Salmon Poke Bowls are the ideal meal—easy to make, filled with Hawaiian and Asian flavors, hearty yet healthy, and downright stunning. Everything you need is piled into one bowl; whole grain brown rice, lean heart-healthy protein, veggies, and a variety of seasonings and sauces. It may look like spring in a bowl, but I’m here to tell you, this is a year-round kind of meal. 

Overhead image of a bowl filled with raw salmon, edamame, cucumbers, ginger and avocado set on a blue table with bowls of sauce and chopsticks

How to make salmon poke bowls

The process of making poke bowls at home is very simple. Most of the cooking happens in the prep of the ingredients, after that, it’s all about assembly. 

Because it comes down to assembly, it’s important to have a game plan for preparing the components (if you want to make this efficient af). Here’s my prep schedule. 

  1. Get the rice cooking.
  2. Whisk together the sauce for the salmon in a big bowl. 
  3. Dice the salmon then add to the sauce; toss to combine, cover and chill for 30 minutes. 
  4. Thinly slice the cucumber and onion, then combine in a large bowl. 
  5. Bring the pickling liquid to a boil on the stove top; pour over cucumber mixture and let rest for 15 minutes.
  6. Cook the edamame in now empty saucepan; drain and set aside.
  7. Slice the radishes and set aside. 
  8. Slice the avocado and set aside.
  9. Drain the salmon, and transfer the marinade to now empty saucepan. 
  10. Bring marinade to a boil and cook it until it’s thick an syrupy, about 5 minutes.
  11. Whisk together mayo and chili garlic sauce, if using. 

How to build a poke bowl

There’s no right or wrong way to assemble a poke bowl, but if you’re looking for a photo-worthy bowl, here is how to assemble: 

  1. Start by dividing the brown rice between your bowls. Create an even layer in the bottom of each bowl, slightly mounding some of the rice off to one side. 
  2. Divide the salmon between bowls, mounding off to one side. 
  3. Divide the edamame between bowls, mounding along a different side of the bowl. 
  4. Fan a few slices of avocado and nestle them in between ingredients or along the sides of the bowl.
  5. Fan the radish and pickled cucumber in the same way you did the avocado. 
  6. Bunch together some of the pickled onion and the pickled ginger and use those to fill in the “holes” of your bowl. 
  7. Drizzle the reduced sauce over the salmon and dollop the mayo sauce over the rice. 
  8. Sprinkle everything with sesame seeds and some furikake. 
Side angle of a bowl filled with raw salmon, edamame, cucumbers, ginger and avocado set on a blue table with bowls of sauce and chopsticks

Salmon poke bowl with spicy mayo 

Spicy mayo is a great addition to, well, everything, but especially poke bowls. It’s made with only two ingredients, but somehow the combination is pure magic. This simple sauce adds the right amount of creaminess to the bowls that you can’t get from anything else. It’s a great addition but totally optional.

For this recipe I call for avocado mayo because I love the flavor, you can use whatever mayo you have on hand. 

Overhead image of two bowsl filled with raw salmon, edamame, cucumbers, ginger and avocado set on a blue table with bowls of sauce and chopsticks

Using raw salmon 

Any meal that features raw salmon can feel a little intimidating. Although it shouldn’t be scary, there are a few things to keep in mind when eating raw fish to keep you safe. 

First off, when choosing the salmon you’re going to use for a poke bowl, look for wild-caught salmon that has been labeled as “previously frozen.” This label means that the fish has been frozen to below -4-degrees fahrenheit, which according to FDA guidelines, is a sufficient temperature to kill parasites. 

Overhead image of someone cutting raw salmon into cubes on a white cutting board.
When preparing the salmon, be sure to use a very clean cutting board and knife.

I recommend buying salmon that’s still frozen as opposed to picking up some from the seafood case (unless you have a great seafood market with a lot of turn over). There’s no telling how long the fish has been thawed at the counter, but when you choose frozen you know that it’s never been thawed and it’s been handled correctly. 

The best and safest way to thaw frozen salmon is to let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Depending on size, the salmon will need 12–24 hours, sometimes 36 hours, in the refrigerator before it’s fully thawed. 

