I had my first vegan beet poke bowl earlier this year in Hawaii, and it changed my life. I had no idea beets could taste so good! This poke bowl really calms down some of those earthier notes and adds some tang and pizzazz in its place. If you ever visit Oahu, Raised By The Waves has an excellent beet poke bowl.
Making a great vegan beet poke bowl
For me, the key is toning down some of the earthier flavors in this poke bowl. To do this, you want to make sure to add brighter, tangier flavors. In this case, we use lemon juice, rice wine vinegar, lemon zest, and ginger.
Don't be afraid to adjust the flavors if it doesn't come out perfectly when you taste. Cooking should be a fun and creative process - it's no fun to feel limited by the recipe. The recipe is just a starting point.
I don’t like the taste of beets/I’m looking for something that tastes more like real poke! Well, give it a shot! For me, I find the longer the beets are marinated, the better. You can also add extra salt and acid (like vinegar, lemon juice etc.). I recommend serving with vegetables like sprouts, shredded carrots and cucumbers on top of some brown rice - it'll neutralize some of the earthiness. But at the end of the day, it is a beet poke bowl, and it will taste a little bit like beets.
Beets are so messy! Yes they are, but I have some tips. First, wrap your beets in foil and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment, seam side up. This way, if anything drips, it should land in the foil, or worst case on the parchment which minimizes clean-up for you. I can be a little messy in the kitchen, so I always wear an apron. Once you finish peeling and dicing your beets, make sure to clean off your cutting board, knife, and surfaces as quickly as possible so the juice doesn’t stain. Easy, right?
Frequently asked questions
Are poke bowls healthy? YES! Especially this one with beets - instead of fish, you're getting an extra serving of healthy veggies. If you're worried about protein content, feel free to add some chickpeas or light beans to this bowl too!
Can I use fish in this beet poke bowl instead? Of course. If you're comfortable preparing fresh fish for a poke bowl, you are more than welcome to use this recipe as a starting point. I won't judge you!
Is poke vegan? Poke is typically made from raw tuna or salmon, but this vegan version replaces the fish with beets.
What do you put into a poke bowl? All kinds of things! Personally, I like:
- Rice or grain - short grain brown rice is my go-to
- Veggies - cucumber, sprouts, scallions, edamame and shredded carrots are all awesome
- A little bit of fat - avocado and sriracha mayo are my favorites
- Something crunchy - sesame seeds are basic, but you could also add peanuts for a pad thai poke (also add some PB to your marinade), or corn nuts for a Peruvian vibe
Beets & Marinade:
- 2-3 small beets, rinsed
- ¼ c soy sauce
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1 tsp minced ginger
- 1 Tbsp agave
- 1-2 Tbsp neutral oil (I used grapeseed)
- Zest and juice of ½ lemon
- ½ tsp sriracha
- 3-4 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
- ½ cup green scallions, chopped
- 1-2 Tbsp nori flakes and/or sesame seeds (optional)
- Generous pinch of salt to taste
Toppings (optional, choose what suits you!)
- Sliced cucumber
- Sliced avocado
- Sliced scallions
- Brown rice
- Sesame seeds
- ¾ cup vegan mayo
- Juice of ½ lime
- 2 Tbsp sriracha
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Prepare beets – remove stalks, rinse, and wrap in foil. Place on lined baking sheet seam side up, and roast for 45-60 mins, or until easily piercable with a fork.
- While beets are roasting, add all marinade ingredients to a medium size bowl and whisk until combined.
- Remove from oven and set aside for 10 mins. Carefully unwrap foil, and let heat escape for another 5-10 minutes. When cool enough to handle, gently slide the skin off the beets and discard. Then dice into ½-1 in cubes, and place into marinade bowl.
- Marinate for at least 1 hour in the refrigerator. Meanwhile, prepare the sriracha mayo (stir all ingredients until combined), and the toppings.
- To build your bowl, start with a scoop of brown rice, top with beet poke, then add other toppings as desired. Enjoy!
For best results, marinate beets for a few hours or overnight.