Rainbow Poke Bowl with canned tuna ~ you can have this colorful and healthy Hawaiian favorite any time, anywhere, without having to source sushi grade raw fish ~ it’s a win win!
* This post is in partnership with Genova® Seafood ~ Genova is my pick for great canned tuna, and I thank you for supporting both of us as we work to bring you delicious food.
My gluten free poke ( “POH-keh”) bowl is full of classic Hawaiian flavors, a bevvy of textures, and a veritable color wheel of nutrition ~ all anchored with premium albacore tuna. You can have this gloriously healthy tropical treat any day of the week without the last minute trip to the seafood market. Just pop open a can of Genova!
I love to bring the rainbow into my kitchen, I love the challenge of incorporating as many colors as possible into our food, and I love knowing that we’re eating better because of it. When it comes to diet, color equals health benefits in almost every case ~ here’s how it breaks down in this bowl:
- Black rice (aka Forbidden rice) ~ antioxidants, fiber, plus amino acids, vitamins, and minerals.
- Genova Wild Caught Tuna ~ lean protein, omega 3 fatty acids, selenium, B vitamins and minerals.
- Red onion ~ cancer fighting flavonoids..
- Purple cabbage ~ immune boosting, anti-inflammatory, with cancer fighting flavonoids.
- Mango ~ antioxidants (vitamins A and C) to remove free-radicals from blood, fiber to lower cholesterol, low glycemic index to maintain healthy blood sugar level.
- Microgreens ~ many times more nutrient dense than mature greens.
- Carrots ~ carotenoids to fight heart disease, antioxidants, promotes eye and skin health.
- Persian cucumber ~ hydrates, detoxes, and helps with weight loss.
- Watermelon radish ~ fiber, folate, and vitamin C.
- Hot peppers ~ anti-inflammatory, with immune boosting vitamins.
- Pickled ginger ~ calms stomach, anti-inflammatory, also immune boosting.
- Seaweed ~ packed with fiber, minerals, and trace elements.
Disclaimer: I don’t always eat this way. I’ll overshare and admit that we have a freezerful of Trader Joes boxes ~ last night was frozen fish and chips. If you count the frozen peas there were exactly 2 colors in that meal, and one of them was beige ;) Maybe this isn’t for every day, but it’s definitely easy enough for once a week. Make the rice and dressing ahead of time, and this can be a quick entree or cold salad at a moment’s notice.
Two critical elements to making this poke bowl with canned tuna taste authentic are the pickled veggies and the tangy dressing.
Happily, the pickle is an instant recipe, that is, once you add the pickling brine, the radishes and cucumbers only need an hour to absorb the flavor. They stay super crunchy, too. The brine is a mixture of rice wine vinegar, water, hot pepper flakes, and cilantro. (You can re-use the pickling liquid, too, just keep it in the fridge.)
TIP: If you can’t find those beautiful watermelon radishes, use regular radishes, just cut them in thin slices or wedges. For another look at them, see my SHAVED APPLE AND RADISH SALAD.
The dressing has a bit more ingredients to it, but the combination is soooo delicious. I would definitely make up a large batch to store in the fridge so you make easy poke bowls whenever the urge strikes.
In addition to a variety of colors, I like a variety of textures and shapes, too, so I’ll purposely cut the ingredients in different ways.
I use a simple vegetable peeler to shave off thin ribbons of carrot. I cut the crunchy radish into matchsticks, and the papery sheets of nori seaweed into thin shreds. I cube the velvety mango, thinly slice the cukes and onions, and shred the purple cabbage. You get a nice variety without any special gadgets.
A word about rice ~
I’ve used black rice for my poke bowls, and I love this rice for a few reasons. It has a great visual appeal (a deep rich purple color that looks black) especially with the vibrant ingredients in these bowls. It has a firm texture, an earthy flavor, and is way more nutritious than white rice. Look carefully in the rice section of large supermarkets…it’s there! Black rice stars in one of my favorite Asian recipes, TANGERINE CHICKEN.
Genova Albacore tuna packed in olive oil is the perfect choice for this recipe. The solid white tuna filet is mild tasting and comes out of the can in large pieces. I gently break it apart (poke means ‘to cut’ or ‘to chop’ in Hawaiian) after setting it on my rice. The fish takes on the wonderful flavors of the dressing and makes a perfect poke bowl without any of the worries associated with eating raw fish.
*The dressing in this recipe is adapted from Half Baked Harvest.
- 1 watermelon radish, peeled and cut in thin matchsticks
- 1 or 2 small Persian cucumbers, thinly sliced (do not peel)
- 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 2 sprigs cilantro
- 1/2 cup sesame oil
- 1/4 cup Tamari soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 Tbsp pineapple juice (substitute orange if you like)
- 1 tsp hot chili paste or Sriracha
- 1 tsp minced pickled ginger (or fresh ginger)
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- juice of 1 lime
- 1 tsp sesame seeds (black or white)
- 1 cup black (Forbidden) rice, or red or white rice
- about 1/2 sheet of dried seaweed, cut in thin shreds.
- 2 5-ounce cans Genova Wild Caught Albacore Tuna in Olive Oil in Easy-Open Cans
- 1/4 of a small red onion, very thinly sliced
- 1 cup finely shredded red cabbage
- 1 small ripe mango, peeled and diced
- handful of microgreens, or sprouts of your choice
- 1 cup shaved or grated carrot
- 1/2 cup picked radishes
- 1/2 cup pickled cucumbers
- 2 Tbsp pickled ginger
- 1 hot red chili pepper (or jalapeno or Serrano pepper) thinly sliced
- fresh cilantro leaves
- black or white sesame seeds
- lime wedges
- First make the pickle. Pack the radish sticks and cucumbers into a jar, along with the cilantro. Heat the vinegar, water, and pepper flakes to a boil on the stove or in the microwave. Pour the hot brine over the vegetables, the liquid should just cover them. Set aside.
- Whisk the dressing ingredients together, taste to adjust any of them, and set aside.
- Cook the rice according to package instructions. Toss it with the seaweed and some of the dressing to moisten and flavor it.
- Divide the rice between two bowls. Place the tuna in each bowl. Lift the tuna out gently with a fork to keep the chunks intact and leaving most of the oil in the can.
- Arrange the rest of the ingredients around the bowl and drizzle with the dressing. Top with garnishes, and serve.
- You can find pickled ginger in jars in the Asian section of your supermarket.
- Sesame oil is one of my favorite ingredients, but it’s intensely flavored, and expensive. If you like you can cut it down with any mild oil you like, avocado, almond, or even canola oil would work. If you want to use olive oil, make sure you use mild flavored pure oil, not extra virgin.
- Traditional poke bowls are served with warm rice and cold toppings. I found that cold rice worked, too. In either case toss the rice with some of the dressing for flavor.
- Other poke bowl toppings you might try would be avocados, green onion, pineapple, papaya, jicama, bell peppers, Maui onion, or edamame beans.