Ahi Tuna Poke Bowl


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Poke bowl is one of my favorite meals to grab at a restaurant, but it’s so easy to make at home!

This ahi poke bowl recipe is made with ahi tuna, a tamari soy sauce marinade and sushi rice. Then it’s topped with cucumber, avocado, microgreens and sprinkled with sesame seeds. It’s delicious, flavorful, healthy and entirely gluten-free.

Ahi tuna poke in a white bowl with chopsticks.

Poke Bowl

Over the years, I’ve been fortunate to have traveled all of the Hawaiian islands. It’s one of those perks of living so close in Southern California. And I’ve had poke bowls every which way, with a variety of different fish, toppings and sauces.

But in recent years poke bowl popularity has surged like crazy on the mainland with what seems like a hundred different ways to customize a poke bowl. From quinoa to zucchini noodles and everything in between. And we’ll talk about some of those variations in a sec, especially when it comes to dietary preferences.

But let’s talk about why poke is so great….and why you need to be making the poke bowl recipe at home.

Ahi tuna poke bowl with chopsticks.

What’s in a poke bowl?

Traditional poke bowls are actually quite simple – just high quality fish cubed up, a little sauce or marinade, green onions and some sushi rice. That’s it.

You could think of it as a raw fish salad or deconstructed sushi roll. I like the deconstructed sushi roll analogy, because whatever you’d typically find all wrapped up in a roll, you can simply add to a bowl instead and easily create a poke bowl.

Because poke bowls aren’t fussy or fancy and because fresh seafood is in abundance in Hawaii, you can even find poke bowls in supermarkets and served in street-side stalls.

Fresh piece of ahi tuna.

Ahi tuna poke in a white bowl.

How do you pronounce poke?

Poke is Hawaiian for “to slice or cut” (which perfectly describes the cubed fish) and is pronounced poh-KAY (rhyming with “okay”). It’s not pronounced poh-KEE or just poke, as if you’d poke someone.

Are poke bowls gluten-free?

Sadly, most poke bowls served in restaurants or pre-made in a supermarket are not gluten-free. And there’s two places that gluten finds it’s way into poke bowls – the marinade and the rice.

  • The Marinade: Soy sauce is the traditional marinade for the fish and contains gluten. Ponzu sauce may also be used and because soy sauce is an ingredient in ponzu sauce, that means it’s also not gluten-free.
  • The Rice: When it comes to the rice, Japanese rice vinegar or malt vinegar are often added to the rice for extra flavor (just as they are in sushi). Unfortunately, these vinegars and seasonings may also contain gluten.

So when in doubt, ask many questions and confirm exactly what was used in the marinades and sauces and how the rice was cooked and seasoned.

Two poke bowls.

How to make this ahi poke bowl

You can use a variety of seafood in poke bowls, but my favorite is always ahi tuna. And you’ll want to start with sushi-grade ahi. It should look vibrant, fresh and be a watermelon red color. To make the poke bowl:

  • Cook the sushi rice according to the directions. It’s usually 1 cup of rice to 1 1/2 cups of water and takes about 20 minutes on the stove.
  • While the rice is cooking cube up ahi tuna into bite-sized pieces and make the marinade. I’m using tamari (a gluten-free soy sauce) but you could also use coconut aminos (a soy-free soy sauce alternative). I’ve chatted about the differences between tamari, soy sauce and coconut aminos before.
  • Gently toss the ahi in the marinade until all of the pieces are fully coated, then chop up a green onion, add that to the ahi and give it a stir. Thinly slice a cucumber and dice an avocado and set that to the side, but don’t do this too early as you don’t want the avocado to brown.
  • To assemble the poke bowl, add a few spoonfuls of rice to a bowl and top that with a few spoonfuls of ahi. Add several slices of cucumber and a sprinkle of the diced avocado on top.
  • For garnish, add a sprinkle of microgreens and both white and black sesame seeds. And there you have it – a gluten-free, healthy and extremely delicious poke bowl!

Ahi tuna poke bowl.

Can you make this poke bowl vegan, paleo, keto or Whole30?

Absolutely! Definitely feel free to tweak this recipe to your dietary preference. Here are some tips on how to do that:

For more delicious healthy seafood recipes

Watch the Video of my Poke Bowl Recipe

Ahi tuna poke bowl.

Ahi Tuna Poke Bowl

5 from 9 votes
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 25 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Lisa Bryan


Poke bowl recipe made with ahi tuna, a tamari soy sauce marinade and sushi rice, then topped with cucumber, avocado, microgreens and sprinkled with sesame seeds. It's a healthy, gluten-free poke bowl recipe. Watch the video above to see how quickly it comes together!


