If you know me, you probably know I’m obsessed with watermelon. So any excuse to add it to a recipe is fine with me! Cue this vegan watermelon ‘poke’ recipe!
What is poke?
The term ‘Poke’ comes from the Hawaiin language, meaning ‘to slice’. It’s typically made of raw fish paired with soy sauce, salt and seaweed and is still a mainstay in the Hawaiin islands. It’s served as an appetizer or main in the traditional Native Hawaiin culture. While ‘poke’ is a Hawaiin term, the roots of the dish are more traditionally Japanese with influences of all of the beautiful cultures in Hawaii. Poke has become increasingly popular in mainland USA and Canada, however, I think it’s still important to acknowledge and respect its true roots. This ‘poke bowl’ recipe is not authentic or traditional. As someone who doesn’t eat fish, I’ve used traditional poke bowls as simply inspiration for this watermelon vegan ‘poke’, but I want to make it abundantly clear that this is not traditional poke. For a traditional poke recipe, please check out Alan Wong, a traditional Hawaiian chef’s recipe. Keep in mind that Alan Wong’s recipe is not vegan.
Main ingredients used
Watermelon: Marinated watermelon is the main ingredient in this ‘poke’ recipe! The watermelon takes on a surprisingly salty, sweet, umami flavor with the soy sauce, rice vinegar and sesame oil and has a beautiful deep red color after marinating. The longer you can marinate, the better! Just make sure to store it in the fridge while marinating.
Edamame: While watermelon is the main ingredient in this ‘poke’ recipe, we still need a dose of plant-based protein to keep us feeling full, nourished and satisfied! Cue the edamame. I love edamame because it can be purchased frozen and easily microwaved for a quick source of plant-based protein with meals. It’s also a great source of iron, calcium and fiber!
Brown Rice: Brown rice adds a great source of whole grains, carbohydrates, fiber and B vitamins to this dish.
Nori: Seaweed adds a distinct comes-from-the-sea flavor to this ‘poke’ recipe. Seaweed is also high in micronutrients like vitamin A and C!
Veggies: I use cucumber and cabbage in this vegan watermelon ‘poke’ bowl for a satisfying crunch! Feel free to use whichever veggies you like and have on hand.
Sriracha mayo: To add a creamy kick to this ‘poke’ bowl I whipped up a quick and simple sriracha mayo!
I hope you love this recipe as much as I do! If you try it out, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram and leave a rating and review in the comment section!
Vegan Watermelon 'Poke' Bowl
This watermelon 'poke' bowl recipe takes a non-traditional spin on the Hawaiin poke bowl! While it's not created with fish like the traditional poke bowl, it uses watermelon for a deep-red hue and a delicious sweet and savory combo!
- 2 heaping cups cubed watermelon
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1/2 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1/2 tbsp sesame oil
- 3/4 cup brown rice
- 1 cup shelled edamame
- 1 cup sliced cucumber
- 1 cup sliced cabbage
- 2 sheets nori
- 1 tbsp vegan mayo
- 1/2 tsp sriracha or to taste
- 1/2 lime juiced
Cook brown rice as per package instructions.
Meanwhile, whisk together soy sauce, rice vinegar and sesame oil. Marinate watermelon in mixture until rice is done cooking, or at least 15 minutes.
Steam edamame over the stove or in the microwave.
Whisk together all ingredients for the sriracha mayo.
Once all components are complete, combine in a bowl and enjoy!
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