Tuna Poke Bowls

Tested & Perfected Recipes

Tuna poke is a traditional Hawaiian salad of raw tuna marinated in soy sauce, sesame oil, and onions. Here it’s served over sushi rice with your favorite toppings.

tuna poke bowls

Last weekend, after visiting our son at sleepaway camp, Michael and I spent a few days at The Lodge at Woodloch, a spa/resort in the Poconos. It was beautiful — and I love all that Zen spa stuff — but Michael joked that it was named “Woodloch” because they lock you in the woods with nothing to do and starve you with teeny-tiny portions. Spa cuisine: sooo not his thing.

But portions aside, we both enjoyed some wonderful food. One highlight was tuna poke, a traditional Hawaiian salad of raw tuna marinated in soy sauce, sesame oil, and onions. I have a tuna poke appetizer in my cookbook but this one, served over sushi rice and loaded with your favorite toppings, is meant to be a meal. I put potato chips on mine — sounds weird, I know, but they make a delicious (and easy) substitute for crispy fried wontons.

What you need To Make Tuna Poke Bowls

how to make tuna poke bowls

When selecting your tuna, be sure to get fresh sushi-grade yellowfin or bigeye tuna (both referred to as “ahi”), with a pink or reddish color. Locally (in the Washington, DC area), I’ve found fresh ahi tuna at Harris Teeter.

Also, Whole Foods carries frozen yellowfin tuna that works nicely. Just be sure not to buy Albacore tuna, which is the white tuna used to make canned tuna fish.

How To Make Tuna Poke Bowls

how to make tuna poke bowls

To begin: In a medium bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, vegetable oil, sesame oil, honey, sambal oelek, ginger, and scallions.

how to make tuna poke bowls

Add the tuna and toss. Let the mixture sit in the fridge for at least 15 minutes or up to 1 hour.

how to make tuna poke bowls

To serve, scoop rice into bowls, top with tuna poke and desired toppings.

how to make tuna poke bowls

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Tuna Poke Bowls

Tuna poke is a traditional Hawaiian salad of raw tuna marinated in soy sauce, sesame oil, and onions. Here it’s served over sushi rice with your favorite toppings.

Servings: 4 to 6
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Total Time: 20 Minutes, plus at least 15 minutes to marinate


  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons soy sauce (use gluten-free if necessary)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon Sambal Oelek (see note)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh grated ginger
  • 3 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
  • 1 pound sushi-grade ahi tuna (such as yellowfin or big-eye tuna), diced into 1/4 or 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 cups sushi rice, cooked according to package instructions (any other type of rice or grain can be substituted)

Optional Toppings

  • Sliced avocado
  • Sliced cucumber
  • Edamame
  • Pickled ginger
  • Diced mango
  • Potato chips or wonton crisps
  • Sesame seeds


  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, vegetable oil, sesame oil, honey, sambal oelek, ginger, and scallions. Add the tuna and toss. Let the mixture sit in the fridge for at least 15 minutes or up to 1 hour.
  2. To serve, scoop rice into bowls, top with tuna poke and desired toppings. You will have extra sauce for drizzling over the toppings; serve on the side.
  3. Note: Sambal Oelek can be found in the Asian section of most supermarkets. It is sometimes labeled Chile Garlic Sauce.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (Nutritional data does not include optional toppings -- 6 servings)
  • Calories: 411
  • Fat: 8 g
  • Saturated fat: 1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 59 g
  • Sugar: 6 g
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Protein: 24 g
  • Sodium: 943 mg
  • Cholesterol: 29 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

Gluten-Free Adaptable Note

To the best of my knowledge, all of the ingredients used in this recipe are gluten-free or widely available in gluten-free versions. There is hidden gluten in many foods; if you're following a gluten-free diet or cooking for someone with gluten allergies, always read the labels of your ingredients to verify that they are gluten-free.

