Mini Poke Bowls with Ahi Tuna, Avocado, and Veggies

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pokay bowls

What’s Up, Hungry People

I’m obsessed with sushi, so when I learned about poke (pronounced “poh-kay”), I was instantly hooked. While traditional poke bowls contain raw fish like tuna or salmon, they are just as delicious with cooked seafood like shrimp or scallops.

Real Hawaiian poke features a combination of chopped raw ahi tuna and can be served over rice, noodles, vegetables, or greens – but I like to think of it as “unassembled” sushi in a way.

diy sushi bowl

I filled my rice bowls with fresh vegetables and tropical fruits – but feel free to customize your poke bowls to your specific tastes or make every bowl different for a chance to try every tasty combination.

homemade sushi boat

Here’s What You Need

  • Sushi rice: Forms the base of the poke bowls, offering a sticky texture for molding.
  • Cream cheese: Adds creaminess and helps rice hold its shape in the bowl form.
  • Ahi tuna: The star protein, providing rich, seafood flavor typical of poke bowls.
  • Carrots: Offers a crunchy texture and a pop of color.
  • Radicchio: Adds a bitter contrast to balance the flavors.
  • Pineapple: Brings sweetness and acidity to complement the fish.
  • Avocado: Provides creamy texture and healthy fats.
  • Seaweed salad: Introduces a salty, umami flavor and a unique texture.
  • Green onions: Adds a fresh, sharp flavor as a garnish.
  • Sesame seeds: Offers a nutty taste and decorative look.
  • Soy sauce: Used for serving, it adds salty, umami depth.
  • Poke sauce (ponzu): Adds a tangy, citrusy element to the dish when served.
homemade poke bowl

Let’s Cook

I decided to make mini rice bowls to carry my poke to my mouth, so I used sticky sushi rice combined with a little cream cheese to encourage them to hold their shape longer.

cream cheese and rice

First, bring the cream cheese to room temperature while you make the rice. The key is to stir in the cream cheese while the rice is still warm, once it has finished cooking.

making rice bowls

After that, use a cupcake tin to mold the rice into bowl shapes. It’s important to line the tins with plastic or parchment (or use a silicone mold, if you have one). And it’s easiest to form the bowls if you wet your hands while you work – if you don’t, the rice will certainly stick to your hands.

ingredients for filling poke bowls

Let the rice bowls chill for a bit so that they retain their shape. I used that time to chop up my fruits and veggies. I used a combination of chopping and spiralizing my ingredients to make for a range of textures (not to mention it looks cool!). Of course, to soothe my sushi itch, I added seaweed salad to most of my bowls, effectively creating a poke-sushi fusion.

assembled poke bowls

Tips for Perfect Mini Poke Bowls

  • Choosing the right rice: Opt for premium sushi rice for its sticky texture and ability to hold shape. Rinse the rice thoroughly before cooking to remove excess starch, which can make the rice too sticky.
  • Cream cheese consistency: Ensure the cream cheese is at room temperature to mix evenly with the rice. If it’s too cold, it won’t integrate smoothly.
  • Handling Ahi tuna: Use fresh, sushi-grade Ahi tuna for safety and best flavor. Keep it refrigerated until just before serving to maintain its texture and taste.
  • Molding rice bowls: Wet your hands before shaping the rice to prevent sticking. Compact the rice firmly but gently to form a sturdy base for your toppings.
  • Chilling is crucial: Allow the rice bowls to chill in the refrigerator to help them set. This step is essential for maintaining their shape when filled with toppings.
  • Balancing flavors: Experiment with the proportions of toppings according to your taste. Aim for a mix of sweet, salty, creamy, and crunchy elements for a well-rounded flavor profile.
  • Serving: Offer soy sauce and poke sauce on the side so guests can adjust the seasoning to their liking. These sauces can overpower the delicate flavors of the tuna and rice if added too liberally.
  • Storing leftovers: If you have leftover assembled poke bowls, they’re best enjoyed within a day due to the fresh ingredients. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
mini poke bowl
portable poke bowl
homemade poke
easy poke bowls

So there you have it, Hungry People! With a few simple steps and a whole lot of creativity, you’ve crafted your own mini poke bowls that are sure to impress. Whether you’re serving them up for a casual weeknight dinner or showing off your culinary skills at a gathering, these little bowls pack a flavorful punch. So go ahead, dig in, and enjoy the delicious fusion of flavors and textures. And remember, the best part is you can mix and match toppings to your heart’s content, making each bite a new adventure. Happy cooking, and here’s to many more tasty kitchen experiments!

pokay bowls

Mini Poke Bowls

The Starving Chef
Create your own mini poke bowls packed with sushi-grade Ahi tuna, creamy avocado, and fresh veggies for a delicious meal!
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Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 28 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Fancy Food, Sushi
Servings 8


  • 4 cups sushi rice cooked
  • 4 oz cream cheese room temperature
  • 8 oz sushi grade Ahi tuna
  • ¼ cup carrots juilenned
  • ¼ cup radicchio finely chopped
  • ¼ cup pineapple finely chopped
  • 1 avocado sliced thin
  • ½ cup seaweed salad
  • 3 tablespoons green onion chopped for topping
  • 3 tablespoons sesame seeds for topping
  • soy sauce for serving
  • poke sauce (ponzu) for serving


  • Cook the sushi rice according to the instructions on the package. Once cooked, stir in the cream cheese, then let the rice cool to room temperature.
  • Line a cupcake tin with plastic wrap. Press the rice mixture into each hole, creating an open center to form small bowl shapes. Chill for about one hour.
  • While the rice bowls chill, prepare your desired toppings. Keep tuna chilled until ready to assemble the bowls.
  • Carefully remove the individual rice bowls from the cupcake tin. Peel off the plastic and arrange on a serving plate.
  • Fill each rice bowl with a tablespoon of seaweed salad. Split the chopped raw tuna into individual bowls. Add a teaspoon or two of each ingredient, as desired, to each rice bowl.
  • Garnish with sesame seeds, green onions, and serve with soy sauce or poke sauce on the side. Serve chilled or at room temperature.
Keyword rice, sushi
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