Overhead image of a bowl filled with raw salmon, edamame, cucumbers, ginger and avocado set on a blue table with bowls of sauce and chopsticks

Can I cook the salmon?

Yes! Cooked salmon is delicious in poke bowls! 

I recommend following the recipe instructions through the simmering and reducing of the sauce. Then heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high. Add salmon and cook 2 minutes, add the reduced sauce and continue to cook 2 minutes more, or until salmon is cooked through and a thermometer inserted in the centers registers 145-degrees fahrenheit. 

Overhead image of two bowsl filled with raw salmon, edamame, cucumbers, ginger and avocado set on a blue table with bowls of sauce and chopsticks

What is furikake?

Furikake hails from Japan and is a mixed seasoning most often used for topping rice. It comes in a range of flavors including nori komi furikake (featuring seaweed), wasabi furikake (featuring wasabi), and salmon furikake (featuring dried salmon crumbs), to name a few. The seasoning can feature sesame seeds, dried egg, and bonito flakes. 

It may look and sound like fish food but it adds a wonderful savory flavor to poke bowls and rice. You can find furikake at your local International or Asian market, as well as on Amazon

Side angle of a bowl filled with raw salmon, edamame, cucumbers, ginger and avocado set on a blue table with bowls of sauce and chopsticks

Make sure to tag me @ZESTFULKITCHEN ON INSTAGRAM or comment below if you make these salmon poke bowls!

To pin this recipe and save it for later, you can click the button on any of the photos, or the red button on the side bar or below the recipe. Happy cooking!

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Overhead image of a bowl filled with raw salmon, edamame, cucumbers, ginger and avocado set on a blue table with bowls of sauce and chopsticks

Salmon Poke Bowls with Orange-Sesame Sauce

  • Author: Lauren
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Lunch/Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Hawaiian / Japanese

Description

Vibrant and healthy salmon poke bowls featuring whole grain brown rice, heart-healthy salmon, piles of veggies and two flavorful sauces!


Ingredients

Scale

Salmon

Quick pickled onions & cucumber

  • ½ cup rice vinegar
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ½ small sweet yellow onion (such as Maui), thinly sliced
  • 1 english cucumber, thinly sliced

To serve

Spicy Mayo Sauce (optional)

  • ¼ cup avocado mayo***
  • 12 teaspoons chili garlic sauce* (use to your spice preference

Instructions

Combine soy sauce, ¼ cup orange juice, zest, sesame oil, honey, chili garlic sauce, and sesame seeds in a large bowl. Add salmon, toss to coat, cover with plastic wrap, and chill 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine cucumber and onion in a bowl. Bring vinegar, water, honey, salt, pepper flakes to a boil in a small saucepan. Pour over onion and cucumber and stir to combine; set aside for at least 15 minutes.

Drain salmon, transfer marinade to now empty saucepan. Bring marinade to a boil and cook until reduced to about ¼ cup and thick and syrupy, about 5 minutes; stir in remaining 1 tablespoon orange juice.

Divide rice, salmon, pickled cucumber and onion, avocado, edamame, radishes, and ginger among four bowls. Sprinkle servings with furikake, drizzle salmon with reduced sauce, and serve with mayo sauce, if using. 


Notes

*If you don’t have chili garlic sauce, you can substitute with sriracha sauce.

** Furikake may look and sound like fish food but it adds a wonderful savory flavor to poke bowls and rice. You can find furikake at your local International or Asian market, as well as on Amazon. Learn more about it in the post above the recipe.

***I like using avocado mayo for its flavor, but you can use whatever mayo you have on hand.


Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 poke bowl
  • Calories: 541
  • Sugar: 8g
  • Sodium: 1113mg
  • Fat: 23g
  • Saturated Fat: 4g
  • Carbohydrates: 54g
  • Fiber: 7g
  • Protein: 32g
  • Cholesterol: 50mg

Keywords: Poke bowl, salmon poke bowl, raw salmon bowl

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About The Author

Lauren Grant is a professional culinary food scientist, food writer, recipe developer, and food photographer. Lauren is a previous magazine editor and test kitchen developer and has had work published in major national publications including Diabetic Living Magazine, Midwest Living Magazine, Cuisine at Home Magazine, EatingWell.com, AmericasTestKitchen.com, and more.

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