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Reviews & Comments

  • Hi Jenn: Husband had this for lunch at a restaurant yesterday and when I saw your recipe I HAD to give it a shot. SO much better and way more tuna in yours. Easy and quick to throw together; the chips were a great substitution for likely the most difficult bit to find. I won’t be paying big bucks for this bowl any longer. I’m a convert. AND I was worried it would be too spicy for me but it was perfect!

    You NEVER disappoint. My friend bought your cookbook as well and we are always suggesting what we try and what each of us has made. It is all wonderful. Many thanks!!

    • — Judi Gibbs on September 26, 2020
    • Reply
  • Another fantastic recipe from my all time favorite chef! Jenn, I have been a long time fan and have never been disappointed with any of your recipes! You are my “go to” for delicious and easy recipes in every category. For this Tuna Poke Bowl, I purchased frozen steaks (all that was available in my small town in Texas hill country). I didn’t want to risk raw, so marinated steaks in a small amount of the sauce, sprinkled with Trade Joe’s Everything Bagel seasoning and pan seared in oil to medium rare. I assembled the bowls with quinoa and cabbage slaw, topped with sliced orange bell pepper, shredded carrots, lightly marinated cucumber slices and mango. Added the sliced tuna to center and drizzled bowl with the reserved marinade. Spectacularly out of this world! Best flavors EVER!. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

    • — Sheila M. on July 25, 2020
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  • Yum, yum, yum!! This is hands down the BEST! Love “once upon a chef” recipes, but this is my favourite so far with me and my dinner buddies. Thanks Jenn!

    • — Laurel on July 18, 2020
    • Reply
  • Sooooo good! Instant hit with entire family! I didn’t have sushi grade fish so I used pan seared salmon. Putting this into high rotation. Thank you!!

    • — Michelle on July 8, 2020
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  • Delicious! Easy! My husband was enthralled & thought it was as good as the tuna poke we enjoyed on many trips to Maui.

    Tuna was on sale, and I brought it home intending to sear it. Then I remembered how much I loved poke & that you had a recipe in the cookbook! Turns out the recipe online is slight variation from the Once Upon a Chef Cookbook, so I used this online recipe which was closer to ingredients I had on hand.

    Served with jasmine rice, homemade shrimp wontons (I had in freezer when my friend & her mom taught me how to make them)….

    Due to the current situation sweeping the globe (everyone asked to self-isolate) I only could use pantry items. Did not have Sambal Oelek in my pantry and substituted Sriracha.

    Thank you Jennifer for another winner recipe!!!! And some GREAT VARIETY during the isolation when we are not going to restaurants.

    • — Barrie on March 26, 2020
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  • This recipe is excellent. Have made several versions of poke and this one is the best. Have made it multiple times now and all love it every time!

    • — Laura on January 12, 2020
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  • This was so delicious. Balance of flavors was perfect. I followed recipe to a T – will be making it again!

    • — Caroline on August 10, 2019
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  • Another winner! I picked up ahi tuna at Costco and made this for a lunch with my husband and me. The poke is the best I’ve had. We did substitute thinly sliced red onion for the green onion which we did not have on hand. I served with rice, avocado, sugar snap peas (raw from the farmers market) and salted cucumber. It was terrific. My husband proclaimed it better than the one we get at the Japanese restaurant down the road.

    • — JoAnn on May 4, 2019
    • Reply
  • This is the easiest to make and most delicious recipe. To say a “crowd pleaser” is an understatement. I have made this recipe twice now with rave reviews from family and friends. Its healthful and yummy. I set up the toppings buffet style like at Cava or Chipotle–(I added broccoli florets, lettuce and baby corn as choices)–and guests make their own yummy combination. I double the recipe (except I only use one teaspoon of the garlic sauce)–and hold back the some of the marinade sauce on the side so guests can use that to place on top of the bowl. Another great hit Jenn!

