These spicy salmon poke bowls are made with seasoned sushi rice, marinated salmon, and a spicy mayo sauce. Serve as a quick lunch or dinner!
This year will be better than last year.
I’m (almost) positive, and at the very least, it helps to stay hopeful.
That said, so far this year has a lot of the same challenges as last year.
One of those challenges is my (relatively insignificant) inability to get really delicious sushi. Staying close to home means that my restaurant options are limited.
But that’s not stopping us!
If we can’t bring the sushi to us, we will make the sushi! Except, I really don’t want to spend time learning how to make sushi rolls.
That’s where the poke bowl comes in. It can have all the same tasty flavors as sushi, but with minimal effort.
Normally, our sushi orders include at least two or three different types of sushi rolls. Since I only want to make one style of poke bowl at a time, I’ve been rotating through my favorite sushi flavors.
Is the Salmon Raw or Cooked?
The main portion of the recipe (and the photos) were written for a raw salmon recipe.
However, if you prefer to cook your salmon, check the recipe card notes for cooking directions.
Should I Use Frozen or Fresh Fish?
If you’re serving your salmon raw, the FDA recommends using commercially frozen fish, not fresh fish.
I do not recommend using fresh salmon for this recipe unless you intend to cook the fish.
What Does Sushi-Grade Mean?
“Sushi-grade” is an unregulated term, and is only as reliable as the company that’s using the label.
That said, it often means that the fish was quickly deep-frozen.
Where Can I Buy Salmon for Poke Bowls?
For raw preparations go with the highest-quality frozen fish available.
I often buy frozen fish at Trader Joe’s and have been happy with the quality.
I also recommend supporting a Community Supported Fishery. We’re (unpaid) members of Sitka Salmon Shares.
You can also buy high-quality fish from online fish markets such as Vital Choice.
What Type of Salmon Should I Use?
Personally, I would avoid using any type of farmed salmon for raw preparation.
If you intend to cook the salmon, you can use any type of salmon.
Can I Use Canned Salmon?
Canned salmon will not taste the same as either raw or cooked salmon fillets, but it will still be a tasty meal.
How to Remove Salmon Skin
The first step for these spicy salmon poke bowls is to remove the salmon skin.
I recommend using a fillet knife if at all possible. It also helps if the salmon is still slightly frozen.
Hold the knife parallel to the natural grain of the fish. Carefully cut the skin away, keeping the fillet knife as close to the skin as possible.
Marinate the Salmon
Dice the salmon into cubes and then add it to the spicy marinade.
Refrigerate the salmon while it’s marinating.
Make the Sushi Rice
While the salmon marinates, make the sushi rice. I use Nishiki sushi rice.
You can follow the stove-top directions in the recipe card, or simply follow the package directions.
How to Make Spicy Salmon Poke Bowls
To get the poke bowls ready, remove the salmon from the marinade.
Bring the marinade to a simmer on the stovetop and then set it aside to cool.
Finally, add the sushi rice to bowls along with a little furikake seasoning. You can buy furikake online.
Top the rice with salmon, sliced avocado, and a little spicy mayo.
Serve the spicy salmon poke along with sushi ginger and wasabi.
Grab your chopsticks and enjoy!
Spicy Salmon Poke
- 8 ounces salmon Use commercially frozen fish. Thaw before marinating.
- ¼ cup soy sauce or tamari sauce Use gluten-free certified sauce if needed
- ¼ cup rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sugar (white or brown)
- 1 tablespoon sambal oelek (red chili paste) Or substitute red chili flakes (much hotter, use 2 tsp) or Gochugaru pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon cayenne (optional)
Poke Bowl Toppings:
- ½ teaspoons furikake seasoning Or swap a few pieces of thinly sliced nori (roasted seaweed)
- 1 avocado, thinly sliced
- 1 green onion, thinly sliced (green top only)
- 6 slices pickled sushi ginger Use more or less as desired
- wasabi (optional), to taste
- extra soy sauce or tamari, to taste Use gluten-free certified sauce if needed
Make Sushi Rice:
- Add the rice to a mesh sieve and rinse until the water runs clear.Stovetop directions follow. Alternatively, use a rice cooker or Instant Pot to cook the rice, following the package or appliance directions for sushi rice.Note: If using short-grain rice instead of medium-grain, follow the package directions. Stovetop Directions:Add rice, water and salt to a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover pot and lower heat to low. Cook rice for 20 minutes, and then remove from heat. Leave covered for an additional 10 minutes.After cooking:Keep the rice covered until you're ready to use. Stir in the rice vinegar just before serving.
Prepare the Salmon:
- If you're cooking the fish, check the recipe notes before proceeding.For raw salmon: If your fish has skin, place the fish skin-side up on a cutting board. Use a sharp knife (a fillet knife is best) to cut the skin off the fish, keeping the knife blade parallel to natural grain of the fish.
- Dice the raw salmon into small cubes. Alternatively, thinly slice the fish.Place the cubed fish into a shallow dish.Whisk together the soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, sambal oelek, garlic powder and cayenne (if using).Pour the sauce over the fish, and set the fish in the fridge to marinate for at least 15 minutes.
Cook the Marinade:
- After the fish marinates, pour the marinade into a small saucepan. Bring the sauce to a boil, and then simmer about 3 minutes or until thickened. Set aside.
Assemble the Poke Bowls:
- Mix together the mayo and sriracha. Taste, and add more hot sauce if desired.Scoop rice into the bowls. (You may have extra rice.)Sprinkle the furikake seasoning evenly over the rice. (If using nori instead, simply arrange it on the rice.)Add the fish to the bowls, and drizzle the marinade over the fish and rice. (Use as much of the marinade as you want; you might have extra.) Add the avocado and green onion. Drizzle the spicy mayo across the toppings (you might have extra).
- Serve pickled ginger, wasabi, and extra soy sauce on the side. Serve any extra marinade or spicy mayo on the side.Serve immediately.
- Marinate sliced Japanese or English cucumber in rice vinegar overnight. Strain cucumbers out of vinegar, toss with sesame seeds + serve.
- Add edamame