Watermelon Poke Bowl

The first time I had poke it was at Native Foods Cafe. I had seen tuna or salmon variations, but Native Foods Cafe is a vegan restaurant so they smartly replaced the fish with watermelon. (Check out my Chicago vegan restaurant exploration here.) My expectations were low but I was curious. 

I was blown away.

So blown away, in fact, I knew that one day I would recreate that amazing dish for myself. Today is that day.

The natural sweetness of the watermelon complements perfectly with the salty soy sauce and rich sesame oil. This poke bowl is full of crisp, fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and LOTS of flavor. 

This Watermelon Poke Bowl is the perfect way to enjoy the end of the summer. Live it up!

Course Main Course
Cuisine Japanese
Prep Time 50 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 4
Author Olivia Parr


Watermelon Poke

  • 16 oz Watermelon
  • 1/4 Cup Low-Sodium Soy Sauce
  • 1 1/2 Tsp Sesame Oil
  • 1 Tsp Rice Vinegar
  • 1/4 Tsp Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1/4 Cup Green Onion
  • 3 Tbsp Toasted Sesame Seeds plus more for garnish

Brown Sushi Rice

  • 2 Cup Brown Rice
  • 2 Tbsp Rice Vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp White Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Salt

1 Cucumber

8 oz Sugar Snap Peas

2 Cup Carrots

1 Avocado


For the Watermelon Poke

  1. Slice the watermelon into 1/2-inch cubes. Thinly slice the green onion.

  2. Combine the soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, red pepper flakes, green onion, and toasted sesame seeds in a small mixing bowl.

  3. About thirty minutes before serving toss and marinate the watermelon in the marinade.

For the Brown Sushi Rice

  1. Cook the rice according to the instructions on the package.

  2. Combine the rice vinegar, sugar, and salt in a small mixing bowl.

  3. Once the rice has cooked toss with the rice vinegar seasoning.

  4. Let the rice cool completely.

To Assemble

  1. Steam the sugar snap peas for about two to three minutes until lightly cooked but still firm.

  2. Slice the cucumber, carrots, and avocado.

  3. Place 1/4 of the sushi rice in the bottom of a large bowl. 

  4. Top the rice with sugar snap peas, carrots, avocado, marinated watermelon, and some extra toasted sesame seeds. 

  5. Optional: Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of green onion.

Recipe Notes

If you would like extra dressing for the poke bowl simply mix together more of the marinade liquid (minus the watermelon) and pour over the vegetables.