  • 2 roasted seaweed , optional

Instructions

  • Prepare the rice – Cook the rice as you normally would. When using a rice cooker, the rice-to-water ratio should be 1:1¼ (Note 1b).
  • Mix all rice seasoning ingredients together. Then pour the seasoning over the cooked warm rice. Using a spatula, mix it well.
  • Make the sauce – Mix all the sauce ingredients together and set aside (Note 2).
  • Prepare the salmon – In a large bowl, mix together kewpie mayo, sriracha, soy sauce, sesame oil, and diced salmon (Note 3).
  • Assemble the poke bowl – Place the rice in a bowl, then top it with the salmon, avocado, cucumber, edamame, radish, mango, furikake, lime, and roasted seaweed.
  • (Optional) To create an avocado rose, you'll need a ripe avocado. Start by slicing it lengthwise as thinly as possible. Arrange the slices in a line, placing them next to each other. Then, carefully roll up the slices from one end to the other to form a rose shape.
  • Serve – Serve the poke bowl with the sauce (Note 1c).

Notes

1. Rice:
a. It’s best to use short-grain rice (Japanese or Korean rice). However, if you only have long-grain rice, you can still use it, but keep in mind that long-grain rice has a different texture and won’t taste exactly like the poke bowl you get in restaurants.
b. I recommend using a rice cooker to cook the rice. It will cook the rice perfectly and prevent it from being overcooked.
c. Add the rice seasoning to the rice while it’s still warm. While preparing the other ingredients, avoid refrigerating the rice as it will become harder. Also, serve the poke bowl immediately instead of refrigerating it for later, for the same reason.
2. Sauce: if you prefer a spicier sauce, you can increase the amount of sriracha.
3. Salmon: you can also cook the salmon in a pan with a little cooking oil, then mix it with the salmon seasoning sauce if you prefer cooked salmon.
4. Lime: I usually add a touch of lime to my poke bowl for brightness, to balance the heat, and to introduce a refreshing element, but I prefer using just a few drops instead of pressing the entire lime quarter.

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 928kcalCarbohydrates: 35gProtein: 39gFat: 71gSaturated Fat: 11gPolyunsaturated Fat: 32gMonounsaturated Fat: 23gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 106mgSodium: 1187mgPotassium: 1763mgFiber: 11gSugar: 18gVitamin A: 1203IUVitamin C: 49mgCalcium: 109mgIron: 4mg
Tried this recipe? Take a pic and mention @thatcutedish on Instagram, I’d love to see all your creations! Don’t forget to leave a rating and comment below : )

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