Satisfy your sushi cravings at home without all the fuss of wrapping and rolling with this simple spicy salmon poke bowl recipe.
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Ah, poke bowls. Have you tried them? They’re basically little cubes of marinated, sushi-grade fish served over rice in bowl form.
It starts with poke (pro tip: it’s pronounced POH-keh), which is a fish salad that is very popular in Hawaii. It can be as simple or complex as you want to make it, and bonus points for the fact that most of it can be prepped in advance.
It’s pretty much the sushi equivalent of a burrito bowl.
The only thing that takes much hands-on time when making this gorgeous bowl is making proper sushi rice. It’s not difficult, but fanning your rice to cool it off while you stir/turn the rice is a key step to ensure that it has the proper texture.
A bit of seasoned rice vinegar is sprinkled onto the hot rice during this process, which absorbs into the rice and gives it its unique flavor. According to Rachael AKA La Fuji Mama:
Fanning the rice facilitates quick cooling, which gelatinizes the surface of the rice and gives a glossy finish to the rice.
There are a lot of great tips in her post on sushi rice, if you want to learn more about the method.
I love using my Instant Pot to cook all types of rice, and that now includes sushi rice! You can also do it on the stovetop – just follow the package instructions. And be sure to rinse your rice a few times to remove excess starch for whichever method you use.
Of course, you can also pick up an order of sushi rice from your favorite sushi spot for a few dollars and make this dish even simpler to assemble at home. I’m all about you doing whatever you need to do to get this deliciousness in your life, stat!
One of the key things that you’re looking for when making sushi or poke at home is to get sushi grade fish. Sushi grade fish is required to have been previously frozen, which safeguards against any parasites that would make it otherwise unsafe to consume raw.
You can usually find sushi grade fish at a Japanese or Korean market, if you have one in your area, or in the freezer section at many health food stores. The salmon that I used here is some that I picked up frozen from Whole Foods a while back.
And if you buy it still frozen, it makes it easier to enjoy whenever you’re ready – just give it enough time to thaw and you’re good to go!
While the ingredient list may look long, I promise you this recipe is very doable. The marinade can be whisked up in a snap, and the toppings can be anything you have on hand and can be cut up in advance.
I think this particular combination of toppings works especially well, but use what you have, and remember that colorful garnishes make it that much more enjoyable.
If you do happen to find yourself at an Asian market, be sure to scope out the furikake section. Furikake is a very versatile Japanese seasoning that comes in all sorts of flavor combinations and is great sprinkled over rice. The one I used has little bits of seaweed, sesame seeds, fish flakes, sugar, and salt.
Most poke bowls that I’ve seen out and about focus on tuna, but since my family’s go-to sushi selection (even my 5-year-old!) is a spicy salmon roll, I figured this would be a fun combo.
It worked out beautifully and was totally delicious. Perfect for hot summer days! And I could drizzle that spicy mayo on pretty much anything and be a happy camper. YUM.
Looking for more ways to enjoy seafood? Check out some of our favorite recipes:
- Pan-Seared Salmon with Lemon-Dill Butter + Roasted Purple Sweet Potatoes
- Bluecoast’s Raw Tuna with Pickled Peach & Corn Relish
- Bavarian Grilled Sand Shark with Lemon + Dill
- Smoked Salmon Roll-ups
- Crispy Skinned Salmon Over Red Lentils with Caper Dill Yogurt Sauce
- Garlicky Beer + Tarragon Steamed Mussels
- Lemony Almond Crusted Cod with Homemade Mayo-Free Tartar Sauce
- Julia Child’s Wine Poached Sea Scallops Poached with Fines Herbes
- Smoky Seared Scallops with Roasted Fennel, Rainbow Carrots + Popped Sorghum
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