poke bowl, hawaiian

Aloha 🙂 🙂No gonnae lie folks, when I first saw poke bowls popping up on IG, I was a bit underwhelmed. They looked STUNNIN, don’t get me wrong. But in my head it seemed too simple to be worth the hype. I mean, it’s just a bunch of raw stuff put together on a bowl of rice – how good could it be?

Turns out it’s so mind-blowingly delicious like seriously I want to eat this every day while howling along to the Moana soundtrack with my mouth full haha. All at once it’s rich and buttery, but also zingy and refreshing. It’s perfect! It seems simple, and it’s certainly easy to make, but my recipe has a few wee surprises that boost the flavour and texture. If ever there’s going to be a rabcooks restaurant, this will be fo-sho on the menu. But instead of waiting for that day, you gotta make this at home, your life will be better! There’s also a vegan version I’m suggesting!

ingredients (for 2 bowls)

2 salmon fillets you would happily eat RAW* (see notes at end) / 1 block silken soft tofu if vegan

1 cup rice (I use thai rice for everything haha, but sushi rice would probs be the best)

1 avocado

1/2 cucumber

1 nori sheet

3 tbsp white vinegar (total)

1 tsp salt (total)

1/2 tbsp sugar

3 tbsp sriracha (+ extra for drizzling)

1 tbsp light soy sauce

1 tbsp sesame oil

zest of half a lime

japanese mayonnaise / vegan mayonnaise to drizzle

white and black toasted sesame seeds (or whatever you’ve got tbh, the contrast just looks pretty)


1. cook the rice (I use a rice cooker haha, so I’m not gonna explain this stage in case I give bad advice). When cooked, add 2 tbsp vinegar, 1/2 tsp salt, the sugar and a handful of sesame seeds and mix. Set aside to cool slightly.

2. while the rice is cooking, chop the cucumber into thin discs, cover them in 1/2 tsp salt and let them sit for 20 mins. Then wash them well, drain them and add 1 tbsp vinegar. Set aside.

the next step depends if you’re making the vegan (3a) or salmon version (3b)!

3a. bring a pot of generously salted water to the boil. Cut the tofu into 2cm cubes and gently plop them in the water. Boil for 20 mins on a medium heat, then drain and allow to cool.

3b. Skin the salmon and cut into 2cm cubes.

4. mix sriracha, 1 tbsp vinegar, the sesame oil and soy sauce in a bowl and add either the salmon or drained tofu. Mix carefully so you don’t break the tofu!

5. slice an avocado in half, remove the stone, and cut each half into thin slivers. Cut a sheet of nori into eighths (scissors are best for this).

6. Assemble! put rice on the bottom of the bowl, and then add in the rest of the ingredients, dividing them between the 2 portions (or make one giant one, I’m not here to judge).

7. Some lime zest over the salmon/tofu REALLY elevates the dish, as does a squeeze of mayo (especially japanese mayo!) and sriracha, and a sprinkling sesame seeds. Then take a second to marvel at your beautiful bowl before devouring the lot!

*NOTE: I’m lucky to live in Scotland, where salmon is caught nearby and gets to my supermarket in a very short time. If you’re not Scottish or…Alaskan (where else do you get salmon haha?) then be sure to ask for sushi-grade salmon or try another local fish (maybe your region is famous for tuna, I don’t know??) because when it comes to raw fish, you’ll want to err on the side of caution! Or just make the vegan version I’ve suggested, it’s delish and better for the environment woohoo!

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