Hawaiian Poke Bowl

By: takestwoeggsPosted: 11/07/2022 Updated: 01/12/2023
Prep 5 minutes
Total 35 minutes
You can make your very own Hawaiian poke bowl right at home with this quick and easy under 30-minute recipe. This homemade fresh poke bowl is made with sushi grade ahi tuna marinated in a delicious umami shoyu sauce, tossed with sweet onion and chopped scallions on top of a bed of fluffy white rice.
Hawaiian Poke Bowl

You can make your very own Hawaiian poke bowl right at home with this quick and easy under 30-minute recipe. This homemade fresh poke bowl is made with sushi-grade ahi tuna marinated in a delicious umami shoyu sauce, tossed with sweet onion and chopped scallions on top of a bed of fluffy white rice.

Someone lifting up a piece of tuna from a Hawaiian poke bowl.

Whenever I think of Hawaii, I immediately think of the gently swaying palm trees, warm soft sand, brilliantly blue ocean waves, and the freshest of fresh poke bowls. There is literally nothing better than a Hawaiian poke bowl. I drool whenever I think about the fresh ahi tuna, smothered in an umami shoyu sauce and tossed with sweet onion and chopped scallions.

Now you don’t have to only dream about Hawaiian poke, you can make it yourself! This poké bowl is probably the easiest treat yourself recipe that you will ever find. The hardest part is sourcing high-quality sushi-grade fish.

The best part of making your own homemade poké bowl at home is that you can personalize your bowl with as many or as few toppings as you like! Don’t want to use tuna? Go ahead and swap it for salmon. Want to add more tropical fruits? Add some freshly diced mangos and pineapple chunks! If you are looking for more Hawaiian recipe inspiration, check out my spicy tuna crispy rice, Spam musubi, and caramelized spam and eggs recipes!

A Hawaiian poke bowl on a bed of rice.

What is Hawaiian Poke?

Poke in Hawaiian means “to slice” or “to cut crosswise into pieces. Hawaiian poke is diced raw sushi-grade fish served as an appetizer or main course. Typically, the fish is seasoned with Hawaiian sea salt, macadamia nuts, seaweed, soy sauce, and sesame oil.

The main difference between traditional poke and mainland poke is that Hawaiian poke bowls simply consist of seasoned fish and rice. Typically, most Hawaiian poke is made with ahi or yellowfin tuna. Mainland poké bowls use a variety of toppings such as fresh fruit, vegetables, and sauces for a packed bowl.

Looking down at someone about to eat a Hawaiian poke bowl with fresh tuna and rice.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • This fresh poké bowl is made with sushi-grade tuna that is seasoned with shoyu, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, and sweet onion for a delicious umami flavor experience.
  • Take one bite into this Hawaiian poke recipe and it will transport you to the warm sandy beaches of Hawaii.
  • You can make your very own personalized Hawaiian poke bowl at home in under 30 minutes!
Up close of A Hawaiian poke bowl on a bed of rice.

Kitchen Equipment

This Hawaii poke bowl only requires a few simple kitchen staple tools.

  • Sharp Knife and Cutting Board: make sure you use a sharp knife to slice through the tuna.
  • Mixing bowl: you will need a mixing bowl to mix together the ahi tuna poke marinade.
  • Rice Cooker: you will need a rice cooker or a saucepan with a lid to cook your rice.

Ingredients

You can find all of these ingredients for this fresh poke bowl at your local Japanese grocery market or online. I recommend choosing a grocery market that you trust when buying sushi-grade tuna.

  • Sushi Grade Tuna: make sure to use freshly bought sushi-grade tuna from a vendor that you TRUST.
  • Soy Sauce: I recommend using Japanese soy sauce or shoyu. Japanese soy sauce is made with toasted wheat and tends to be less salty than other types of soy sauce.
  • Toasted Sesame Oil: sesame oil adds a touch of nuttiness to the ahi tuna poke.
  • Togarashi: Togarashi is a Japanese spicy chili pepper seasoning that is made up of chili flakes, seaweed, and sesame seeds that adds a fiery umami kick to the Hawaii poke bowl.
  • Granulated Sugar: adds a touch of sweetness to balance out the rich salty ingredients.
  • Hawaiian Salt: Hawaiian salt is rich in minerals, and iron oxide, with a slightly earthy clay smell and has a ten-year shelf life.
  • Ginger and Garlic: are the main aromatic flavors. Make sure you grate the garlic and ginger so that their flavors can seep through the ahi tuna poke.
  • Sweet Yellow Onion: is a mild yellow onion that is crunchy, and sweet. It pairs deliciously with the ahi tuna poke.
  • Green Onion: adds an extra aromatic flavor to the ahi tuna poke.
  • Macadamia nuts: I recommend adding macadamia nuts for a texture contrast.
  • Rice: I recommend using either short-grain sushi rice or Jasmine white rice.
All the ingredients to make a Hawaiian poke bowl.

Substitutions and Additions

This is a choose your own adventure Hawaiian poke experience. I’ve listed out some substitutions and additional ingredients for you to choose from.

Substitutions

  • Protein: You can substitute the tuna with salmon, yellow tail, scallops, shrimp, octopus, artificial crab meat, etc. Just make sure that you use sushi/sashimi-grade fish.
  • Cayenne pepper or Gochugaru pepper flakes: if you do not have Togarashi chili pepper, you can substitute it with cayenne or gochugaru pepper flakes
  • Sea Salt: instead of Hawaiian salt, you can use regular Kosher salt or sea salt.
  • Red Onion: instead of sweet onion, if you want more of a sharper bite you can add red onion slices instead.
  • Toasted sesame seeds: instead of crushed macadamia nuts, you can use toasted sesame seeds instead.
  • Rice: you can substitute Jasmine or sushi rice for brown rice or even a salad mix if you prefer.

