Watercress and watermelon poke bowl

Watercress and watermelon poke bowl

Poke (pronounced poke-ay) is a traditional Hawaiian dish that usually incorporates fresh raw tuna. Here we have ‘veganised’ the traditional poke buy using marinated watermelon to replace the fresh fish.

Prep time: 40 minutes plus 1 hour marinating time Serves: 4


  • 1 mini watermelon

  • 1 x 85g bag watercress

  • 100ml vegan ponzu (available from www.thewasabicompany.co.uk)

  • 1 tbsp sesame oil

  • 2 spring onions, finely sliced

  • 2 tbsp fresh ginger, finely chopped

  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted

  • 1 tsp chilli flakes

  • 200g cooked white rice (sushi rice is best but long grain or basmati are also fine)

  • 1 medium cucumber

  • 1 mango, peeled and diced

  • 6 radishes, thinly sliced

  • 1 avocado, peeled and sliced

  • 150g shelled edamame beans

  • 6 tbsp vegan mayo

  • 2 tbsp sriracha

  • To serve (optional):

  • Pinch of crumbled nori seaweed

  • Fresh coriander, chopped,

  • Crushed peanuts

  • Black sesame seeds

  • 1 red chilli, finely sliced

  • Pickled ginger (to taste)


Use a sharp knife to cut the watermelon into 1cm thick slices. Cut away the rind and dice the watermelon flesh, removing any pips. You will need about 4 cups’ worth of watermelon, the rest can be kept aside for another use. Place the diced watermelon into a bowl.

In a separate bowl, combine the ponzu, sesame oil, spring onions, ginger, sesame seeds and chilli flakes. Pour over the watermelon and toss gently to coat. Cover and leave in the fridge to marinate for one hour.

Use a peeler to prepare thin ribbons of cucumber, peeling down the entire length. Roll up the ribbons to create cucumber rolls, then set aside. Combine the mayo and sriracha in a small bowl and set aside. Now you are ready to assemble your poké bowl!

Take four bowls and begin by adding in the rice as a base. Top with the cucumber rolls, mango, avocado, and edamame beans, then add a quarter of the marinated watermelon to each bowl. Drizzle over any marinade left to add flavour to the entire dish.

Top each bowl with a dollop of sriracha mayo, then scatter over the crumbled nori, fresh coriander, crushed peanuts, black sesame seeds, and red chilli. Serve with a dish of pickled ginger for everyone to help themselves to.

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