Tuna poke, which is essentially deconstructed sushi, is growing in popularity thanks to its bright flavor, healthy profile, and the fact that it’s easy to make at home.
If you’re planning a dinner around tuna poke, you may be wondering what to serve with it.
Here are some great side dishes to serve with tuna poke!
What to Serve with Tuna Poke – 15 Easy Sides
It’s not always easy to find the right side dish to accompany tuna poke. Most people would think of fish, chips, or maybe a salad. However, there’s a few sides that are great to serve with tuna poke.
You can start with something light, like avocado, and pair it with a drizzle of olive oil. Or, you could choose something more substantial, like a baked potato.
Either way, you’re sure to enjoy the combination of sweet and savory.
Still looking for options?
Then keep reading!
1. Rice salad
Poke is traditionally served with rice on the side, so why not take it up a notch by making a rice salad?
This adds more variety to your meal and gives you a complete dinner without skimping on essential nutrients.
A quick and easy way to make this is by adding brown rice to your favorite store-bought Asian salad mix and topping it with your favorite dressing (sesame would work well).
Serve tuna poke along with pita or tortilla chips.
You can buy a bag of chips at the grocery store or make your own.
Here’s how to make it:
- For homemade pita chips, preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and brush pita bread on both sides with olive oil.
- Cut the pita bread into triangles and sprinkle each piece with salt and pepper.
- Place them on a baking sheet and bake until they are golden brown and crispy, about 10 minutes.
- For homemade tortilla chips, preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.
- Cover the baking sheet in corn tortillas and lightly spray the tops of the tortillas with more cooking spray.
- Sprinkle them with salt, then bake until they have turned crisp, about 10 to 15 minutes.
Cucumbers are ideal for salads because they can be eaten with or without peeling, depending on your taste.
Cucumber salad is the most common side dish that goes well with tuna poke.
- To make cucumber salad, you need to slice the cucumber thinly and toss it with a salt dressing (mix soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar and sugar).
- Add some sliced onions and/or tomatoes if desired.
Avocado toast is one of the most popular side dishes nowadays (you must have seen it on Instagram!).
There are so many variations, but the basic one consists of simply toasting bread and topping it with mashed avocado and salt.
A twist you can add on top is a poached egg, which adds some extra protein to the dish.
Ahi tuna ceviche is one of the best side dishes that you can serve with tuna poke.
It has a similar taste and it will complement the tuna poke very well.
This dish is also very easy to prepare and it does not require many ingredients.
You will be able to make this dish in about 20 minutes or less and it will only cost you around $20.
The tropical fruit salad that I am suggesting includes pineapple, kiwi and mango.
These fruits are colorful, they look pretty and they are sweet to contrast the salty fish taste.
If you can’t find fresh fruit where you live, there are many canned varieties that would work just as well for this recipe.
You can also try substituting other tropical fruits for the ones in this recipe – Lychee are one option to consider.
Seaweed salad is another side you’ll often find at Korean restaurants, and it’s a natural pairing with poke because both dishes contain seaweed as an ingredient (the seaweed used in poke usually isn’t fermented).
Salads made from other types of seaweed are also good choices for serving alongside your favorite poke recipe!
Another great side dish that goes well with tuna poke would be cilantro-lime rice.
This dish will give your guests something else to eat while they are enjoying the tuna poke.
The cilantro-lime rice is a light, healthy meal that is packed with flavor and it is perfect for everyone!
This dish goes well with any type of fish, so if your guests are not fond of tuna, then this would be the perfect dish for them to try out!
This is a typical Japanese side dish that goes great with poke.
It’s simple and easy to make, and goes great with the natural flavors of poke.
For this recipe, you can just buy pre-shelled edamame at the store, or get them fresh and steam them yourself.
Just add a bit of salt for seasoning when serving, and you’re good to go!
Slaw is a staple for a lot of dishes because it’s incredibly versatile and refreshing.
For this recipe, I like to take a classic sesame ginger slaw and give it some Hawaiian flair by adding sliced mangoes into the mix.
The subtle sweetness of the mangoes pairs well with the tangy dressing and crunchy slaw, making this dish a perfect complement to your poke bowl!
Kimchi is a fermented vegetable side dish that is served in Korean cuisine.
It is known for its pungent, spicy flavor and is usually made from cabbage, radish, or cucumber.
While it is traditionally served alongside rice and meat, it can also be paired with other dishes like tuna poke.
If you want to make your own kimchi, check out this recipe.
12. Miso soup
Miso soup is typically made from dashi broth, miso paste and some extra ingredients such as tofu, seaweed and chopped scallions.
Dashi broth is a Japanese stock made from kombu (dried kelp), bonito flakes (smoked and dried tuna) or sardines.
The combination of the flavor in the dashi with the salty miso paste makes it a perfect companion to the bold flavors in tuna poke.
13. Seaweed soup
Seaweed soup is a traditional Korean dish that often goes by miyeokguk.