Additions

  • Fruit: you can add other tropical fruits like mango, mandarin, or pineapple
  • Veggies: typically poke can be eaten with seaweed salad, pickled ginger, cucumbers, cilantro, carrots, radish, avocado, jalapeno, and edamame seeds
  • Sriracha mayo: you can add a drizzle of sriracha mayo for a creamier kick

How to Make Hawaiian Poke Bowl

You can make this Hawaii poke bowl in a cinch! All you need to do is mix all the ingredients and marinate the tuna.

  1. Combine soy sauce and sesame oil. In a small bowl, add the soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, togarashi, sugar, salt, grated ginger, and grated garlic. Mix until combined. Then, gently mix in the cubed sashimi-grade tuna until coated.
  2. Add remaining ingredients. Next, mix in the thinly sliced sweet yellow onion, diced green onion, and chopped macadamia nuts. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes for the flavors to combine.
Hawaiian poke mixed together in a bowl and ready to let sit for 30 minutes.

  1. Serve. Serve over rice and toppings of your choice. Enjoy!
Up close of someone lifting up a piece of tuna from a Hawaiian poke bowl.

Tips for the Best Hawaiian Poke Bowl

  • Buy the ahi tuna the day you intend to make this recipe. This will ensure that you will have a fresh poke that is safe to eat. You do not want to risk getting sick from eating tuna that is no longer safe to eat.
  • Prepare to spend a little $$. Good fresh, sushi-grade tuna is not cheap. It has to be caught responsibly, frozen on the spot, and kept at very exact temperatures in order to ensure safety. That means it will cost you a bit extra. But it’s worth it to treat yourself every once in a while.
  • Buy sushi-grade tuna from a trusted source. I always go to my local Japanese grocery store like Mitsuwa or Tokyo Central for all my sushi or sashimi.
  • Marinate the tuna for at least 30 minutes. Marinating the tuna gives the marinade time to soak and seep through the tuna and bring you bold, delicious flavor.

Storage Instructions

I recommend eating this fresh poke as soon as you buy the tuna from the store. The tuna will last up to 24 hours in the refrigerator, but would definitely be a risk to not eat it immediately.

Frequently Asked Q’s and A’s

Can I make this Hawaiian poke with other proteins?

Of course! You can substitute the tuna for salmon, yellow tail, scallops, shrimp, etc. Just make sure that you use sushi/sashimi-grade fish.

Is a poké bowl healthy?

Yes, poké bowls are healthy. Ahi tuna has a lot of healthy fats that help you absorb vitamins and minerals. Poké bowls also include veggies such as onion, avocado, and seaweed which makes it an even healthier choice.

How can you tell if the sushi-grade tuna has gone bad?

You can tell if your tuna has gone bad by smelling it. If the tuna has a strong fishy smell then it is too late to eat it. You can also tell if the tuna is gone bad if the color has become dull and is less vibrant than when you bought it.

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Recipe

Up close of someone lifting up a piece of tuna from a Hawaiian poke bowl.

Hawaiian Poke Bowl

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Marinate Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
You can make your very own Hawaiian poke bowl right at home with this quick and easy under 30-minute recipe. This homemade fresh poke bowl is made with sushi grade ahi tuna marinated in a delicious umami shoyu sauce, tossed with sweet onion and chopped scallions on top of a bed of fluffy white rice.
Servings: 2 servings
Print Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 pound tuna sashimi or sushi grade cubed into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • ¼ teaspoon togarashi Japanese chili pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon Hawaiian salt or kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ginger grated
  • 1 garlic clove grated
  • ¼ cup sweet yellow onion thinly sliced
  • 2 stalks green onion diced
  • 1 tablespoon macadamia nuts chopped

Serve

  • 1 cup sushi rice or Jasmine

Instructions

  • Cook the rice. Wash your rice thoroughly until the water runs clear. Using your rice cooker, cook your rice.
  • Combine soy sauce and toasted sesame oil. In a small bowl, add the soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, togarashi, sugar, salt, grated ginger and grated garlic. Mix until combined. Then, gently mix in the cubed sashimi grade tuna until coated.
  • Add remaining ingredients. Next, mix in the thinly sliced sweet yellow onion, diced green onion, and chopped macadamia nuts. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes for the flavors to combine.
  • Serve. Serve over rice and toppings of your choice. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Buy the ahi tuna the day you intend to make this recipe. This will ensure that you will have fresh poke that is safe to eat. You do not want to risk getting sick from eating tuna that is no longer safe to eat. 
  • Prepare to spend a little $$. Good fresh, sushi-grade tuna is not cheap. It has to be caught responsibly, frozen on the spot, and kept at very exact temperatures in order to ensure safety. That means it will cost you a bit extra. But it’s worth it to treat yourself every once in a while.
  • Buy sushi-grade tuna from a trusted source. I always go to my local Japanese grocery store like Mitsuwa or Tokyo Central for all my sushi or sashimi.
  • Marinate the tuna for at least 30 minutes. Marinating the tuna gives the marinade time to soak and seep through the tuna and bring you bold, delicious flavor.

Nutrition:

Calories: 698kcal | Carbohydrates: 87g | Protein: 53g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 82mg | Sodium: 1532mg | Potassium: 605mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 324IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 76mg | Iron: 6mg

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