Spice Up Your Culinary Adventure with Tabasco and Gochujang-Cured Salmon Poké Bowl

In the world of culinary exploration, there are dishes that offer a delightful fusion of flavors and traditions. The Tabasco- and Gochujang-Cured Salmon Poké Bowl is one such dish, inspired by the rich history of Hawaiian poké bowls and the art of sashimi donburi. In this article, we’ll dive into the creation of this no-cook masterpiece, exploring its origins and how to prepare it in your own kitchen.


The Origins of Poké: A Hawaiian Tradition

Tabasco- and Gochujang-Cured Salmon Poke Bowl Recipe - PureWow

The term "poké" itself, meaning "to cut crossways into pieces" in Hawaiian, harks back to a time when Hawaiians crafted this dish long before the arrival of western culinary influences. Freshly caught fish was diced and combined with sea salt, seaweed, and candlenuts. This simple yet flavorful preparation has evolved over the years, incorporating the influence of Japanese and Chinese immigrants who introduced soy and toasted sesame oil to the mix.

A Contemporary Twist: Tabasco and Gochujang

The Best Replacements For Gochujang You May Already Have

Our take on the traditional poké bowl involves a fusion of sashimi-grade raw salmon or smoked salmon with a spicy marinade. The infusion of Tabasco, sesame oil, and gochujang delivers an intense burst of flavors that beautifully complements the inherent richness of the salmon. This fusion is further enhanced by the addition of fresh avocado and red onion, served atop steamed rice. The warmth of the rice provides a pleasing contrast to the chilled salmon and room-temperature vegetables, resulting in a harmonious blend of temperatures and textures.

Crafting Your Tabasco- and Gochujang-Cured Salmon Poké Bowl

Tabasco- and Gochujang-Cured Salmon Poke Bowl

Let’s dive into the details of how you can create this delectable dish in your own kitchen. Here’s what you’ll need:


  • 10 oz. sashimi-grade salmon, cut into 3⁄4-inch dice, or smoked salmon cut into 3⁄4-inch strips
  • 1 Tbsp. Tabasco
  • 1 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil
  • 3⁄4 tsp. gochujang paste
  • 1 tsp. sesame seeds, preferably toasted

For the Poké Bowl

  • 1⁄2 red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • Flaky sea salt, to taste
  • 1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp soy sauce, plus extra to serve
  • 2 tsp. toasted sesame oil, plus extra to serve
  • 1⁄2 tsp granulated sugar
  • 3 oz. baby spinach (about 3½ cups)
  • 3¼ cups cooked white rice
  • 1 avocado, cut into ¾-inch cubes
  • 2 Tbsp. crumbled crispy seaweed (such as nori sheets or seaweed flakes)
  • 1 tsp. sesame seeds, preferably toasted
  • Shichimi togarashi, to taste (optional)
  • Tabasco, to taste


  1. Mix the cubes of salmon with the Tabasco, sesame oil, gochujang, and sesame seeds. Allow them to stand for 5 minutes to cure before serving.

  2. Place the red onion in a small bowl and season it with flaky sea salt. Let it sit to soften the rawness of the onion while you prepare other ingredients.

  3. In a separate bowl, combine soy sauce, sesame oil, and sugar. Stir until the sugar has completely dissolved, then set it aside.

  4. Transfer the baby spinach to a heatproof bowl. Pour boiling water over the spinach and let it wilt for 2 minutes before draining.

Discover the Sensation

The Tabasco- and Gochujang-Cured Salmon Poké Bowl is a culinary adventure that beautifully marries tradition with innovation. The fusion of flavors, temperatures, and textures in this dish offers a unique dining experience that’s easy to recreate at home. Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a culinary enthusiast, this dish is bound to leave your taste buds dancing.

For more delightful recipes and culinary adventures, explore ‘A Splash of Soy’ by Lara Lee, available on Amazon. And remember, when you embark on this gastronomic journey and purchase any products through our retail links, you support us in creating more culinary content.

