Healthy Recipe: Hawaiian-Style Tofu Poke Bowl


At its root, a poke bowl should be seen as a vessel for fresh foods, lightly seasoned, and enjoyed cold. In this recipe, we’ve paired a vegan tofu poke with a traditional Japanese cucumber salad called Tataki Kyuri. Given the strong Japanese influence in Hawaii, it’s a fantastic addition to this popular dish. Plus, the tofu serves as an excellent fish-alternative for this recipe, absorbing all those familiar poke flavors. Healthy spin on an island favorite at a time when a tropical vacation may still be out of the cards? Yes, please!


For the tofu poke

1 lb (500 g) extra-firm tofu

1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely minced 

1 small chili pepper, seeded and finely minced

2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil

1 teaspoon soy sauce 

½ teaspoon salt 

Fresh ground pepper 

1 cup fresh seaweed, roughly chopped 

¼ cup sweet white onion, diced

For the smashed cucumber salad (Tataki Kyuri)

2 small cucumbers 

½ teaspoon togarashi seasoning 

¼ teaspoon toasted sesame oil 

¼ teaspoon of salt

1 teaspoon fresh garlic, finely chopped or microplaned 

4 cups brown rice, cooked

For the toppings

1 avocado, sliced 

4 tablespoons edamame beans, cooked 

2 green onions, sliced thinly and set in ice water to curl 

1 medium carrot, cut into thinly into ribbons 

10 cherry tomatoes, cut in a half 

2 radishes, thinly sliced 

1 teaspoon white or black sesame seeds


To make your poke, wrap the tofu in two paper towels. Set wrapped tofu on a plate and place a heavy bowl or pan on top to press out excess water. Leave the tofu to drain for approximately 10 to 20 minutes. This will help tofu to better absorb the flavors of the marinade. 

While tofu drains, whisk together ginger, chili, sesame oil, soy sauce, salt, and pepper in a medium-sized mixing bowl. 

Once the tofu is drained, slice it into ½-inch cubes. Toss tofu cubes, along with the seaweed and onion in the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes (or as long as overnight). 

To make your cucumber salad, cut both ends of the cucumbers off and discard. Place your cucumbers in a zip lock bag, removing as much air as possible. Place the sealed bag on a cutting board and hit the cucumbers with a rolling pin or an empty bottle. The goal is to hit the cucumbers in several places so that they break into large bite-size pieces. Add the remaining salad ingredients to the bag and massage them into the cucumber. Transfer your marinating cucumbers to the fridge to chill. Cucumbers are best served chilled. 

To build your poke bowls, divide the rice into four bowls. Add 1 cup of tofu poke to each bowl, half a cup of cucumber salad, and then artfully place your additional ingredients around the bowl. 

Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve with chopsticks. 

Makes 4 servings.


Calories 500

Protein 20 g

Total fat 20 g

Saturated fat 3 g

Cholesterol 0 mg

Carbs 62 g

Fiber 8 g

Total sugars 6 g

Added sugars 1 g

Sodium 580 mg

Powered by ESHA Nutrient Data, © 2021 ESHA Research, Inc. 

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