Salmon Poke Bowl

salmon poke bowl

Pete Scherer

Prep: 25 mins
Cook: 5 mins
Refrigerate: 60 mins
Total: 90 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
306 Calories
8g Fat
27g Carbs
33g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 306
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 8g 10%
Saturated Fat 1g 6%
Cholesterol 70mg 23%
Sodium 1886mg 82%
Total Carbohydrate 27g 10%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Total Sugars 25g
Protein 33g
Vitamin C 4mg 19%
Calcium 33mg 3%
Iron 1mg 8%
Potassium 599mg 13%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Who could blame you for dreaming of Hawaii? The poke bowl is brightly colorful, subtle in some ways, aggressive in others, light but satisfying, healthful, fresh, casual yet refined, beautiful, and, above all, scrumptious. Poh-kay? Poh-keh? Poh-kee? You'll have to go to Hawaii find out for sure. If you're already there, we're jealous. If you're not don't worry. It's easy to make this bowl yourself at home.

If you're new to all this, first things first: poke is raw. Unlike ceviche, in which an acidic dressing "cooks" the protein, poke is completely raw. In essence, poke is diced raw fish, coated in savory sauce. The sauce typically contains shoyu, sesame oil, rice vinegar, sometimes green onion or shallot, and sometimes also sriracha and sesame seeds. You can  add ginger or grated garlic if you like (use a microplane - no big chunks please.)

Traditionally poke is made with yellowfin tuna. Today's postmodern eater hates rules, however, so contemporary diner's can find poke made with all kinds of fish, and even octopus. Salmon, which some have called "the butter of the sea" makes for a very satisfying alternative to tuna. Like tuna, there are different varieties of salmon. Because poke exists to highlight the fresh fish, you should use only sashimi grade salmon in your poke. Sashimi grade salmon is farmed and frozen in a special way that kills parasites, which are often present in wild, river-dwelling salmon. Typically sushi-grade salmon must be frozen until solid and stored at -35C for at least 15 hours. To get the right stuff, find a trustworthy fish market, because salmon is, sadly, often mislabeled, both in terms of origin and species.

Salmon poke is super healthful. For starters, salmon is much lower in toxic mercury than tuna. Yet it is still a healthful source of protein, and good fats like omega 3s, which support a healthy heart, brain, eyes, and blood vessels, and may also reduce inflammation. The colorful array of veggies has the nutrition of the rainbow, with nutrients like vitamins B-12, C, and D, magnesium, potassium, folate, iron, manganese, zinc, and niacin. Poke is a healthful meal that feels light but is really quite substantial.

Like a new car, you can dress up your poke with all kinds of options. If you think about it, everything in life is optional.  The important thing is to balance flavor, texture and temperature. Beauty is also key to a great poke. Fan those veggies out to make it fancy.

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Ingredients

For the Salmon:

For the Pickled Cucumbers:

  • 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar

  • 1/2 cup water

  • 1/3 cup honey

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes

  • 1 Persian cucumber, thinly sliced

For the Sriracha Sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons Sriracha

  • 2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt, or light mayonnaise

Steps to Make It

Note: While there are multiple steps to this recipe, this poke bowl is broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for preparation and cooking.

​Prepare the Salmon

  1. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the diced salmon, soy sauce, vinegar, Sriracha, and sesame oil. Cover and refrigerate.

Make the Pickled Cucumbers

  1. Combine the vinegar, water, honey, salt, and chili flakes in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, turn off the heat, add cucumber slices and stir. Let rest 10 minutes, then transfer cucumber to a container, cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Make the Sriracha Sauce

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the Sriracha and yogurt or mayonnaise.

Assemble the Poke Bowl

  1. Add any additional desired ingredients to the bowl (like rice or salad) for the base. Top with 1/2 cup salmon poke, pickled cucumbers, and other toppings. Drizzle with Sriracha sauce. Enjoy!

Sub Ahi for Salmon

You can make this recipe with Ahi tuna instead of Salmon. See the link above for the complete recipe!

Tip for Salmon Skin

If you buy your salmon with the skin on, you must remove it before cutting up your salmon. But don't throw the skin away. Crisp it up in a skillet over medium high heat until lightly browned, crispy and sizzling. Season it with salt, cut it up and use it as a delicious garnish in the poke bowl, or just enjoy by itself as a yummy side snack.