This vegetarian poke rice bowl is a healthy vegan rainbow bowl recipe, done in 30 minutes. With tofu to sub raw fish, it makes a tasty & healthy poke bowl!

The marinated tofu poke makes for an easy-to-find protein base, served in a bowl of hearty brown rice, colorful vegetables, and either a creamy mayo or a light soy-based dressing.

A healthy vegetarian poke rice bowl held by two hands in an off-white bowl.

In this post you’ll learn:

Why You Will Love This Healthy Vegetarian Poke Bowl

  • Quick and easy: Ready in just 30 minutes, this will be your next favorite weekday meal.
  • Full of flavor: The marinated tofu is packed with umami and the creamy mayo rounds off this vegetarian poke bowl, making it even better than the one you order at a restaurant!
  • Perfect for meal prep: The marinated tofu absorbs more flavor the longer they sit and it’s easy to cut and prepare the toppings ahead. Plus, if you bring this for lunch, your friends will be drooling looking at this healthy poke bowl!

Watch the Recipe Tutorial!

What is a Rainbow Poke Bowl?

A rainbow poke bowl just means a poke bowl that has colorful vegetables and toppings in them. Think of fresh, vibrant vegetables like radish, purple cabbage, cucumber, avocado, and mango. The wide variety of colors not only makes your bowl look pretty and therefore appetizing, but it’s also good for your health!

Each color represents different sets of nutrients present in that vegetable. So the more color you have in your bowl, the greater the variety of nutrients that you get! In fact, a recent study done by researchers at the American Gut Project encourages people to get at least 30 different plant varieties every week. Seems like a lot, but in this vegan poke bowl, you’re already getting 10 of them!

Is Poke Bowl Really Healthy?

Of course, this depends on what you put into your poke bowls. But if you make this vegetarian poke rice bowl, you’re definitely getting a great variety of nutrients due to the various vegetables present! Plus, this plant-based recipe ensures that you’re getting all your fiber and a wide variety of nutrients since each color of vegetable represents different sets of nutrients!

And oh, speaking of dressing, my Homemade Oil-free Mayonnaise is also way healthier than the traditional mayonnaise too so you can eat them guilt-free! 😉

A bowl of vegan rainbow poke bowl with edamame, avocado, and tofu, sprinkled with sesame seeds.

Are Poke Bowls Hawaiian or Japanese?

I have to admit that for the past 22 years, I had assumed that poke bowl is Japanese. Besides, isn’t a poke bowl just a deconstructed sushi? But nope, poke bowls are not Japanese. The influx of Japanese migrants to Hawaii influenced the creation of this dish, but poke bowls originated in Hawaii.

What is Hawaiian Poke?

The classic Hawaiian poke is made up of cubes of raw fish served over rice. In the cookbook Aloha Kitchen, it’s explained that the most common fish used is yellowfin tuna (called “ahi”) but the most important thing is that you want the freshest fish, meaning sushi grade. Whether its sushi grade tuna, salmon, or whatever fish you choose, it doesn’t matter as much as its freshness.

With a plant-based twist in this tofu poke bowl, we substitute the salmon or tuna poke with tofu poke. Tofu is much easier to find and cheaper than sushi-grade fish. And it’s also vegan!

Ingredients

Brown rice, purple cabbage, cucumber, avocado, edamame, mango, radish, marinated tofu in small white bowls.
  • Marinated tofu: Our protein base, following from this Easy Marinated Tofu recipe.
  • Brown rice: Packed with fiber and complex carbs, rest assured that this vegetarian poke bowl does not only taste good but is also good for your body. Feel free to sub with quinoa or your favorite whole grain.
  • Radish: For some nice crunch and pretty pink goodness.
  • Mango: Adds some sweetness and a tropical punch to this healthy poke bowl.
  • Edamame: Packs even more protein and also loads of fiber, the edamame also adds some Japanese twist.
  • Avocado: Because who does not love avo?
  • Cucumber: Adds a bit of crunch and they’re refreshing.
  • Purple or red cabbage: For more crunch and all the cancer-fighting benefits (link) from our cruciferous veggies.

