This California Poke Bowl recipe is refreshing and simple with imitation crab as the main ingredient. The crab is paired with an easy blend of rice, creamy avocado, fresh cucumber, sweet mango, and tangy spicy mayo. And everything is finely diced so there is that delicious California Roll flavor in each and every bite!
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Do you love sushi?! Then this California Poke Bowl might just be your next date night favorite!
I love picking up a poke bowl from the store, but sometimes it just doesn’t have enough STUFF. Ya know? Like, give me some extras! So, I decided to deconstruct the ingredients of a California roll and make my own sushi bowl with all the stuff I could ever want. 🤤
This California Poke Bowl recipe is refreshing and simple with imitation crab as the main ingredient. The crab is paired with an easy blend of sushi rice, creamy avocado, fresh cucumber, sweet mango, and tangy spicy mayo. Everything is finely diced so you have delicious flavor with each and every bite.
Skip the takeout and make this dish fresh in your own home. You won't regret it!
What's in a California Poke Bowl?
English Cucumber: Cool and fresh flavor.
Rice: I recommend Jasmine or Basmati rice.
Seaweed: I like to use roasted strips. But you could also use fresh!
Mango: For a bright and sweet contrasting flavor.
Crab Meat: I used imitation crab here. However, if you want to cook fresh crab meat, go for it!
Sesame Seeds: For a slightly nutty flavor.
Rice Vinegar: We'll use this to bring some flavor to our rice.
Avocado: A creamy fat that's also a sushi staple.
Jalapeno: For a little spice! (easily can omit if spice isn't your thing)
Gather some kitchen equipment
How to assemble your California roll sushi bowl at home
- First, prepare the rice. I usually buy a microwavable packet, but bagged rice is also great. Cook the rice for your base. Stir in the rice vinegar into the cooked rice, and then place in your bowl.
- Next, prepare the mango and vegetables. Dice very finely. Slice the jalapeños for a spicy crunch. Layer on top of the rice.
- Dice your imitation crab meat. Add to bowl.
- Then, garnish your sushi roll bowl. Drizzle spicy mayo and balsamic glaze. Lastly, top your imitation crab poke bowl with sesame seeds and seaweed.
- Pro tip: prepare these bowls in a large mixing bowl and use kitchen shears to chop everything together. You'll have a little bit of everything in every bite. It will be nicely coated in spicy mayo and eel sauce mixture making it the perfect way to serve it. **Presentation wise, it was prettier to see each ingredient in its entirety.
What is Poke?
Poke, pronounced poe-kay, is Hawaiian for “cut crosswise into pieces” or “to slice.” It refers to diced and cubed raw fish. What surprised me the most is that it's a traditionally Hawaiian dish that has been influenced by Japanese cuisine! And it's usually dressed with soy sauce, sesame oil, and onion.
A poke bowl is raw, sushi-grade fish dressed with a soy or sesame dressing and served with rice, fruit, and veggies. In this California Poke Bowl recipe, I used imitation crab meat, and I dressed my poke bowl in a tangy, spicy mayo. You could also use a yuzu-soy-sesame dressing. Where can you get crab meat for poke? Imitation crab meat can be found packaged usually in the refrigerated section next to the meat & seafood counter. Find sushi-grade fish at your regular grocery store at the seafood counter or in the freezer section. Depending wher eyou live, you may need to venture out to a specialty fish store for fresh fish.
You can customize your poke bowl however you wish! Here are some delicious ideas:
- Fish: Try sushi-grade salmon, tuna, crab, or shrimp! They all taste great. I recommend making sure the crab and shrimp are cooked. They are not typically eaten raw.
- Grains: You can use white or brown rice, sesame noodles, or edamame noodles.
- Vegetables: I like cucumber, avocado, edamame, shaved purple cabbage, onion, carrots, radish, or green onion.
- Fruit: Try mango, lime, or cantaloupe.
- Dressings: Drizzle on some spicy mayo, soy, yumyum, or miso sauce.
Poke bowl FAQs
How should I store my poke bowl?
Store refrigerated for up to 3 days. Since it is imitation crab poke, there's no worry of the fish going bad quickly. I would wait to add the avocado and seaweed until you're ready to eat your poke bowl to keep these ingredients fresh and crisp.
Can I use any kind of fish?
If you aren't using imitation crab poke, I highly recommend using sushi-grade fish. If you aren't into fish, try some grilled tofu or even a teriyaki chicken I think would pair well.
Any tips for success?
Finely dice all of your ingredients so there's yummy stuff in every bite! Also, after photographing, I tossed the whole bowl up in a mixing bowl and used kitchen sheers to dice the ingredients even more finely. Highly recommend! It was so good.
other delicious recipes you'll love
Homemade California Poke Bowls
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Cutting Board
- 2 cups basmati or jasmine rice
- 1 snack pack roasted seaweed strips
- 1 cup imitation crab meat
- ½ mango
- ½ avocado
- ½ cup english cucumber
- ¼ cup jalapeno, diced
- 4 tbsp spicy mayo
- 3 tbsp rice vinegar
- 2 tbsp balsamic glaze
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds
- First, prepare the rice. I usually buy a microwavable packet, but bagged rice is also great. Cook the rice for your base. Once the rice is cooked, stir in rice vinegar. Then, place in your bowl.
- Next, prepare the mango and vegetables. Dice very finely. Slice the jalapenos for a spicy crunch. Layer on top of the rice.
- Dice your imitation crab meat. Add to bowl.
- Then, garnish your poke bowl. Drizzle spicy mayo and balsamic glaze. Lastly, top with sesame seeds and seaweed.
I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. It’s my passion to create dishes that can be shared with others. Tell me something you loved, something that you think it might need, or just say hi!
Looking for this in MyFitnessPal?
If you're using MyFitnessPal, search 'A Paige Of Positivity' and find Homemade California Poke Bowls
1 serving: 85 grams Carbs | 18 grams Fat | 13 grams Protein
**Disclaimer: for most accurate macronutrients and caloric breakdown, it is recommended that you input each ingredient into your MyFitnessPal food diary.