September 17 2023

How to Make Tuna Poke Bowls

by Lauren Collins

For me, this time of the year on Cape Cod means fresh caught fish.  When I'm really lucky, sometimes Ry-guy even brings me home a fresh tuna filet, and things get really exciting.

If you love sushi, then you'll love these tuna poke bowls.  Most famously found in places like Hawaii, but now seen in restaurants pretty much everywhere, this is a delicious way to enjoy freshly caught tuna.

Think of a tuna poke bowl as a deconstructed sushi roll.  There is the rice, the marinated fish, and the other additions such as creamy avocado, crisp cucumber, sesame seeds, sweet mango and pickled ginger. You could also add in sliced jalapeños, scallions, shiitake mushrooms, or any other number of vegetables and flavors.

For this recipe, I want to share with you a simple way to create this very popular dish.  If you don't have tuna, then you could also use fresh salmon. If you don't like raw fish, then you could substitute in cooked shrimp.

Here are the steps for building your own poke bowl.

1.  Choose Your Rice

First, you'll want to choose your base for the bowl.  Remember that this is like a deconstructed sushi roll, so rice is important.  

Choose between jasmine rice (which is what I used in this recipe) or brown rice. I prefer jasmine rice because of its fragrant flavor and versatility.

2.  Choose Your Protein

If you have access to sushi-grade yellowfin or bluefin tuna, or fresh salmon, then those are great options. In this recipe, we are using sushi-grade yellowfin tuna from the offshore canyons.

The summer is always the easiest time to find sushi-grade tuna, but you can often find frozen sushi-grade tuna year-round at most fish markets, like Fisherman's View in Sandwich, MA. 

If you aren't a fan of raw fish, then another option is to use cooked shrimp.  If you don't like either of those options, then you can use marinated avocado chunks in place of the fish.

3.  Marinating the Fish

The next decision is how spicy do you want your bowl to be?  

For me, I tend to go on the spicier side, so I like to marinate my tuna in soy sauce, sesame oil and a tiny bit of Yuzu Hot Sauce, which I get at Trader Joes.

Warning - it is SUPER spicy!

If you don't like spice, then just omit the hot sauce.  If you do like spice but can't find this kind of hot sauce, then you can try hot chili sauce which can be found in the Asian section of your supermarket.

In lieu of hot chili sauce, you could add chopped jalapeño to the marinade.  

4.  Add Even More To Your Bowl!

After deciding on your rice, your type of fish and spininess level, the next step is to add in whatever else you think sounds good to you.  

This could be cubed mango, sliced cucumber, sliced radishes, sliced jalapeño, cubed avocado, pickled ginger, sesame seeds for a garnish for added flavor, scallions, sliced red pepper, name it.

Anything and everything can go into a poke bowl!

My favorites are chopped avocado and mango, plus my own little addition, Kung Pao Broccoli.

The Kung Pao Broccoli is a recipe I found in a cookbook called Cravings, and I am totally and completely obsessed with it.  The Kung Pao Broccoli is a roasted broccoli dish that has a really sweet and spicy kung pao sauce that you pour over the crispy broccoli and then put it under the broiler to caramelize - I highly recommend giving it a shot.  The recipe for this is included with the poke recipe below.

For the rest of the additions, remember that building a poke bowl is like building a salad or smoothie - add whatever you like to make it your own.  The key is to marinate your sushi-grade fish in a little sesame and soy, and serve it with a grain, and then add whatever else.

You can view the complete recipe below or click here to print a hard copy.

In conclusion I hope you will give this tuna poke bowl recipe a try.

If you do give this recipe a shot, then please let me know by commenting below!

Happy Cooking 🍽

About the author 

Lauren Collins

Through the eyes of a fishermans' wife, I'm excited to share my cooking and photography with you here on MFCC. You can learn more about cooking, and get more recipes by visiting my website Creatively Delish.

  • Your Poke Bowl recipe is very good. Thanks for Kung Pao Broccoli- that recipe rocks. Last night i smoked some mackerel (caught on CC Canal jetties) and two trout (from a Cape kettle pond). Boned them after smoking and used that as the protein in the Poke Bowl. With mangos, the broccoli, and avocados. With lime drizzled on top. quite good. while we have had fancy smokers i prefer the simple stainless Camerons unit–just put it on top of your LP gas grill. though i do put in some dried hickory and apple chips, we have cherry and fruit trees in our yard that always need pruning. So i cut up some twigs quite small. Think the green fruitwood produces a better smoked flavor than dried wood chips. just 30 min on the grill and the fish is smoked fine.

  • That looks mouth watering. Do you have any leftovers???
    Now if I could only catch a tuna this summer!

    BTW my go to place for this dish is Mac’s Shack in Wellfleet.

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