And for the spicy mayo dressing:

Step-by-step Instructions

Marinade your tofu. This is as easy as cutting your tofu into blocks and leaving them to sit in the marinade. No tofu pressing is required and you can marinate it for as little as 15 minutes. The full recipe can be found in this 5-Minute Marinated Tofu post.

Cut and prepare ingredients. This is the most time-consuming part of the recipe. So once this is done, know that your poke bowl will be ready in no time!

Assemble! Put all the ingredients in a bowl and you’re ready to go!

Topping Substitutions

Some substitutions if you want to keep all the 7 colors of the rainbow on your plate

  • Red: red bell peppers, beets
  • Orange: carrots
  • Yellow: corn, yellow bell peppers, pickled ginger
  • Green: microgreens, wakame, green onions
    • I also like mixing some lettuce greens with brown rice for a lighter base!
  • Blue: The color blue is actually very rare in nature and therefore I have not included a blue vegetable in this vegetarian poke bowl. But if you really want to make this poke bowl to contain all the colors, some options are blue corn, blue carrots, or eggplants.
  • Purple/pink: purple carrots, watermelon radish

Should rice in poke bowls be hot or cold?

Rice in poke bowls is typically served cold, as it acts as a base for fresh, chilled toppings like raw fish and vegetables.

Vegan rainbow poke bowl with various vegetables, brown rice, and sesame seeds.

Storage and Meal Prep Instruction

Storage: Store your leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days.

Meal prep: This is the perfect recipe for meal prepping. The marinated tofu absorbs more flavor the longer they sit and it’s easy to cut and prepare the toppings ahead. Keep the sauce separate when meal prepping to avoid the vegetables getting soggy.

Can I microwave poke bowl?

Yes, you can microwave a poke bowl, but if there’s raw fish, it may alter the texture and taste of certain components. However, in this vegetarian poke bowl, feel free to microwave it since we’re using tofu and edamame as the protein base!

A hand reaching to grab a bowl of healthy vegetarian poke bowl with rainbow vegetables.

FAQ

What is a substitute for fish in poke bowls?

A common substitute for fish in poke bowls is tofu, which can be seasoned and prepared similarly to fish to provide a similar texture and flavor profile.

Should I use fresh edamame or can I use frozen ones?

Both are good. I usually just buy frozen edamame since they are cheaper and last longer. To thaw, you can move the frozen edamame from the freezer to the fridge at least 8 hours before (I like to do it the night before). Or for a quicker solution, microwave them for 1 minute.

I won’t be able to finish a jar of vegan mayo since I don’t eat mayo a lot. Can I sub the dressing?

I get you. I understand the struggle of having mayonnaise sitting in your fridge for months. So yes! You can skip the spicy mayo dressing altogether and double up on the tofu marinade to use it as a dressing.

What’s the difference between a sushi bowl and a poke bowl?

Usually, sushi bowl uses sushi rice as the carb base while poke bowl can use other grains or even salad such as brown rice and quinoa.

Is poke bowl Japanese or Hawaiian?

Poke bowls originated in Hawaii but have been influenced by Japanese cuisine, blending elements from both culinary traditions.

Want More Recipes Like This?

I often say poké bowls are deconstructed sushi so if you would like to make sushi instead, check out this Kimchi Sushi or this Shiitake Roll recipe. Prefer something more authentic? Check out this Kappa Maki (cucumber roll), Natto Rolls (Japanese fermented soybeans roll), or Umeshiso Maki (Japanese pickled plum and shiso leaves roll).

And if you love rice as much as I (and all Indonesians) do, I recommend checking this Authentic Vegan Rendang recipe (Indonesian curry-like dish traditionally made with beef, recipe from my mum). Or maybe try this Sticky Tempeh recipe if you’re a fan of tempeh!

Healthy vegetarian rainbow poke rice bowl with various colorful vegetables.
Print Recipe
5 from 4 votes

Quick Healthy Vegetarian Rainbow Poke Rice Bowl (+ Video!)

