RecipeSesame-Lime Watermelon Poke Bowl

Nutrition Facts
Amount per Serving
  • Calories: 250
  • Protein: 8 g
  • Total Fat: 10 g
    • Unsaturated Fat: 8 g
    • Saturated Fat: 2 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate: 38 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 6 g
  • Total Sugar: 16 g
    • Natural Sugar: 16 g
    • Added Sugar: 0 g
  • Sodium: 620 mg

Beloved watermelon—naturally sweet and irresistibly juicy—is about to get interesting! Here, I create watermelon “sushi” by chopping the fruit into bite-size pieces and then marinating the pieces in an Asian-style sauce. The watermelon’s sweet signature flavor blends wonderfully with the lime-infused sesame sauce, resulting in a surprisingly addictive bite. When it comes to the other bowl ingredients, really anything goes. For this recipe, I’ve selected nutrient-packed ingredients with all sorts of textures, tastes, and colors (hello crunchy purple cabbage, creamy green avocado, juicy yellow mango, & crispy cukes!), but as I always say… you’re the boss of your bowl. 🙂

  • Recipe notes:

• Poke (which translates to “chunks” or “slices”) is a Hawaiian raw-fish salad traditionally made with sushi-style ahi tuna. It could also be made with marinated salmon, cooked shrimp or even tofu. 

• You can opt for pre-cut fruit and vegetables, making prep a breeze. 

Can be made ahead of time and assembled right before eating (marinated watermelon lasts 3-4 days)

  • Here are some tips on how to pick the perfect watermelon: 

• Look for a firm and heavy melon with a strong and even stripe pattern and no bruises.  

• Gently tap the fruit. If the pitch sounds deep and hollow, it’s likely riper. 

• Look for a dark yellow/orange field spot— the darker the spot, the sweeter and more flavorful the melon is. 

For a spicy spin, try this watermelon poke bowl topped with a sesame-sriracha marinade instead. It’s simple to make and requires a quick swap in the marinade.

  • Prep time
  • Total Time
This recipe makes 2 bowls

For watermelon poke

  • • 2 cups chopped watermelon
  • • 2 Tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce*
  • • 1 Tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • • ½ Tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • • 1 to 2 teaspoons lime juice
  • • ½ teaspoon lime zest

* Tamari or coconut aminos also work

For bowl assembly

  • • 1 cup cooked brown rice or soba noodles
  • • 1 cup shredded red cabbage
  • • ½ mango, sliced
  • • ½ cup thinly sliced cucumber
  • • ½ avocado, sliced
  • • Optional toppings: sesame seeds, lime juice

In a small bowl, whisk together the watermelon poké sauce ingredients. Set aside.

Add the chopped watermelon to a large, wide bowl; pour the sauce over the top and mix to coat all the pieces. Let it sit and marinate at least 20 minutes. If all of the pieces aren’t submerged in marinade, toss it around every few minutes.

While the watermelon is marinating, chop the veggies and fruit.

Assemble the bowls by adding the ingredients in pretty piles around your plate, saving the watermelon for last. Drizzle the leftover watermelon marinade over the noodles and other ingredients as a sauce.

Garnish with optional sesame seeds and a squeeze of lime juice, if desired.


Try these Watermelon Feta Bites!