    • — Sandy on April 18, 2019
    • Reply
  • I made this with salmon – it was absolutely delicious! Faster and easier than making sushi, and I think the marinade and all the toppings made it even better tasting. Love that it is so customisable as well, will be making this again and again. Didn’t use the potato chips, but added some seaweed salad. Yum!

    • — Elise on April 7, 2019
    • Reply
  • The marinade for the tuna is absolutely delicious! Really getting into poke bowls, and this was just perfect for my first time making them at home. So good that I shared the recipe with others to spread the joy. Thank you!

    • — Bonnie H. on February 18, 2019
    • Reply
  • I got confused and bought ingredients for your book tuna poke not this one . Can I beefthe book version up with rice, edamame beans and can I add the Korean spice ?

  • While this was delicious, I had to give it 4.5 stars instead of five only because the tuna poke in the cookbook is the best thing my husband and I have eaten. My husband was actually mad while I was making this because it was not the other one and why mess with success. Having said that, this recipe is very good. But if you are looking at this recipe because you like tuna sashimi, my advice is to go buy the cookbook if only for that recipe it’s worth it!

  • Can you use salmon instead of tuna??

    • Sure, Mary – salmon would be excellent too.

  • Five Star Recipe! At Jenn’s suggestion, I made these for company. At the same time, I served the Coconut Fried Shrimp. I was nervous about frying, as it is not a cooking preference for me. It all worked with the prep ahead and the shrimp were not one bit greasy. The Poke bowls were a huge hit! I topped the meal off with the Blueberry Boy Bait Cake and creme fraiche. All just perfect~pure Jenn genius!!

  • Hi Jenn, all the recipes for poke bowls I’ve seen use vinegar in the marinade. Have you found you prefer to leave it out? Thanks!

    • Hi Mila, I don’t think this recipe needs it but you could certainly add some rice vinegar or lime to taste — just keep in mind that acid will “cook” the fish unless you add it at the last minute. Hope that helps!

  • This recipe is absolutely delicious. I’m lucky that I can get fresh sushi grade tuna on a regular basis. I’ve served it the night I made it AND the next night, and the only difference was more intense flavor the second time. A personal note–I’m not a fan of ginger so I cut it in half, and it was still amazing. Also, when I made sushi rice, I added seasoned vinegar at the end, and this made the entire dish quite delicious. Yum!

  • I love your husband’s honesty. LOL hahaha

  • Can it be eaten next day too? Will the tuna still be ok?

    • Hi Jeanette, I think it really depends on how fresh the fish was when you purchased it (which you may not necessarily know). To be conservative, I’d air on the side of not eating it on the second day (also, it would get really salty by the second day as it continues to absorb the marinade).

  • YUM, YUM, YUM. Another winner, Jen.

  • I made this tonight, and it was excellent! (as are all of Jenn’s recipes!) It was surprisingly quick and easy, and I will definitely be making again.

  • This recipe has a great flavor profile. It was a bit spicier than I was expecting. I have had poke bowls in restaurants that had less or no spice. As a result, I think this should be called Spicy Tuna Poke Bowl. When I make it again, I’ll certainly use the sriacha but probably a bit less.

  • Really a delicious recipe! My family wolfed it down. I was suspicious about the honey but it balanced the flavors well. I served with mango, avocado, shaved cabbage, more chopped scallions, toasted coconut, and siracha mayo. Will definitely make this again and will try the potato chips on top too!

  • Will it work with salmon?

  • I am from Hawaii and your recipe is spot-on authentic. The trick is getting the fresh, raw ahi.

    Unfortunately, I cannot each sushi, sashimi or poke as often as I would like. Now that the West has discovered the joy of raw game fish (marlin, tuna), we are eating the creatures to extinction.

  • Could you please tell me where to enter the contest for the cutting board? The page says to enter below, but there isn’t any place to enter or I am not seeing it. Thank you

    • Hi Vicky, you can find it here. Scroll down the page and you’ll see a box with your entry options. Good luck!

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