While it may not seem like a traditional side dish, it’s actually one of the easiest dishes to make.
It’s also healthy and filling — which means you can enjoy more poke!
14. Tofu Steaks or Fried Tofu (with Soy Sauce)
Although both of these options have the same main ingredient, they taste completely different.
Fried tofu is meaty and crispy, while tofu steaks are soft and porous, quickly soaking up marinade or sauce.
This dish goes so well with tuna poke that it can be used as a base for serving poke itself.
15. Green Salad
A green salad can be a good accompaniment to tuna poke.
Make sure you use fresh vegetables such as lettuce or watercress.
Other ingredients include cherry tomatoes, julienned carrots or radish slices.
Once you have all the vegetables ready, mix them together and add a dressing of your choice (mayonnaise-based is often preferred).
Best Toppings for A Tuna Poke Bowl
Tuna poke is a Hawaiian dish based on raw tuna marinated in soy sauce and sesame oil.
While it sounds simple, there are many different variations.
But what makes this dish so great is that it’s highly customizable based on personal preferences.
A great addition to almost any meal, avocado offers a healthy dose of healthy fats that will help keep you feeling fuller longer while adding an incredible creaminess to any dish.
You can opt for slices or cubes, depending on your preference, or even smash up half of an avocado and turn your bowl into a guacamole style dish!
Edamame is another great healthy fat that adds a little bit of protein and fiber to your meal.
While these beans may be more commonly found as appetizers in Japanese restaurants, they make a great addition as well to any poke bowl!
Sesame seeds are a great choice of topping for a tuna poke bowl because they add up a great flavor and texture.
The nutty taste of the sesame seeds bring a great crunch to your bowl and they also provide you with an extra dose of nutrition.
If you are new to tuna poke bowls, then try sprinkling sesame seeds on top of your bowl before digging in.
Masago (fish roe)
Fish roe is a common ingredient in many Japanese dishes and often used as a topping for sushi.
Masago is the small fish eggs of a capelin, which is similar to a smelt.
The eggs come in a variety of colors including orange, red, brown and yellow.
These little egg-like spheres are crunchy, salty and slightly fishy in flavor.
The bright color and fun texture can be a fun addition to your poke bowl.
For a zesty kick, add pickled ginger to your poke bowl.
You can buy pickled ginger from your local grocery store, or you can make it yourself by soaking fresh ginger in vinegar.
Tofu makes a great addition to poke bowls because it adds a protein boost, and is so mild in flavor that it takes on the taste of the sauce you choose.
While tofu can be added raw, we recommend baking or frying it first to add texture and prevent your poke bowl from being too runny.
If you aren’t a fan of shiitake mushrooms, you may want to reconsider. Shiitake mushrooms are loaded with vitamin D and are great at lowering cholesterol. The savory umami flavor of shiitake mushrooms is also a great complement to the flavor profile of tuna poke.
Crispy fried garlic adds a savory flavor and crunchy texture to your next poke bowl.
Just slice up some garlic cloves and saute them in olive oil until they’re golden brown.
Furikake is a Japanese condiment made using roasted seaweed, dried fish, and sesame seeds.
This condiment is commonly added to rice dishes but it also works really well with tuna poke bowls.
Try adding furikake as a topping for your tuna poke bowl for an extra taste sensation.
Scallions are one of my favorite vegetables because they add so much flavor without being too strong.
I love the peppery taste of scallions and the way they add crunch to poke bowls.
Make sure you use both the white and light green parts of scallions for the most flavor, and don’t forget to remove the roots!
I love green onions in tuna poke bowls because they add a nice pop of color and flavor that complements the other ingredients perfectly!
You can always use regular onions instead of green ones if you don’t have them on hand at home (or just prefer those).
For an extra kick, add some red pepper flakes too!
What Is A Poke Bowl?
Pronounced “poh-keh,” this Hawaiian specialty consists of raw fish that’s been cubed or cut into bite-size pieces and then marinated in soy sauce and sesame oil.
The fish is often accompanied by a variety of other ingredients, such as rice, seaweed and garnishes like avocado, green onion and ginger.
In Hawai’i, raw ahi tuna (yellowfin tuna) is the most popular ingredient for poke bowls.
But these days, some restaurants are experimenting with spicy salmon and cooked shrimp as well.
What to Serve with Tuna Poke (15 Easy Sides)
- Rice salad
- Cucumber Salad
- Avocado Toast
- Ahi Tuna Ceviche
- Tropical Fruit Salad
- Seaweed Salad
- Cilantro-Lime Rice
- Steamed Edamame
- Sesame Ginger Slaw
- Miso soup
- Seaweed soup
- Tofu Steaks or Fried Tofu (with Soy Sauce)
- Green Salad
- Pick your favorite side dish or topping from this list.
- Prepare the rest of your meal.
- Enjoy your tuna poke bowl in no time!