Salmon Poke Bowl

4.96 from 336 votes
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Learn how easy it is to make a salmon poke bowl! This irresistible seafood dish features Japanese-inspired flavors for a delicious gourmet meal.

Spicy sockeye salmon poke bowl recipe.

Recipe Science

  • Marinating salmon in soy sauce imparts umami flavors and slightly cures the surface, enhancing texture and taste by altering the fish’s protein structure.
  • Submerging cucumbers in a vinegar-sugar brine, quickly pickle them in 10 minutes, infusing tangy flavors and preserving crunch.
  • Sriracha gains its distinctive heat and complexity from fermenting chili peppers, intensifying flavors in marinades and sauces.

Why It Works

Poke is easy to prepare! It’s made with marinated raw fish, and you can customize it with all your favorite ingredients. I made these spicy salmon poke bowls using the highest-quality sushi-grade seafood.

Fresh salmon is one of my favorite kinds of fish for poke because of its rich flavor and buttery texture. In this recipe, you’ll learn how to season the fish with an umami-packed sauce, pickled cucumbers, and sriracha mayo to layer into the bowl. A simple gourmet lunch or dinner made right at home.

Ingredients You’ll Need

A packaged fillet of wild Alaskan salmon.
  • Salmon: Wild Alaskan salmon is the best in terms of quality and taste. When eaten raw in these salmon poke bowls, the texture is very tender. Farm-raised salmon tends to be richer in mouth-feel. At the grocery store, ask the fishmonger if the salmon is sashimi-grade or sushi-grade. If not, opt to use sushi-grade high-quality frozen salmon.
  • Poke Sauce: A savory combination of soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, sriracha, sesame oil, green onions, and sesame seeds.
  • Pickled Cumbers: I like to use small Persian or English cucumbers because of their crisp texture and smaller seeds. Slices are soaked in rice wine vinegar, water, honey, salt, and red chili flakes.
  • Base and Toppings: The salmon poke bowl can be served with sushi rice and salad greens as the base. My favorite toppings include sliced red cabbage, shredded carrots, seaweed salad, edamame, sesame seeds, creamy avocado, togarashi, and pickled ginger. Feel free to experiment with different flavor combinations!

See the recipe card below for all ingredients and measurements (US and metric).

Ingredient Substitutions

This salmon poke bowl recipe is easy to customize! Try these flavorful options:

  • Fish Options: Different types of salmon, such as King, Sockeye, or Scottish, can be used. Make sure they are sushi-grade fish that is safe to be eaten raw! If you are unsure about eating raw fish, I have also cut them into chunks and pan-seared, baked, or air-fried them. Switch it up and try my tuna poke recipe.
  • Make it Gluten-Free: Instead of soy sauce, use coconut aminos or gluten-free tamari.
  • Vinegar Swap: Milk apple cider vinegar is a good substitute for rice wine vinegar.
  • Sweetener: Maple syrup, agave, or granulated sugar can be swapped for honey.
  • Hot Sauce: Instead of sriracha, use chili paste, gochujang, or chili crisp.
  • Mayonnaise: For a lighter sriracha sauce, use plain Greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise. Add water as needed to thin out the consistency.
  • Rice: Steamed white rice, brown rice, medium-grade calrose, or Japanese sticky rice are great choices.

How to Make Salmon Poke Bowls

Cubes of salmon in a metal bowl.

Step 1: Make the Salmon Poke

Cut the filet into ½ to ¾ inch pieces. I have a guide on how to remove salmon skin if it is still attached.

Pouring soy sauce mixture into a mixing bowl with salmon cubes.

Allow the fish pieces to marinate in the refrigerator while preparing the pickled cucumbers. Just 15 minutes can enhance the taste!

Slices of cucumbers and red chili flakes in a bowl of pickling liquid.

Step 2: Make the Pickled Cucumbers

Make the pickling solution by boiling the water, rice wine vinegar, bowl, salt, and red chili flakes. Add the sliced cucumbers and soak for 10 minutes. To quickly chill the vegetables, transfer them to a bowl and place them in the freezer or refrigerator for 5 to 10 minutes.

Pro Tip: The pickled cucumbers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Homemade spicy mayo in a bowl after whisking the ingredients.

Step 3: Make the Sriracha Mayonnaise

For those who like a little extra heat, make a creamy Sriracha sauce. I use mayonnaise combined with the spicy chili sauce. Drizzle some on top or serve on the side to dish the marinated pieces of fish.

Hands holding a poke bowl with salmon and vegetables.

Step 5: Assemble the Bowl

This is where you can add your own spin to the salmon poke bowl! Add layers of steamed rice and salad to build a sturdy base. I like to pack the bowl with vegetables like crunchy cabbage, carrots, and avocado slices.

Add the pickled cucumbers and spicy sauce. Top with sesame seeds and green onions, and you’re ready to dig in.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is salmon poke made of?

Raw pieces of diced fish marinated in soy sauce, vinegar, and sesame oil. Other seasonings like chili flakes or paste, green onions, and sesame seeds can be added.

Is raw salmon safe in a poke bowl?

To reduce the risk of foodborne illness from consuming raw fish purchased at the supermarket, buy “sushi-grade” or “sashimi” grade salmon. This can be found on the package of frozen products or inquired about when at the market. Frozen salmon is safest to use as the processing kills parasites that might be present in the flesh. Always use a clean knife and cutting board when preparing the fish.