  • 1 cup sushi rice
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 lb ahi tuna, sushi-grade
  • 1/4 cup tamari
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp rice vinegar
  • 2 green onion, sliced
  • 1 small cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • microgreens, for garnish
  • white and black sesame seeds, for garnish


  • Add the sushi rice to a fine mesh colander and rinse until the water becomes clear. Place the sushi rice in a small pot and add the water. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover the pot and cook the rice for 20 minutes.
  • While the rice is cooking, cube up the ahi tuna into bite-sized pieces.
  • In a small bowl, stir together the tamari, sesame oil and rice vinegar. Then add the ahi tuna and gently stir until all of the pieces are coated. Add the green onion and stir again.
  • When the rice is fully cooked, add a few spoonfuls of rice to a bowl. Top that with a few spoonfuls of ahi tuna, several slices of cucumber and a some diced avocado. Garnish with microgreens and a sprinkle of white and black sesame seeds.

Lisa's Tips

  • Make sure you're purchasing a high-quality, sushi-grade ahi tuna as you're eating it raw. Fresh is best, but using previously frozen ahi is fine as well. And always ask your fish monger if you have questions.
  • I always use this organic sushi rice. And this is the brand of gluten-free tamari soy sauce I use. 


Calories: 435kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 43mg | Sodium: 53mg | Potassium: 683mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 2665IU | Vitamin C: 8.6mg | Calcium: 35mg | Iron: 2.4mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Hawaiian
Keyword: ahi poke bowl, ahi tuna poke bowl, poke bowl
Did you make this recipe?Mention @downshiftology or tag #downshiftology!

Recipe originally posted June 2018, but updated to include new information.

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About the author

Lisa Bryan

Lisa is a bestselling cookbook author, recipe developer, and YouTuber (with over 2.5 million subscribers) living in sunny Southern California. She started Downshiftology in 2014, and is passionate about making healthy food with fresh, simple and seasonal ingredients.

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Recipe Rating


  1. I was a bit nervous about making this. I have eaten lots of raw tuna before but never in a dish that I prepared! I bought sushi grade tuna at my local fish market and decided to give it a try.  Delicious!    I have a lot of leftovers (cooking for one) so next time I will only use 1/2 pound of tuna.  Thanks for the confidence builder lol5 stars

  2. Love this dish. So simple yet delicious and healthy!.Please let me know the maker of bowl used to photograph the poke bowl. Thanks.5 stars

    1. Can never go wrong with a simple ahi poke bowl! As for the bowl, this was made by an individual ceramic artist in Los Angeles.

  3. I wish I could add photos as this one turned out beautifully. I added a sushi grade scallop as well. Decadent!5 stars

    1. Hi Virginia – wonderful! I’m so happy you loved this poke bowl. And sounds delicious with the extra scallop. Yum!

  4. I don’t believe I’ve ever noticed if my local markets carry sushi grade ahi tuna. Is it fairly easy to find sushi grade fish or is this something typical to find at a speacialty store? Any alternatives if cannot locate sushi grade?

    1. If your local market doesn’t carry it, you can always ask the person behind the counter. Though I’d recommend finding a local fishmonger/specialty fish shop if at all possible. :)

    1. This probably isn’t your best recipe option for meal prep. I’ve had leftovers the second day, but I wouldn’t recommend more than that. The ahi and avocado is definitely better fresh. :)

  5. Okay, fixed this for supper. I like the simplicity of the dressing but realized too late that it’s seasoned for rice, as written the recipe is too salty for serving on salad. I’ll cut back on the tamari next time. Thanks!

    1. Hi Missy – there’s no salt in this recipe. But if you’d like to reduce the sodium, you could use a low-sodium tamari. :)

  6. Are you sure of the macros on this recipe? Sushi rice is in the neighborhood of 140g carb per cup dry. 

  7. I just made this for lunch for my 11 year old son and I. Reminds me of being back in Maui! I wasn’t too sure how he’d react to it, but he loved it! I added a seeded jalapeño to the leftovers for the hubby tonight. Your recipes are the best, Lisa! Flavorful, healthy and easy enough to attempt even when running on a busy schedule. Thank you!5 stars

    1. Yay – so happy you all enjoyed the recipe and a reminder of Maui sounds like a good thing to me! ;) And thanks for your kind words Alicia. So thrilled you love my recipes!

  8. This looks delicious! I’ve never had Poke…the rice is hot and the other ingredients are cold or room temp?

    1. You definitely need to give it a try! It’s light, healthy and packed with flavor. :)

    1. Yes! It’s one of my favorite meals for spring and summer as it doesn’t weigh you down. :)

  9. Loved the detailed explanation of your recipe. What microgreens have you added? I have never tried such recipe , this looks interesting.

    1. Thanks so much Swati! The microgreens I used were kale microgreens. You can usually find them in your produce department next to sprouts. :) Enjoy the recipe!

  10. Mmm, poke bowls are the best, but I’ve never made them myself. This looks easy and delicious – thanks!!

    1. They really are! And you’ll love making them at home – so quick and easy. Enjoy the recipe Sarah!