Poke Bowl

Japanese food is new and chic to modern Indian homes. ‘Poh- kay’ as they pronounce it, is the perfect versatile DIY dinner recipe to be served after cocktails. It’s a nutritional rockstar, packs in all the major food groups, light on your pocketbook, easy to pre-prep and extremely calorie friendly. Seaweed steps up the probiotics, suitable to most palates with just the right umame flavour. Trust me, my heart thanks me for this one.


  • Serves 2
  • For the Sushi Rice
  • 150 gms Raw Sushi Rice (Shirakiku Rice)
  • 15 Ml Sushi Vinegar (Yoko Brand)
  • OR
  • 15 Ml Homemade Sushi Vinegar (substitute sushi vinegar with rice vinegar by adding sugar and salt to the rice vinegar and boiling it till the sugar dissolves – you’ll need 15 ml Rice Vinegar, White 2 Tsp Sugar & Salt to Taste)
  • Black Sesame Seeds (toasted)
  • 1/2 Sheet Nori Seaweed (toasted thin strips 2-inches long) (Yokoso Brand)
  • For the Veggie Component 
  • 100 gms English Cucumber
  • 50 gms Purple Cabbage
  • 50 gms Cherry Tomatoes
  • 50 gms Bamboo Shoots (Canz Brand)
  • 50 gms Red Radish
  • 50 gms Carrots
  • 50 gms Edamame Beans
  • For the Tofu
  • 150 Gms Tofu (Morinaga-Firm)
  • For the Wafu Dressing
  • 2 Tbsp Dark Miso Paste (Urban Platter)
  • 10 Ml Rice Vinegar (Smiki Brand)
  • 10 Ml Premium Dark Soy Sauce (Lee Kum Lee)
  • 10 Ml Sesame Oil (Tilsona Brand)
  • 1/4 Inch Grated Ginger
  • 1 Tsp Brown Sugar
  • 1 Medium Lemon Juice
  • Pea-sized Wasabi Paste (S&B brand)
  • Salt to Taste
  • 1 Tsp White Sesame Seeds (toasted)
  • For the Gari Pickle
  • 1 Inch Fresh Ginger Root
  • 50 ml Rice Vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp Brown Sugar
  • Salt to Taste


Prep: 45 minutes
Cooking: 20 minutes

  1. To prep, the veggies, wash, pat dry and thinly slice the cucumbers, carrots, radish into rounds. Thinly slice the purple cabbage and bamboo shoots into 2-inch strips. Halve the cherry tomatoes. Shell the edamame beans from their pods.
  2. To make the tofu, cut it into 2 cm cubes and marinate in half the wafu dressing for ½ hour.
  3. In a pan, take 1 tsp sesame oil, put in the marinated tofu on high flame for around 3-4 minutes till the liquid dries up and the tofu gets coated in a shiny thick glaze. Set aside.
  4. To make the wafu dressing, mix all ingredients and whisk till sugar dissolves. Refrigerate if not using immediately.
  5. To make the gari pickle, thinly slice the ginger root and salt it for 5-10 minutes and squeeze out the excess water.
  6. Boil 300 ml of water and add 1 tsp of rice vinegar. Add the ginger immediately to prevent discolouration and boil for 3-4 minutes only to tenderise. Strain.
  7. Boil the rest of the rice vinegar with the salt and sugar till just about the sugar dissolves. Cool.
  8. Add the ginger and store in an airtight glass bottle. Refrigerate when not in use. 
  9. To make sticky rice, try using sushi rice as they are short-grained and contain more starch, making it stickier and clumpier. Cook the sushi rice in an open vessel. The ratio of rice to water is 1:2. 
  10. Allow rice to slightly cool down and add the sushi vinegar in parts to mix it thoroughly in a cutting motion with a light hand. Be careful not to break the rice grains. 
  11. To assemble, arrange all ingredients and veggies beside one another. Try to arrange contrasting colours together to bring out that pop and look pleasing. Sprinkle black sesame seeds on the rice and lay a few strips of nori seaweed. The tofu and rice need to be warm whilst plating. 
  12. Serve a side of the wafu dressing.