Cook Culinary & Craft Studio

My POKE bowl: A taste of 2018

Debbie Hannibal
Recipe by
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30 minutes
Prep: 30 minutes | | Servings: 6-8

HAWAIIAN POKE (“po-kay”) is a mixture of island style flavours with Asian and sushi influences.

Introduced on my first summer course for this year-A taste of 2018-this was one of the most popular dishes ever served and I received regular SMS pictures from eager cooks, who served this nutritional bowl to their families with fabulous feedback. The flavours carry that same sushi-like addiction, making this bowl popular to serve on 2 or 3 consecutive evenings, especially as you can utilise leftovers, both raw and cooked.

Building your own Poke bowl is very flexible.

Choose a base: Black rice, sushi rice, brown rice, soba noodles or leafy greens like kale and red cabbage
Choose a protein: Cubed raw fish like tuna, salmon, cubed cooked tofu, cubed or sliced smoked chicken or grilled rump or cooked prawns
Choose a dressing: Use a base of ponzu, black bean, tahini, sriracha, soy, wasabi, mayo
Choose fresh fruit and or veg: Avocado, melon, onions, bean sprouts, edamame, radish, mango, carrots, peppers, pineapple, fresh herbs like coriander and mint
Choose texture: Nuts, seeds, spices, nori
Choose some heat: Wasabi, chillies, jalapenos
Choose a pickle: Ginger, mushrooms, red onions, carrots, cucumber, cauliflower (see a quick and easy pickled carrot recipe below, which can be adapted to pickle these)

The reason for the popularity of this dish was my dressing-one which was made up after just 4 tests. While Tahini is hardly Asian, the nuttiness adds a satay-like element and adds richness to the raw vegetables. Don’t even try this bowl without it.

Make these in advance and keep covered in the fridge.


2-3 Scottish salmon fillets, skin and grey film removed and cut into slices or cubes with a sharp knife
2 tablespoons toasted black or white or (a combination of both) sesame seeds
3 -4 tablespoons “Indomex” sweet soy sauce ( do not use the Woolworth’s sweet soy sauce). This can also be reduced for a thicker and sweeter edge
I packet (1/2 a box) Woolworth’s Black Elephant Thai rice. Cook with 2 cups water for about 25 minutes, add 2 tablespoons of rice vinegar and 2 tablespoons of caster sugar, then cool
½ to 1 cup cubed fresh pineapple or mango
6-8 tablespoons pickled ginger, sliced
2 large carrots julienned or  grated
2 medium or small cucumbers, julienned
2 cups shredded red cabbage
Coriander and Kewpie Mayonnaise to garnish and serve

Tahini and wasabi dressing

¼ cup tahini
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1-2 teaspoons wasabi paste
1 tablespoon honey

  1. Coat the salmon in the sweet soy sauce
  2. Build bowls according to your plate shape, drizzle with dressing, scatter with sesame seeds and coriander and finish off with a squeeze of Kewpie mayonnaise on the salmon


1 large carrot, finely julienned/grated
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon castor sugar

• Combine all ingredients and leave to pickle for 20 minutes