Za’atar Salmon Poke Bowl
with avocado / cucumbers / baby spinach / rice
This poke bowl, last featured in 2020, 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.
- Salmon - 1 lb , cubed (look for skinless filets or have the fishmonger remove the skin)
- Oil, cooking - 1 tsp + 1 Tbsp
- Tamari - 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, uncooked white or brown - 1 cup
Rice (Double if making Tuesday's meal) - 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 - 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, Tamari, za’atar, and some salt and pepper.
Spinach / Green onions / Avocados / Oranges - Prep as directed.
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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 if doubled).
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. Enjoy!