Rainbow Poke Bowl with Seared Tuna, Sushi Crab Salad, and Japanese Scrambled Eggs

Rainbow Poke Bowl with Seared Tuna, Sushi Crab Salad, and Japanese Scrambled Eggs

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.

There might have to be a few more rainbow bowls on the blog this month.

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.

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 sushi in a baking dish
raw sushi 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.

A small pot of quick sliced pickled carrots for the rainbow poke bowl

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 for the rainbow poke bowl

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.https://www.teachengineering.org/activities/view/wst_environmental_lesson02_activity3. 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.

Rainbow poke bowl

Servings 3 people
Author uglyducklingbakery


Seared tuna steaks

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

Sushi rice

  • 1 cup sushi rice
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • ½ tsp salt

Quick pickled carrots

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

Sushi crab salad

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

Japanese scrambled eggs

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

Poke dressing

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


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.

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.
  • Meanwhile, heat the vinegar, sugar, and salt until the sugar and salt are dissolved. Turn off the heat.
  • 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.
  • Add the salt and sugar and turn on the heat to medium high
  • 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.

Japanese scrambled eggs

  • Scramble the eggs, sugar, mirin, and soy in a small bowl.
  • 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.
  • 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.

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.

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.

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?

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white and black sesame seeds in a small dish

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