Watermelon Poke Bowls
January 4, 2021
By Elizabeth Palmer Califano

Traditionally made with fresh raw fish, poke bowls originated in Hawaii and have grown in popularity all over the world. Super fresh, light and full of clean, bright flavors, they’re the ideal meal to enjoy when you’re looking for a break from the heavy food of the holiday season. In this recipe, I’ve swapped the traditional raw fish for cubed watermelon. While unconventional, it looks uncannily like raw tuna, and its sweetness and crunch play perfectly with a classic soy and sesame marinade. Enjoy this recipe as is, or serve it over rice or your favorite grain for a more filling plant-based bowl.

Serves 2

Total Time: 25 minutes


  • 2 cups cubed seedless watermelon
  • 1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce
  • 1-2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon sesame oil
  • ½ tablespoon sesame seeds, plus more to garnish
  • 1 small seedless thin-skinned cucumber, thinly sliced into circles
  • ½ ripe avocado, peeled, pitted, and thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons pickled ginger
  • ¼ cup shelled edamame
  • 1 cup cooked rice, quinoa or farro, to serve (optional)
  • Microgreens or sprouts, to serve (optional)


  1. In a bowl gently toss together the watermelon, tamari, lime juice, vinegar, sesame oil, and ½ tablespoon sesame seeds.
  2. Divide cooked rice, quinoa or farro (if using) between two plates or bowls.
  3. Divide the marinated watermelon between plates or bowls, then divide the cucumber, avocado, ginger, and edamame between them as well.
  4. Garnish each plate with microgreens, a sprinkling of sesame seeds, and any remaining marinade if desired. Enjoy!

About the Author

Elizabeth Palmer Califano
Elizabeth is a graduate of Hamilton College and The French Culinary Institute, as well as an avid world traveler and dinner party hostess. For more information, visit her website: www.elizabethpalmerkitchen.com