So, why not unleash your inner chef and embark on a journey to create the Tabasco- and Gochujang-Cured Salmon Poké Bowl? Your taste buds will thank you.

Enhancing Your Culinary Experience with Tabasco- and Gochujang-Cured Salmon Poké Bowl

Is Raw Salmon Safe in a Poke Bowl?

Yes, raw salmon can be safe in a poke bowl as long as you follow these essential guidelines:

  1. Choose Sushi-Grade Salmon: Ensure that the salmon you use is explicitly labeled as "sushi grade." This designation guarantees a higher standard of quality and safety for raw consumption.

  2. Frozen Salmon: Buying frozen fish is crucial. Freezing fish at the proper temperature can kill parasites and reduce the risk of foodborne illness.

By adhering to these precautions and using sushi-grade salmon, you can enjoy the delightful flavors of raw salmon in your poke bowl with confidence.

Are Poke Bowls Served Hot or Cold?

Poke bowls are traditionally served with a careful balance of temperatures. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Cold Fish: The key to an authentic poke bowl is using cold, fresh fish, typically raw. This cold temperature complements the other ingredients and adds a refreshing element to the dish.

  • Warm Rice: To achieve the perfect poke bowl, the rice should be warm. Using a rice cooker can help you maintain the ideal temperature and texture. Avoid using wet or starchy rice, as it can negatively impact the overall quality of your poke bowl.

Poke bowls are a harmonious fusion of temperatures, with cold fish and warm rice creating a delightful contrast that enhances the dining experience.

Can You Use Frozen Salmon for Poke?

Yes, you can use frozen salmon for poke, and there are good reasons to do so:

  • Parasite Safety: The freezing process effectively kills parasites that may be present in raw fish, ensuring your safety.

  • Sushi-Grade Assurance: Look for a "sushi grade" label on frozen salmon. This designation indicates that the fish has been processed in a way that makes it suitable for raw consumption.

Using frozen salmon is a common and safe practice in poke recipes, providing both peace of mind and excellent texture for your dish.

How Do You Cut Salmon for Poke?

To achieve the perfect salmon cubes for your poke bowl, follow these simple steps:

  1. Cut into Strips: Begin by slicing the salmon fillet into strips, each about 1/4 inch thick.

  2. Rotate and Cube: Next, rotate the strips and slice them into small cubes. For a traditional poke bowl, target cube sizes of around 1/2 inch. Adjust the size to your preference if you prefer larger or smaller pieces.

With these steps, you can expertly prepare the salmon for your poke bowl, ensuring a delightful texture and presentation.

Are Salmon Poke Bowls Healthy?

Salmon poke bowls are a nutritious choice thanks to their well-balanced composition:

  • Lean Protein: Salmon provides lean protein, which is essential for muscle health and overall well-being.

  • Healthy Fats: Salmon contains healthy fats, such as omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial for heart health.

  • Abundance of Veggies: These bowls are packed with a variety of vegetables, offering essential vitamins and minerals.

  • Energizing Carbs: The inclusion of carbohydrates provides energy for your daily activities.

If you want to enhance the healthiness of your poke bowl, opt for salmon over tuna, as it offers additional nutritional benefits. Salmon poke bowls are a wholesome and delicious choice for those seeking a nutritious meal.

Are Salmon Poke Bowls Healthy for You?

When it comes to the healthiness of salmon poke bowls, here’s what you need to consider:

  • Salmon: A Source of Healthy Fats: Salmon is an excellent choice for those seeking healthy fats, particularly omega-3 fatty acids that benefit heart health.

  • Protein Versatility: You have flexibility in choosing your protein for poke bowls, and there’s no wrong choice. Tofu can be an excellent option, especially if you consume poke frequently.

However, if you are a regular poke eater, be mindful of mercury levels in fish. It’s recommended to limit fish consumption to two servings per week.

Salmon poke bowls offer a nutritious and versatile meal option, with the choice of protein being adaptable to your dietary preferences and health considerations.

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