Rainbow Poke Bowl with Seared Tuna

I realized, as I was making this series of recipes today, that I hadn’t made a good “everything in a bowl” dinner in some time. So here’s a rainbow poke bowl with a variety of mostly healthy goodies in all sorts of colors and flavors and textures.

Note: the recipe card was updated 1/16/2022 to include all of the ingredients in the bowl and possible substitutions.

Tips and tricks for this recipe

The nice thing about this rainbow poke bowl is that it can be almost entirely prepared ahead of time. That’s great for dinners when you don’t have a lot of prep time right before serving. And it’s ideal for hot summer evenings when you don’t want to cook.

A rainbow poke bowl with sliced seared tuna, sushi crab salad, japanese scrambled eggs, and a rainbow colored array of vegetables.

Or, in case you don’t have much time earlier in the day, the only thing that really needs to be started ahead is the marinade for the tuna. You could even skip the marinade and just season the tuna steaks with salt and pepper. The lovely thing about bowls is that there’s an infinite number of ways to put them together.

raw tuna in a baking dish.
raw tuna marinating in a baking dish for the rainbow poke bowl.

Feel free to skip pickling the carrots if you don’t want to turn on another burner.

pot of sliced pickled carrots.

What’s in my rainbow poke bowl?

  • baby spinach
  • sushi rice
  • seared tuna (see recipe)
  • sliced raw radish
  • chopped red pepper
  • quick pickled carrots (see recipe)
  • sushi crab salad (see recipe)
  • Japanese scrambled eggs (see recipe)
  • shelled edamame
  • chopped cucumber
  • sliced red cabbage (why is it called red cabbage if it’s purple?)
  • black and white sesame seeds
  • poke dressing (see recipe)

But feel free to omit or substitute as you prefer!

Possible color substitutions

  • Red – red carrots, radicchio
  • Orange – pickled ginger, salmon
  • Yellow – mango, corn
  • Green – avocado, green onions, green beans, greens of any kind
  • Blue – ? – I got stuck here. Maybe you can find blue corn!
  • Purple – purple carrots, purple beans
A chunk of artificial crab.
A bowl of crab sushi salad.

FAQs about this rainbow poke bowl

What can I substitute for the seared tuna in this rainbow poke bowl?

You could sub in sushi-grade raw tuna. Or cook salmon instead. Or make crispy tofu.

I thought that poke had to be raw fish?

Poke just means “chunk” or “slice” in Hawaiian, and it can take many forms, including cooked fish.

Can I substitute something for the mayonnaise in the sushi crab salad?

Greek yogurt would work. Or a little mustard? Or I might cut the imitation crab into large chunks and leave them that way.

What is that fake crab anyway?

Imitation crab is made of a white fish, often pollock, that is mashed and dyed to look like crab. Feel free to sub in lump crabmeat if it’s crab season!

Do the Japanese scrambled eggs have another name?

Tamago or Tamagoyaki is a traditional egg omelet often found on sushi menus. I hesitated to use these terms because my eggs aren’t made traditionally or in a traditional pan.

Why is it called red cabbage if it’s purple?

Well, I asked the question. I might as well answer it! It seems that the answer is that the cabbage leaves change color depending on the pH of the soil that it grows in. Not only that, you can use red cabbage in an experiment as a pH indicator.

How cool is that? I know what kiddo and I are doing this weekend with the leftover cabbage!

ps the anthocyanins that are responsible for this are the same anthocyanins that make Empress 1908 gin a bit of a chameleon too.

Related recipes

Check out other grain and salad bowls from the uglyducklingbakery archives like:
Swimming rama tofu bowl
Taco meatloaf bowl
Mediterranean lamb bowl

Or, if you like rainbows, maybe the rainbow fruit tart or a rainbow bread is more your style?

Rainbow Poke Bowl

5 from 1 vote
Category: Main Course
Cuisine: Mixed
Servings: 3 people
This everything-in-a-bowl rainbow poke bowl has seared tuna, crab sushi salad, and Japanese scrambled egg. Eat the rainbow!
Print Recipe

Ingredients

Seared tuna steaks

  • 1 pound tuna steaks, about 1 inch thick
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup rice vinegar
  • juice of one lime
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil plus additional for cooking
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ inch fresh ginger, minced

Sushi rice

  • 1 cup sushi rice
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Quick pickled carrots

  • 3 carrots (1 per person), sliced as thinly as possible
  • cider vinegar to cover
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar

Sushi crab salad

  • ½ pound artificial crab for sushi (sometimes called crab sticks)
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • salt and pepper to taste

Japanese scrambled eggs

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon mirin
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • sesame oil for cooking

Poke dressing

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 ½ tablespoons rice vinegar
  • chili sauce, to taste

Bowl assembly (pick and choose from below)

