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

Ingredients 
 

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

Instructions 

  • 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.

Notes

  • 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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100 Comments Leave a comment or review

  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.

  5. Jenna says

    Hi! Thanks for the content. I made this just now and it was great. Every time I go to eat at a poke spot nearby there are so many topping options! That scared me to try it at home. However, this was great!! Definitely satisfied my craving for poke 🙂

  6. MICHELLE FEELEY says

    It was just me, so I cooked one ahi, but I decided to not to halve the sauce. Good decision because the sauce is delicious. Only change was to use half the honey as I try to be careful with sugar. No cucumbers. But I will give the pickled cucumbers a try next time. I do love rice with fish and made a ring of mix lettuce, wild rice in the middle, sliced ahi on the rice and half the sauce all over. I enjoyed every bite. I look forward to giving ur salmon poke a try. thank you.

  7. Juliet says

    I used half soy and half ketchup manis to make it a little sweeter. It was delicious! Thanks for the inspiration.

  8. Jacqueline says

    In the description you say: “The marinade is a combination of savory soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, honey, and sesame oil.” There is no honey included in the recipe for the salmon marinade, just the cucumbers. Do you usually put it in, or leave it out?

    • Jessica Gavin says

      I let the salmon chill until the other components are prepared, so about 20-30 minutes. The cucumbers refrigerate until just cooled, about 10 minutes. I make the sauce while it’s chilling.

  9. Sabrina Goodfellow says

    We tried this tonight and it was delicious! Just the right amount of spice and flavour was fantastic. Kids asked for it to be in regular rotation on the menu. Thanks Jessica !

  10. Catie says

    Everything about this recipe was fabulous! We added some radishes and carrots to the pickled cucumber mix and really enjoyed it.

  11. Craig says

    So I have been having a poke bowl craving for the last few weeks. I think it’s a COVID craving cause I’m not usually the one in the family craving sushi or raw fish. So after doing some research on how to deal with raw fish at home, then hunting down a local supplier that would deliver, and getting even more of the craving looking for recipes online, I finally found this one, and boy was I glad when I did. This came out amazing! I had to eliminate the chili paste on the salmon cause the rest of the family can’t deal with the heat, but I was fine with the Sriracha mayo. You know you’re excited about a dish when your kids find you standing on the kitchen island with a camera trying to get the perfect aerial shot of the ingredients LOL (had to delete a couple of the pic too cause my foot was in the shot). Craving satisfied…This is definitely going to be added to the regular family dinner rotation.

    • Jessica Gavin says

      I love hearing about your poke adventures! Great job personalizing the bowls so that everyone could enjoy it.

  12. Dominique says

    Hello Jessica, I just discovered your site and would love to test this recipe. Can you tell me what kind of big beans or green beans I see in the bowl?

  13. Carol DeMar says

    Recipe comment from Alaska. I use the reds that I caught myself, some are saved for baking or sushi by freezing/storing in vacuum bags. For your recipe, I cut up the fish in 1/2” strips to absorb more marinade. I placed the mix in a shallow glass dish instead of a bowl for more even marinading also. A couple tweaks are the addition of chopped red onion to fridge mix, and added 1 tsp of poke sauce ( by kikkoman) Topped with green onions and toasted sesame seeds, delicious!

    • Mandi says

      Hi Carol,

      I also have a lot of salmon that we caught in Alaska. They are always caught, fileted and vacuum packed in the same day. Have you experienced any issues eating this fish raw? We usually bake it but I would love to use it for my sushi recipes.

    • Jessica Gavin says

      I’ve never made nori from scratch before. They sell them at grocery stores. You can just cut them into smaller strips and then add them to the poke bowls.

  14. Emily says

    Jessica – I LOVE the photos in this post! I wanted to let you know I just spotted one of your pictures being used on the Haiku Tokyo website menu. I’m REALLY hoping they licensed it from you, but wanted to let you know so you could take action if they didn’t.

    https://www.haikutokyo.com

    • Kate says

      This recipe was SO delicious. I started picking at it around 4pm yesterday—-nothing left for dinner ??. I r made it again tonight and threw some mango and matchstick carrots and avocado! So so so good. Thank you for sharing.

  15. Nid says

    Good food. I have tasted it when one of my friends made them. It really tasted good. But i just need to know that purple vegetable used in it. It tasted delicious with salmon.

