When I first moved to Toronto, I was amazed by the city’s diverse food scene. I worked at a hospital right in the heart of downtown and I used to get overwhelmed with the endless amount of options for food on my lunch break. I would purposely “forget” to pack a lunch sometimes just so that I could explore the Toronto food scene. It was around this time that I discovered Poke Bowls.
A Poke bowl is basically a deconstructed sushi bowl native to Hawaii. Traditionally, it consists of sushi rice topped with raw marinated ahi tuna, and a variety of other Japanese-influenced toppings. Now that it has become somewhat of a trendy food, Poke restaurants have been popping up everywhere and they offer a variety of non-traditional protein options as well, like shrimp, chicken and tofu.
Poke bowls became a frequent indulgence for me when I was working downtown. But it wasn’t until the following year when I travelled to Maui, that I had the absolute best poke bowl I have ever tasted. The Ahi Tuna was freshly caught that day and marinated in shoyu (soy sauce) and sesame oil, although, it didn’t even need the marinade. Fresh caught fish is different. It’s already so flavorful and it just melts in your mouth. I already knew that no fish I could purchase here in Toronto would compare, sushi grade or not. So, when I recreated this dish from home, I decided to use prawns as a substitute. I cooked the prawns in sesame oil and soy sauce to mimic the traditional flavours and it did not disappoint.
For the toppings, I went with red cabbage, seaweed salad, edamame, cucumber, scallions, radishes, pickled ginger, sesame seeds, wasabi, and spicy aioli. I like to load my bowl up with veggies, but the toppings are completely customizable. Some other great toppings to add are pineapple, avocado, fried onions or garlic, bean sprouts, macadamia nuts, wasabi peas, or even panko crumbs. The options are endless.
I use a Mandolin Slicer to slice my vegetables thin for bowls like these. Click the link to check out a similar one on Amazon.
I hope you all enjoy this recipe, let me know in the comments below!
Shrimp Poke Bowls
These Hawaiian inspired Poke bowls are loaded with tangy sushi rice, shoyu shrimp, vegetables and a spicy sriracha aioli
- ½ lb uncooked, tail on shrimp
- ½ tsp Garlic powder
- ½ tsp ginger powder
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 cup sushi rice or Koshihikari rice
- 1.5 cups water
- 2 tbsp Rice vinegar
- 1 tsp sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- 3 tbsp Sriracha
- ¼ cup mayo
- 1 cucumber, diced
- 1 cup red cabbage, thinly sliced
- 1 cup shelled edamame
- 1 cup seaweed salad
- 1 cup radishes, thinly sliced
- 4 scallions, sliced
- Pickled Ginger
- Sesame seeds for garnish
- Rinse rice well until water runs clear. Add rice and water to a medium pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer 35 minutes or per package instructions.
- In a separate saucepan heat rice vinegar, sugar, and salt. Stir until sugar is dissolved and then remove from heat.
- Once rice is cooked, transfer it from the pot to your serving dish. Pour the vinegar mixture over the rice. Gently mix with a wooden spoon, avoiding squishing the rice.
- Season shrimp with salt, pepper, ginger and garlic powder. In a medium sauté pan heat sesame oil over medium heat. Add shrimp and soy sauce. Sauté 2-3 minutes on each side until shrimp is pink and cooked through.
- Prepare Spicy aioli by combining mayo and sriracha.
- Assemble Bowls. Add rice, shrimp and desired toppings. Drizzle with spicy aioli and garnish with sesame seeds.