  • ½ cup baby spinach, baby kale, or other greens
  • 1 ½ cups cooked sushi rice or other grain
  • 3 radishes, sliced
  • ½ red pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup edamame, fresh or frozen, cooked
  • ½ cup cucumber, chopped
  • ½ cup sliced red cabbage
  • black or white sesame seeds for garnish

Instructions

Marinating the tuna steaks

  • Combine all of the marinade ingredients in a shallow baking dish and marinate the tuna steaks for 1-3 hours in the refrigerator, turning them over at least once. Meanwhile, make the other components of the rainbow bowl.
    1 pound tuna steaks, about 1 inch thick, ¼ cup soy sauce, ¼ cup rice vinegar, juice of one lime, 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil, 1 clove garlic, minced, ½ inch fresh ginger, minced

Sushi rice

  • Rinse and cook the sushi rice. Mine recommends 1 cup of rice to 1 1/2 cups of water, cooked on low for 20 minutes. Then turn off the heat and leave to steam for another 20 minutes.
    1 cup sushi rice
  • Meanwhile, heat the vinegar, sugar, and salt until the sugar and salt are dissolved. Turn off the heat.
    2 tablespoons rice vinegar, 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • When the rice has cooked, mix the vinegar solution into the rice. Set it aside, covered.

Quick pickled carrots

  • Put the sliced carrots in the bottom of a sauce pan and cover with rice vinegar.
    3 carrots (1 per person), sliced as thinly as possible, cider vinegar to cover
  • Add the salt and sugar and turn on the heat to medium high
    1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • Bring to a boil and cook for one minute or longer until the salt and sugar have dissolved. Stir as necessary.
  • Turn off the heat and set aside.

Sushi crab salad

  • Chop the artificial crab into small pieces of whatever size you desire. Add mayonnaise and salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate until ready to use.
    ½ pound artificial crab for sushi (sometimes called crab sticks), salt and pepper to taste, 1 tablespoon mayonnaise

Japanese scrambled eggs

  • Scramble the eggs, sugar, mirin, and soy in a small bowl.
    3 eggs, 1 teaspoon granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon soy sauce, 1 teaspoon mirin
  • Heat a thin layer of sesame oil in a frying pan on low-medium heat and tilt to get the oil slightly up the sides of the pan.
    sesame oil for cooking
  • Add the egg mixture and let cook for about 10 seconds. Scrape down the edges all the way around and tilt the pan so that the uncooked egg finds its way to bare pan. Repeat as necessary until all of the egg mixture is cooked through to your desired level of dryness.

Poke dressing

  • Combine all of the ingredients in a small lidded jar and shake vigorously to mix.
    2 tablespoons soy sauce, 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil, 1 ½ tablespoons rice vinegar, chili sauce, to taste

Seared tuna steaks

  • Immediately before serving, heat a thin layer of sesame oil over medium high heat in a fry pan (I was able to use the pan I used for the eggs). Add the tuna steaks and cook for 1-2 minutes, depending on how rare or well cooked you want them.
  • Turn the steaks over and cook on the other side for 1-2 minutes.
  • Remove from heat, slice, and serve.

Bowl assembly

  • There is no right way to compose a bowl. When everything is ready, I suggest starting first with a layer of spinach or other greens. Then mound a 1/2 cup of rice, if you are using it, in the center.
    ½ cup baby spinach, baby kale, or other greens, 1 ½ cups cooked sushi rice or other grain
  • Add the seared tuna to the top of the rice.
  • Arrange the other ingredients in rainbow order in neat piles around the tuna. That's red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and then purple.
    3 radishes, sliced, ½ red pepper, chopped, 1 cup edamame, fresh or frozen, cooked, ½ cup sliced red cabbage, ½ cup cucumber, chopped
  • Top with the poke dressing and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve immediately.
    black or white sesame seeds

Notes

Some possible color substitutions:
  • Red – red carrots, radicchio
  • Orange – pickled ginger, salmon
  • Yellow – mango, corn
  • Green – avocado, green onions, green beans, greens of any kind
  • Blue – ? – I got stuck here. Maybe you can find blue corn!
  • Purple – purple carrots, purple beans
Love this recipe?Mention @Uglyducklingbakery or tag #uglyducklingbakery!

What’s next?

If you make this rainbow bowl, the seared tuna, the sushi crab salad, or the Japanese scrambled eggs, please leave a comment and/or share a pic with me on Instagram.

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white and black sesame seeds in a small glass dish.

2 Comments

  1. Love this recipe, but your recipe at the bottom leaves out these items that are mentioned above:
    baby spinach
    sliced raw radish
    chopped red pepper
    shelled edamame
    chopped cucumber

    1. 5 stars
      Hi Doug. Thanks so much for the comment. You’re right. I wrote it that way thinking that those things weren’t things that needed to be cooked, so weren’t part of the “recipe.” But I see how someone wanting to make this bowl would want to have some options in the recipe card for filling out the rainbow. I’ll edit it to make sure those are included!

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