  16. Jane says

    Just made this and it was absolutely AMAZING. This was my first time making anything with raw fish and it was delicious.

  17. Ginevra van den Toorn says

    OMG, never had poke bowl before. I used nut rice and added avocado and grated carrot to the mix. What an explosion of different tastes. Our taste buds were all over the place having a great party. Thank you for the recipe. definitely a keeper.

    • Jessica Gavin says

      I’m so happy to hear that you gave something new a try Ginevra! Tell me more about nut rice, i’ve never tried that. I love that you added avocado and carrots, yum!

  18. PAUL KENNEDY says

    Several of the photos feature green onions, but green onions are not mentioned, anywhere, in the ingredient list. ? That being said, I just finished making it (with green onions, white and black sesame seeds and a little more sesame oil than you called for), it’s in the refrigerator, melding, and I expect it will be delicious.

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Hi Paul- I hope you enjoyed the recipe! Yes, I used some green onion for garnish so it’s optional to add to the recipe.

  19. Betty Garcia says

    I am diabetic and found this to be diabetic friendly & DELICIOUS.
    I just diced salmon (Frozen from Whole Foods) after defrosting, added diced avacado, thinly sliced persian cucumber along with thinly sliced radish & a little sesame oil & dash of soy sauce (to keep sodium level low) It was AWESOME & super healthy. Will try to eat twice a week !

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Thank you so much for your feedback Betty! I love how you made it and glad that it will go in your weekly dinner rotation 🙂

  20. Cristel says

    I’ve never made a poke bowl but really want to now that I’ve seen yours!
    When you say sesame oil, is it the toasted one? Here in Australia we have both toasted and cold pressed sesame oil. The toasted is very fragrant, the other one much more subtle.
    Cheers!

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Hi Anne! Person cucumbers have a thinner skin compared to normal cucumbers, so you don’t have to peel and it tastes less waxy. You could also use english cucumbers, they usually come wrapped individually in plastic. You can also use regular cucumber but I would peel some of the skin off so it’s not as tough.

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Hi Vanessa! I would let the salmon marinate about 30 minutes, while you make the other ingredients. You could always make the cucumbers ahead of time to allow for longer pickling (up until a day ahead).

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Hi Esther- Refrigerate the cucumber with the liquid. If you don’t want it too spicy you can add less red chili flakes (1/4 tsp instead or 1/2 tsp). Great question!

  21. Dale says

    My 11 year old twins and I made this – and the ahi poke – tonight. Amazing. (We are lucky to have easy access to Tokyo Fish in Berkeley). They tolerated the heat really well. It will definitely be added to our rotation.

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Thank you for your feedback Kale! The bay area has awesome seafood 🙂 So happy to hear that the whole family got involved in dinner prep!

  22. Pien says

    I made this without the spicy sauce (my daughter can’t handle too spicy food) – improvised a bit and added some more veggies – and this was absolutely delicious, especially the pickled cucumber. Thank you!

  23. Inuro says

    I really love this recipe, though, it should be filed under “Hawaiian” not “Japanese” from my Japanese perspective.
    Anyway, I’m going to say again this recipe is great!

  24. Alexandra says

    Hi! Is it possible to prepare the dish in advance and keep it in the refrigerator? I would like to make this recipe to bring it for lunch the next day.

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Hi Alexandra! I think you can chop the fish and place it in an airtight container, and then make the sauce and put it in a separate container so you can combine it before you are ready. I think if you let it marinate over night it will take good, but I like a little more of a sauce to coat when I eat the poke.

  25. Charlotte says

    I have made this poke twice last week. It was amazing. I served the poke on top of jasmine rice mixed with seaweed.

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Wow you are amazing Charlotte! I love the rice and seaweed combination, I will have to try it. Thank you for making the recipe!

  26. viktorija says

    Hi. Your recipe looks absolutely amazing. I’m planing on trying it tonight, just have one question. Can I substitute rice vinegar for rice wine vinegar to make pickled cucumbers? Thank you!

  27. Dianna says

    FYI I am absolutely in love with this recipe! All of the flavors are perfect together. As I am completely inexperienced with sushi grade salmon I opted for wild smoked salmon and prepared it the same way. It was absolutely delicious! Thanks for sharing!!