Jullie & Chelsea: Poke Bowls

Happy Friday, everyone! Jullie here, and I am ecstatic to share the latest recipe that Chelsea and I whipped up together...

Fact: Chelsea and I would be perfectly happy plowing our way through bowls and bowls of poke. Also a fact: Poke bowls are suuuper easy to make at home! This dish has been long associated with the Hawaiian islands, but in recent years, poke-centric joints have been popping up all along the West Coast—some even offering modern, fusion twists. We’ve checked out places like North Shore in Huntington Beach and Fish Face in Downtown Sacramento, so it was about time we made our own versions, right in our very own kitchen! Here’s how we did it!

First, to round up all of the ingredients we would need, Chelsea and I made the trip out to a local Asian market. It also happened to be Chelsea’s first time ever to an Asian market! :D OBVIOUSLY, I was excited to be the one to come along for that honor…It was fun pointing out some of the more interesting stuff and cruising through every aisle. (Oh hello, tanks of ginormous crabs...AND WHAT ARE YOU, GRASS JELLY DRINKS?!) Chels even grabbed some lavender green tea while we were roaming! If you can, I definitely recommend heading to your local Asian market for all your poke-making needs. They often have a fantastic variety of produce and seafood, with good prices too!

Once we made it home with all of our goodies...Prepping the bowls was simple. Everything gets chopped and diced into similar shapes and sizes…and…that’s pretty much it. *thumbs up*

We decided to use slices of crisp cucumber as the base of our bowls. It stands up well to all of the toppings, and it’s a fresher and lighter alternative to rice. (I also love how it can soak up any extra sauce!)

Another important ingredient switcharoo in this recipe: coconut aminos instead of soy sauce! We were first introduced to coconut aminos when we did Whole30…and I’ve stuck with it ever since. It’s typically made from the sap of the coconut tree, aged, and seasoned with sea salt. It’s great in dressings, marinades, and stir fry sauces…just like soy sauce…BUT it has less sodium and has a unique, slightly sweeter flavor. It’s gluten-free, and it’s paleo and vegan friendly! (I love this bottle I picked up from Thrive Market, which is organic and uses coconut blossom nectar and sea salt!)

Coconut aminos added great flavor to our poke marinade, and the only other ingredients were sesame oil and sriracha--just a hint of spice!

As for the main star of the dish? We decided to go with a salmon and tuna mix! We also grabbed some octopus at the market, to try it out for fun on the side! The octopus already comes steamed, so all we had to do was slice it into thin circles.

The fish and octopus marinated for about 30 minutes. Yum yum yum...

Then…toppings time! We wanted to semi-recreate our bowls from North Shore, so mango and avocado were absolutely required. (SO GOOD!) Sesame seeds and seaweed salad were also added to the poke party!

To "build" your poke bowls, simply lay out a base of cucumber slices on the bottom of each bowl. Then add as much of the poke and the toppings as you want!

This is really just a perfect summer dish...Quick and easy to make, for those hot days when you don’t feel like firing up the stove and cooking. Gorgeous and colorful. And, most importantly, fresh and flavorful!

This recipe is good for 3-4 servings, in individual bowls, but you could also make a big batch and serve it in a platter. It’d make a great appetizer for your next Summer BBQ, pool party, or beach get-together! 

Poke Bowls (serves 3-4)

4 tbsp coconut aminos
1 tbsp sesame oil
½ tbsp sriracha (optional; or use a chili sauce of your choice)
¾ tsp sea salt
1.75 – 2 lbs raw fish (recommended: salmon and/or tuna), cut into medium-size cubes
1 large cucumber, sliced
1 mango, peeled & diced
2 avocados, peeled/pitted/diced
1 package wakame seaweed salad
Sesame seeds, for garnish

  1. To make the marinade, combine the coconut aminos, sesame oil, sriracha, and sea salt in a small bowl or jar. Whisk together.
  2. Place the fish into a bowl, then pour marinade over the fish. Stir to evenly coat the fish, then set aside to marinate for at least 30 minutes.
  3. To build poke bowls, lay cucumber slices on the bottom of individual bowls. Add a layer of the marinated fish. Top with diced mango, diced avocado, seaweed salad, and sesame seeds!