my fishing cape cod logo

Summer Meal Idea: Tuna Poke Bowls

Lauren Collins

To me, summer 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 and now seen in restaurants pretty much everywhere, this is a delicious way to enjoy freshly caught tuna.

Think of a tuna poke bowl as like 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.  You can also use fresh salmon, or, if you don't like raw fish, you could do this with cooked shrimp.


Building Your Poke Bowl

To start building your own poke bowl, here are the steps you'll want to follow.

1.  Choose Your Grain

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 will be used in this recipe), which is great for its fragrant flavor and versatility, or brown rice.  

2.  Choose Your Protein

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

The summer will always be easier to find sushi-grade tuna, but you can also find frozen sushi-grade tuna at most fish markets, and places like Fisherman's View in Sandwich, MA, have fresh sushi-grade tuna year-round.

If you aren't a fan of raw fish, then another option is to use cooked shrimp.  If you don't like any of those options, you can also try this by marinating avocado chunks in place of the fish.

3.  Marinating the Fish

The next decision to make 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 and 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, you can also try a hot chili sauce found in the Asian section of your supermarket or even just some chopped jalapeño to go into the marinade.  

4.  Adding to Your Bowl

After deciding on your grain, type of fish and heat level, next is to add in whatever 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 goes in a poke bowl!

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

The Kung Pao Broccoli is a recipe I found in a cookbook I just picked up called Cravings, and I am totally and completely obsessed with it.  I added the recipe for the broccoli into the recipe below, but this is an optional topping of course.

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 trying it.  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, then add whatever else.

I hope you enjoy this recipe and try it out!  You can also click here to print.

What do you think?

Let me know by commenting below.

  1. 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.

    1. That sounds delicious John!!! Thanks so much for sharing! The kung pao broccoli is one of our favorites 🙂

  2. 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.

    1. I’ll have to try that next time I’m down Cape! And no leftovers – it was gone within seconds!

  3. looks delicious and healthy Lauren, looks simple too. btw, I’m not much of a cook so I love simple when it comes to cooking.

    1. Thank you Steve!


Leave a Comment