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Vegan "Ahi" Poke Bowl

Updated: May 19, 2020

The summer is going to be finally in full swing soon. It`s getting hotter and dryer here in Los Angeles. When the weather is in high 80, it`s normal to crave cold and refreshing recipes. In anticipation of another beach season, I want to share this delicious Hawaiian "Ahi" poke bowl recipe.

The main star of this dish is a watermelon. A sweet and refreshing, low calorie berry (yes! watermelon is considered a berry) will provide hydration and also essential nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Traditionally, watermelon is viewed as a great summer snack option, but lately you might have noticed this fruit in more unconventional for this berry dishes like savory salads, Buddha bowls, relishes and salsas.


Poke bowls are part of the Native Hawaiian cuisine. It’s a healthy and fresh bowl of rice, uncooked and sliced vegetables, and raw fish or tofu. It can either be served as an appetizer or as a main course. You don’t necessarily need raw fish to enjoy this delicious Hawaiian trend! Perfect for all veggie lovers or those of you who don’t like raw fish. 

Popular Poke Bowl ingredients are:

  • rice

  • raw tuna, salmon, or tofu

  • green onions

  • seaweed

  • sesame

  • avocado

  • edamame

  • cucumber

  • carrots

  • red cabbage

Poke is Hawaiian for “to slice” or “cut crosswise into pieces”.

Vegan Watermelon Poke Bowl

A vegan poke bowl recipe made without fish but it tastes like the real thing, all thanks to the flavors from mixed sea vegetables and the textured of marinated watermelon.

Once marinated, the cubed watermelon really does look like raw tuna. but it`s only a visual effect. It’s sweet and savory and not a tad bit fishy. It just adds a nice pop of color to your bowl, and it’s super refreshing on a hot summer day.

👩🏼‍🍳 Prep Time10 minutes 🍲 Cook Time10 minutes 🍉  Watermelon marinating time 4-24 hrs

Servings 2 people

Calories 125kcal


For the watermelon poke

  • 2 cups watermelon, cut into 1-inch cubes

  • 3 tbsp soy sauce (if you want the gluten free version, replace the soy sauce with tamari)

  • 2 tbsp sesame oil

  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds

  • 3 tbsp chopped chives

  • 1 tsp agave nectar

  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar

  • 1/2 tsp liquid smoke

For the bowl

  • 1 cup cooked brown or white rice

  • 1 cup edamame

  • 1 cup of shredded red cabbage

  • 1 avocado

  • 1/2 cup seaweed salad

  • 1/3 cup pickled ginger

Optional add-ins

  • sliced cucumbers

  • Sliced fresh jalapeño

  • Crushed red pepper

  • Macadamia nuts

  • Sliced green onion

  • Sriracha

  • Wasabi mayo (2 Tbsp. vegan mayo + ¼ tsp. wasabi)


  1. Place the watermelon cubes in a gallon sized zip top bag. In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, sesame oil, sesame seeds, chives, agave, liquid smoke and rice vinegar. Adjust flavors to taste, and pour the marinade into the bag. Squish the bag around to coat the watermelon and set in the fridge to chill for at least four hours, preferably overnight.

  2. When ready to serve, add a half-cup of cooked brown or white rice to the bottom of two bowls. Remove the watermelon pieces from the marinade with a slotted spoon and divide between the bowls. Add edamame, seaweed, shredded red cabbage, pickled ginger and avocado. I will make a separate tutorial on how to make an avocado rose. If you don`t know how to make it, you can cut avocado into cubes. For the dressing you can use the rest of the marinade or you can drizzle your bowls with Sriracha or wasabi mayo.

I hope you liked this recipe. If you successfully made it, share your recipe on your social media and tag #nataliealeyrecipes

Let`s stay in touch and connect on the Instagram @natalie_aley

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