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Shalane's Summer Poke Bowls

Shalane's Summer Poke Bowls

By Natalie Bickford, MS

This recipe was a special request by Shalane! She craves easy, refreshing bowls like these all summer long.

Poke bowls are perfect for summer because they require minimal cooking (just the rice!) and are best eaten cold or at room temperature.

The marinade for your protein gets doubled down as a delicious dressing to drizzle over everything. Crunchy raw veggies get pickled for a refreshing bright crunch and fresh ripe fruit adds a burst of sweetness. Creamy avocado adds much needed healthy fats and you'll get your dose of iron-rich greens from the sesame spinach. 

Looking for more bowl inspiration? Find more inspiring Power Bowl recipes in RFCFES.

Try our Quinoa Power Bowl with Roasted Fennel, Tomato, and Snap Peas

Mix and match!

Make this bowl your own or have a poke bowl party with multiple options!

Protein: we opted for tofu, but if you have access to good sushi grade tuna or salmon, you can easily substitute it. You could also try this with chopped up cooked chicken tossed in the marinade. 

Pickled veg: the cucumber and radish combo is super refreshing, but you could use any raw crunchy veggie (carrot, cabbage, fennel, sugar snap peas, etc...).

Fruit: use any ripe seasonal fruit (melon, nectarine, apricot, watermelon, tomatoes, etc...).

Herbs: we love the green scallions in here, but you could also try it with mint, cilantro or basil!

Rice: it's hard to beat the classic white rice in this dish, but you could use any grain you've got lying around.

Greens: we use thawed frozen spinach, but you could use any cooked (sautéed, steamed, or blanched) leafy green (kale, Swiss chard, etc...).


Summer Poke Bowl

Serves 4

For the bowl:

2 cups jasmine white rice
1/4 cup soy sauce or tamari
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tsp maple syrup
1 tsp grated ginger
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 (14 oz) pack tofu or 1 lb sushi grade fish, cut into bite-sized cubes
1 ½ cups chopped peach, cantaloupe, or watermelon
1 avocado, chopped
Nori strips (optional)
1/2 cup thinly sliced green scallions 
Sesame seeds

For the cucumber and radish:

1 cucumber peeled, thinly sliced
3 radishes, thinly sliced* 
1/2 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup water
1/4 tsp fine sea salt

For the sesame spinach:

1 (16-20 oz) bag frozen spinach
2 tsp sesame oil
1/4 tsp fine sea salt

*Radishes give off a funky smell when they're pickled, so don't worry if you smell it! You could also just do all cucumber or substitute the radish with carrot.


Add your rice to a fine mesh sieve and rinse until the water runs clear (this helps remove excess starch and prevent gummy rice). Add to a medium pot along with 3 cups water. Bring a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, for 12-14 minutes, or until the rice is cooked through and water has evaporated. Let sit, covered, for 10 minutes. Transfer to a bowl to cool off.

In a medium bowl, mix together the cucumber, radish, vinegar, water and salt. Set aside to pickle for at least 10 minutes or overnight (longer the better!).

Thaw the spinach. Let cool (if using microwave) and then squeeze out the water either in a colander or wring it out in a kitchen towel. Toss with sesame oil and salt. Taste and add more salt or sesame, if needed. Set aside. This is best room temp or cold so don’t worry about keeping it warm.

In a large bowl, mix together the soy sauce, vinegar, syrup, ginger, and sesame oil. Transfer about 2 tablespoons of the mixture to a small bowl (you'll use this later as a dressing).

Add the tofu into the large bowl and toss to coat. You can serve the tofu right away or let it marinate overnight. If using fish, let marinate in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Stir in 2 tablespoons of water into the small bowl of reserved marinade (this will be a dressing for your bowl).

Add rice, marinated tofu, pickled veg, fruit, avocado, and nori strips (if using), to your bowl. Drizzle the reserved marinade over top and sprinkle with scallions and sesame seeds.

Recipe and photos by Natalie Bickford

Natalie is a nutritionist and personal chef in Bend, OR who specializes in women's health and sports nutrition. She loves creating simple, nourishing meals and recipes to fuel your life. Join Natalie's Cooking Club for weekly menus, grocery lists, videos, and meal prep tips!

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