This vegetarian poke rice bowl is a healthy vegan rainbow bowl recipe, done in 30 minutes. With tofu to sub raw fish, it makes a tasty & healthy poke bowl!
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Japanese
Keyword: healthy poke bowl, poke rice bowl, rainbow poke bowl, vegetarian poke bowl
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 341kcal
Author: Jem @ The Fruity Jem

Ingredients

Marinated Tofu:

  • 1 block tofu 14-16 oz (400-450 grams), firm or extra firm, cubed into 1 inch (2.5 cm) on each side
  • 5 Tablespoons soy sauce sub with liquid aminos for a gluten-free option
  • 1 Tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1.5 Tablespoons ginger (grated, about 2.5 cm or 1 inch when whole)
  • ¾ teaspoon sambal oelek (optional but recommended) or sub with sriracha, cayenne pepper powder, or chili powder

Poke Bowl:

  • 1 cup brown rice; 190 g uncooked or sub with quinoa or your favorite rice
  • 4-6 radish thinly sliced
  • ½ small mango
  • ½ cup edamame (80 grams)
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 cucumber (medium, about 20 cm)
  • 1 cup purple cabbage (shredded)

Dressing:

    Option 1 – Spicy Mayo, recommended

    • ¼ cup vegan mayo homemade (see recipe notes for full recipe) or store-bought
    • 1 Tablespoon sriracha or sambal oelek or sub with 1 tsp cayenne or chilli powder (adjust for your preferred spiciness level)

    Option 2 – Spicy Soy, less effort but still delicious

    • Essentially the same as your tofu marinade, but without the tofu 😉
    • 5 Tablespoons soy sauce
    • 1 Tablespoon rice vinegar
    • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
    • 1.5 Tablespoons ginger (grated, about 2.5 cm or 1 inch when whole)
    • ¾ teaspoon sambal oelek (optional but recommended) or sub with sriracha, cayenne pepper powder, or chili powder

    Garnish:

    • 1 Tablespoon sesame seeds
    • 2 Tablespoons nori sheets (optional) (shredded to small pieces)

    Instructions

    • Cook the rice: Cook the rice according to package instruction.
      If the package instruction is missing, here is the general instruction for cooking brown rice. Add 1 cup of uncooked rice and 2 cups of water to a pot, then bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20-25 minutes, until all the water is absorbed and the rice is fluffy. Afterward, turn off the heat and cover the pot to let it steam for 10 more minutes.
    • Marinade: In a shallow container, mix all the ingredients for the marinade together. Add the cubed tofu and stir so that each tofu cube can absorb the marinade. Set aside for at least 15 minutes while you prepare the other ingredients.
    • Cut: Cut the radish, cucumber, purple cabbage, and avocado into thin slices. Cube the mango.
    • Dressing: Make your choice of dressing by whisking all the ingredients together in a small bowl.
    • Assemble: Your rice should be cooked by now. Assemble your poke bowl by layering the rice first as the base. Then top with all the prepared vegetables and the tofu marinade, followed by the dressing.
    • Serve: Garnish with sesame seeds and nori flakes if using. Enjoy your poke rice bowl!

    Notes

    Ingredients Notes:
    • Use firm or extra-firm tofu for your tofu poke. You don’t want your tofu to break apart too easily in this poke rice bowl.
    • You can use both fresh and frozen edamame. If they are frozen, first thaw them by leaving them in the fridge for at least 4 hours, or by microwaving them for 30 seconds.
    • Feel free to substitute the vegetables with what you currently have. Some options include bell peppers, carrots, salad greens, and corn. For more ideas, see the post above.
     
    About the Dressing/Sauce:
    • Choose the spicy mayo dressing if you want a creamier dressing. For a lighter version, go with the soy-based one (the same as the tofu marinade sauce).
     
    Storage and Meal Prep:
    • This is the perfect recipe for meal prepping. The marinated tofu absorbs more flavor the longer they sit and it’s easy to cut and prepare the toppings ahead. Keep the sauce separate when meal prepping to avoid the vegetables getting soggy.
    • Store in the fridge for up to 4-5 days.
     
    Other Notes: