Za’atar Salmon Poke Bowl
with avocado / cucumbers / baby spinach / rice
This poke bowl is inspired by the Hawaiian classic but we gave it a Mediterranean flavor profile. With spiced salmon, tart oranges, rich avocados, and a creamy aioli on top, it's full of bright flavors and textures.
Smarts #1: You can serve salmon in these poke bowls raw or lightly seared. Be sure to use sushi-grade salmon if serving it raw (they can point you in the right direction at the grocery store's fish counter).
Smarts #2: There are lots of toppings in these bowls. Feel free to skip one or substitute with something else you have on hand.
- Rice, uncooked white or brown - 2 cups
- Salmon - 1 lb, cubed (look for skinless filets or have the fishmonger remove the skin)
- Oil, cooking - 1 tsp + 1 Tbsp
- Soy sauce, low-sodium - 1 tsp
- Za'atar - 1 Tbsp
- Baby spinach - 3 oz, chopped
- Green onions - 2 stalks, chopped, white and green parts combined
- Avocados - 1, cubed
- Oranges - 1, segments
- Pine nuts - 2 tsp (sub any type of chopped nuts)
- Cucumbers - 10 oz, chopped
- Oil, olive - 1 tsp
- Vinegar, red wine - 1 tsp
- Mayonnaise - 1/4 cup
- Lemon juice - 2 tsp
- Hot sauce - 2 tsp
- Paprika, smoked - 1/4 tsp
- Rice - (This makes enough for 2 nights.) For white rice, rinse until clear. Fill a saucepan or Dutch oven (or rice cooker) with rice, water (use 2:1 ratio for water to rice), and some salt. Cover with lid and bring to a boil. Once water boils, stir, lower heat to a low-medium, and cover. Check white rice after ~20 min; brown at ~45 min. Rice is done when it's absorbed all the water. If it's not done, leave the cover on until all water has been absorbed. Take cover off to release steam and fluff with a wooden spoon after 5 minutes. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Make aioli - (Double if making Thursday’s meal.) Whisk together mayonnaise, lemon juice, hot sauce, and paprika. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Make cucumber salad - Chop cucumbers. Combine cucumbers with olive oil and vinegar. (Can be done 1 day ahead)
- Salmon - Cube salmon. Toss with first portion of cooking oil, soy sauce, za’atar, and some salt and pepper.
- Spinach / Green onions / Avocados / Oranges - Prep as directed.
- Heat a nonstick pan or well-seasoned skillet over medium heat. Add pine nuts and toast, stirring frequently, until lightly toasted, 3 to 4 minutes. Set aside.
- (Optional - skip if serving the salmon raw.) To heated pan add second portion of cooking oil and then cubed salmon. Cook salmon on one side until golden brown. Use a spatula to gently flip salmon and cook on the other side. Continue cooking until salmon is golden brown and cooked through, 4 to 7 minutes total.
- Stir green onions into salmon.
- If rice was made ahead, reheat in the microwave (reserve half for Wednesday).
- Give cucumber salad a stir and season it with some salt and pepper.
- Set out all of the toppings so that everyone can assemble their own bowls. Or assemble bowls with a bed of chopped spinach and rice topped with avocados, oranges, cucumber salad, salmon, pine nuts, and aioli (reserve half of the aioli if doubled). Enjoy!
It was excellent. I used brown rice which also added a nice nutty texture to the bowl. I didn’t like the aioli so next time I’ll just skip it. The salmon flavor from the za’atar was wonderful!0 Helpful
Thought this was solid, but not quite outstanding.0 Helpful
Delicious! First time making a poke bowl and thought it was fairly easy. Flavors were great!0 Helpful
Vegetarian version - I loved this. I'm a big fan of bowls, and I think these elements together were very tasty.0 Helpful
So great! We were a little freaked out about using raw fish in our home, but the sushi grade salmon was awesome. You definitely have to have the citrus with it. So good.0 Helpful