This salmon poke (pronounced poh-kay) bowl with shoyu sauce will transport you to the islands of Hawaii. In Hawaii, this flavor is called Shoyu, which translates to soy sauce. The sauce flavors have a subtle sweetness and saltiness (similar to how Hawaii makes it!), so you can taste the freshness of the fish. Add the marinated shoyu salmon on top of white rice and serve with vegetables of your choice for a delicious poke bowl!
Where do you get sashimi grade salmon?
I get salmon from the Japanese grocery store like Nijiya market (see photo above). The fish is specifically used for sashimi. Make sure to get fish that is labeled or sold as ‘sashimi grade’ or ‘sushi grade’ meaning they have been frozen to appropriately low temperatures for a certain time to ensure that any parasites in the fish have been killed off. Sometimes, I make my own ‘sashimi grade salmon’ (recipe linked here) if I buy high quality salmon and have time to freeze it. Be mindful and careful where you buy your salmon because you will be consuming the fish raw.
Grocery store chains in American like Ralph’s or Wegman’s do not have ‘sashimi grade fish’ so make sure you go to a reputable fish market or japanese grocery store! If you’re unsure, I recommend to ask the staff if the fish can be consumed raw.
How long should I marinate for?
I’ve noticed that the 30 minute to 1 hour period allows the salmon to soak up the marinade quite nicely and I’m able to taste the flavors of the grated ginger and sweetness of the onion. The ginger makes the fish taste aromatic and is also a key ingredient to make the salmon taste less ‘fishy.’
If you’re in a time crunch, the salmon poke also tastes delicious right away (without marinating)! However, I don’t recommend marinating longer than 8 hours. The fish texture starts to get a little mushy and you can’t taste the sweetness of the fish as much.
Ingredients you need for your salmon poke bowl:
salmon poke marinade:
- sashimi grade salmon
- soy sauce (plus more to taste after marinating)
- green onion, sliced thinly
- small white or sweet onion – soak the onions in ice cold water for at least 10 minutes to get rid of raw onion taste
- sugar – the sugar helps balance the soy sauce and ginger
- grated ginger – this is a key ingredient to make the fish taste more fresh and fragrant! Grating the ginger also ensures that there are no crunchy textures in your soft buttery salmon poke.
- sesame oil – a small dash of sesame oil makes the fish extra moist and flavorful!
poke bowl toppings:
The additional toppings can be switched depending on your food preferences. At a minimum, I recommend to add furikake seasoning and white rice for a delicious and hearty bowl!
- seaweed salad
- salad mix
- sliced cucumbers
- sliced avocado
- furikake seasoning
- warm white rice
How to make salmon poke:
Prepare poke marinade:
Step 1. Slice onions and soak in water
Step 2. Prepare salmon by patting dry with a paper towel. This gets rid of any water content. After patting dry, cut salmon (or tuna if you wish!) into 1 inch cubes.
Step 3. Whisk 1.5 tablespoons soy sauce, ¼ sliced sweet onion, ½ tablespoon sugar, and ½ teaspoon grated ginger. Mix well until the sugar has dissolved.
Marinate salmon poke:
Step 4. Add salmon and sliced green onions to the marinade. Mix the salmon poke gently until the salmon is well incorporated.
Step 5. Cover and refrigerate the salmon poke for 30 minutes to 1 hour (optional if you are in a rush!).
Prepare your toppings for your poke bowl:
Step 6. Prepare your salmon poke bowl to your liking. I prefer to add white rice on the bottom and then add the poke and vegetables on the sides. Enjoy your shoyu poke bowl while fresh!
Can I change the type of fish?
Yes you can substitute with raw tuna or tofu (if you’re vegetarian). The dish will still be delicious, so make you follow the same recipe ingredients and instructions
If I don’t finish the poke, can I eat it the next day?
Salmon poke is best eaten right away. After marinating more than 8 hours, the fish texture starts to change. You are also eating the salmon raw, so it’s best to eat everything as quickly as possible.
Can I cook the salmon?
Yes you can if you like cooked salmon. Traditionally, hawaiian poke is served raw as the salmon is really fresh and tastes sweet. To cook the salmon, cut them in 1 inch cubes and follow the marinade instructions. Then, cook on a pan for 2-3 minutes on medium heat. Serve with toppings of your choice such as salad, rice, furikake seasoning and more.
How do I store the salmon poke?
I recommend to eat it fresh as you can! If you have leftovers, store the rice separate from the fish. If there are toppings, make sure you separate that in another container so the vegetables (such as salad mix) doesn’t get soggy. Place the containers in the refrigerator and enjoy within 12 hours.
If you love sushi, make sure you check out these delicious recipes:
- salmon with spicy crab sushi – salmon nigiri topped with spicy crab is a favorite dish from my parent’s restaurant that I re-created at home
- inari sushi – aka tofu pocket – super easy sushi recipe for those that are vegetarian or want something quick and delicious!
Salmon Shoyu Poke
salmon poke marinade:
- 8 ounce sashimi grade salmon*
- 1½ tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 green onion sliced
- ¼ white or sweet onion sliced thin
- ½ tablespoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon ginger grated
- ½ tablespoon sesame oil
poke bowl toppings:
- 1-2 cups warm rice
- furikake seasoning to taste
- seaweed salad optional
- salad mix optional
- sliced cucumbers optional
- sliced avocado optional
- kimchi optional
- Slice ½ small onion in thin slices. Then, soak onions in cold water for 10 minutes.
- Prepare salmon by patting dry with a paper towel. After patting dry, cut salmon into 1 inch cubes.
- Make the poke marinade by adding 1.5 tablespoons soy sauce, ¼ sliced sweet onion, ½ tablespoon sugar, and ½ teaspoon grated ginger. Mix well until the sugar has dissolved.
- Add salmon and sliced green onions to the marinade. Mix the salmon poke gently until the salmon is well incorporated.
- Cover and refrigerate the salmon poke for 30 minutes to 1 hour (optional if you are in a rush!).
- Add white rice (slightly warm is the Hawaiian style) to the bottom of the bowl. You can add salad mix or cucumbers on the side. Next, add your salmon poke on the side along with your favorite toppings such as seaweed salad, sliced avocado, kimchi and more! Sprinkle the salmon poke bowl with furikake seasoning. Enjoy this dish while the rice is fluffy and the salmon is fresh ◡̈