What is the safest way to thaw frozen sushi-grade salmon?

Many frozen fish fillets come in a vacuum-sealed package. Allow the fish to thaw overnight on a paper towel-lined sheet pan in the refrigerator. This keeps the raw fish out of the temperature danger zone. It should be cool, flexible, and not icy. Do not refreeze the fish, as the texture and quality of the tuna will not be as good.

What’s the quickest way to defrost the salmon?

If making the poke bowls the same day, place the package of frozen fish in a pan or bowl of cold water. Check every 30 minutes, replacing the water as needed. Depending on the size, this will take 2 to 3 hours.

What makes it a poke bowl?

The marinated fish is poke. When paired with rice, salad, and additional toppings like crab, avocado, seaweed salad, or other vegetables, it transforms into a heartier meal served in a bowl.

More Seafood Favorites

If you tried this Salmon Poke Bowl, please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how it went in the 📝 comments below!

Salmon Poke Bowl

Spicy sockeye salmon poke bowls are a breeze to make! Healthy protein infused with Japanese inspired flavors for a delicious gourmet meal. Customize with your favorite toppings!
4.96 from 336 votes
Prep Time25 minutes
Cook Time5 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Course Entree
Cuisine Japanese


Salmon Poke

  • 1 pound salmon, cut into ¾" cubes
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sliced green onions
  • 1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • ½ teaspoon sesame seeds

Pickled Cucumbers

  • ½ cup rice wine vinegar, Kikkoman
  • ½ cup water
  • cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 2 6-inch persian cucumbers, ⅛" thick slices

Sriracha Mayonnaise Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons sriracha
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise


  • Make the Salmon Poke – In a medium bowl, combine diced salmon, soy sauce, green onions, rice wine vinegar, sriracha, and sesame oil. Cover and refrigerate while making the pickled cucumbers.
  • Make the Pickled Cucumbers – In a medium saucepan, combine rice wine vinegar, water, honey, salt, and chili flakes. Bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, turn off the heat, add cucumber slices, and stir.
    Marinate for 10 minutes, then transfer the cucumber mixture to a container. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use, or freeze for 5 to 10 minutes to cool quickly.
  • Make the Sriracha Mayonnaise – In a small bowl, whisk the Sriracha and mayonnaise until combined.
  • Assemble the Bowl – To serve, add any additional ingredients to the bowl, such as rice or salad for the base. Top with salmon poke, pickled cucumbers, and Sriracha mayonnaise.


  • Salmon Selection: Purchase sashimi-grade or sushi-grade salmon.
  • Sriracha Substitute: Use garlic chili sauce, chili paste, chili crisp, or gochujang.
  • Cucumber Substitute: Slice about 1 cup of English or regular cucumbers.
  • Make-Ahead: The pickled cucumbers and sriracha sauce can be refrigerated and made 5 days in advance. It’s best to eat the salmon poke on the same day of preparation.

Nutrition Facts

Serves: 4 servings
Calories 296kcal (15%)Carbohydrates 22g (7%)Protein 26g (52%)Fat 11g (17%)Saturated Fat 2g (10%)Polyunsaturated Fat 1gMonounsaturated Fat 0.4gCholesterol 71mg (24%)Sodium 1409mg (59%)Potassium 10mgSugar 17g (19%)Vitamin A 200IU (4%)Calcium 10mg (1%)Iron 0.4mg (2%)

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000-calorie diet. All nutritional information is based on estimated third-party calculations. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods, and portion sizes per household.

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Jessica Gavin

I'm a culinary school graduate, cookbook author, and a mom who loves croissants! My passion is creating recipes and sharing the science behind cooking to help you gain confidence in the kitchen.

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  1. Lee-Ann says

    This is delicious recipes. I used sushi rice and pickled some carrots along with the cucumber. Added some pickled ginger, fresh avo and fresh mango. Worked so well. Made some Wasabi mayo instead sriracha mayo. So delicious. Than yoi for sharing

  2. Jessica Andrea Campusano says

    This salmon poke bowl is a 10/10! Will make again! The pickled cucumbers were EXCELLENT.

  3. Heidi T says

    I’ve read that farmed salmon is preferable to wild caught salmon when consuming raw as wild salmon is more likely to have ingested parasites than the farmed variety. I don’t know that ‘sushi grad’ is a reliable or real term.
    I’d appreciate your thoughts about this as I am unable to find sushi grade anything in my area

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Hi Heidi- I’ve researched similar information and it seems that the farmed atlantic or farmed alaskan salmon has a lower risk of parasites based on it being raised on pellets instead of potentially parasite-infected prey for wild salmon. They is always a risk when eating raw fish, so I would definitely chat with the fish monger at the grocery store if possible before making the salmon poke.

      • Vicki Tilden says

        As long as the fish has been frozen you don’t really need to worry about parasites. That’s also why I only eat saltwater fish raw. Way less chance of parasites!

    • Jessica Gavin says

      I’ve found that once I’ve mixed the poke ingredients and prepare the other parts of the recipe, about 15 minutes minimum to marinate the salmon. Marinate for 30 to 60 minutes for more sauce infused into the salmon.

  4. Erin Gustafson says

    Loved the quick pickles as a flavor compliment! I didn’t have low-sodium tamari – definitely will do that for next time. Thanks for the recipe.

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