Beet Poke Bowls {vegan, gluten-free}

With tangy cubes of marinated sweet beets, chewy short-grain rice, and a mess of colorful pickled vegetables, these beet poke bowls are as lovely to eat as they are to look at. Thanks to La Tourangelle Artisan Oils for sponsoring this post! 

Beet Poke Bowls {vegan, gluten-free}

I have Sarah to thank for turning me on to the wonder of the poke bowl. Brimming with sweet, colorful vegetables, they’re not only pretty to look at and fun to make, they satisfy like a meal of vegetarian sushi (pretty much my favorite thing to eat in the world… besides chocolate). The folks at La Tourangelle asked me to come up with a Galentine/Valentine appropriate dish to feature their toasted sesame oil and Sarah suggested a pair of pretty pink and red beet poke bowls. Genius!

Beet Poke Bowls {vegan, gluten-free}

Having never tasted poke or poke bowls before, I didn’t realize what a treat I was in for. Poke is a Hawaiian dish of raw tuna or octopus tossed with flavorings and served cold, but meaty chunks of beet have become a beloved vegetarian substitute. Poke is traditionally served on its own as an appetizer, but throw it in a bowl with rice and veggies and you have yourself a meal.

I researched a bunch of recipes and settled on the marinade from Sarah Forte’s book Bowl + Spoon as adapted by my girl Tracy. Excited by all the colorful vegetables at the market right now, I put together these brightly-hued bowls and got a little carried away taking pictures. After a couple of hours of Jay hovering around saying “when do I get a poke bowl?!” we finally sat down to a late lunch.

Beet Poke Bowls {vegan, gluten-free}

The flavors of really good vegetarian sushi hit my palate – chewy rice, a touch of sugar and vinegar, earthy beets, spicy wasabi, crunchy pickled vegetables, briny toasted nori. It was love at first bite.

Beet Poke Bowls {vegan, gluten-free}

The secret ingredient in these bowls is toasted sesame oil, which adds a savory depth of flavor to the otherwise light, bright tastes going on. Many sesame oils taste too harsh for my palate, but the version from La Tourangelle is golden-hued and boasts a far more delicate flavor. I couldn’t stop drizzling extra over my bowl.

Beet Poke Bowls {vegan, gluten-free}

We’re having a bit of a heatwave in California right now and a bowl of room temperature rice and cool, marinated vegetables has been just the ticket for lunch or dinner. These bowls are going to be on regular rotation for now on. I’m planning to play with the ingredients through the seasons; I’ve given a few suggestions in the headnote.

Beet Poke Bowls {vegan, gluten-free}

No matter what sort of loved one you’re planning to spend February 14th with, these vibrant bowls are sure to be a hit.

Beet Poke Bowls {vegan, gluten-free}

Thanks to La Tourangelle for sponsoring this post, and thank you for reading! You can get 25% off sesame oil from La Tourangelle with the code SESAME25 at checkout. Pottery shown here is handmade in Berkeley, CA by Jered’s.

Beet Poke Bowls {vegan, gluten-free}

*For more Bojon Gourmet in your life, follow along on InstagramFacebook, or Pinterest, purchase my gluten-free cookbook Alternative Baker, or subscribe to receive new posts via email. And if you make these beet poke bowls, I’d love to see! Tag your Instagram snaps @The_Bojon_Gourmet and  #bojongourmet.*

Beet Poke Bowls {vegan, gluten-free}
Yields: 2 hefty servings
 
With gently spiced, marinated cubes of sweet beets, short-grain rice, and pickled veggies, these beet poke bowls have a sushi vibe. I used one red and one chiogga beet; you’ll want to cook and marinate them separately to keep their colors distinct. Serve with plenty of toasted nori seaweed snacks to roll your own tiny hand rolls, or crumble them right into the bowl. If you’d like more protein in your poke bowl, throw in some cubed tofu or shelled edamame. Feel free to change up the vegetables as you wish; pea sprouts or fava beans in the spring, cucumber in summer, or seared shiitake mushrooms in the fall. Do Ahead: The beets can be cooked and stored whole, refrigerated airtight, for up to 4 days. The marinade can be made ahead and refrigerated for up to 1 week. The carrots, cabbage, and rice are best prepared fresh but can be refrigerated for up to 1 day. Adapted from Bowl + Spoon via Shutterbean.
Ingredients
Beets:
  • 2 or 3 medium beets (about 300 g)
  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) tamari
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) toasted sesame oil (preferably La Tourangelle), plus more for drizzling
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) rice vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon wasabi paste
  • ½ teaspoon sriracha
Rice:
  • ¾ cup (175 g) sushi rice (I use Kokuho Rose)
  • 1 ¼ cups (300 ml) water
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
Pickled carrot:
  • 2 medium carrots, scrubbed
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) rice vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
Cabbage:
  • 2 cups lightly packed shredded red cabbage (150 g)
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) rice vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
For Serving:
  • thinly sliced radish, pink or purple daikon, and/or watermelon radish (use a mandolin if slicing rounds, otherwise halve and slice thinly with cut-side down into half moons)
  • 1 large firm-ripe avocado, pitted, peeled, and sliced
  • 2 scallions, sliced thinly on the diagonal
  • togarashi
  • toasted nori seaweed snacks
Instructions
Prepare the beets:
  1. Place the beets in a small saucepan, cover with an inch or two of water, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer until the beets are tender enough to be easily pierced with a knife, 25-35 minutes. Drain the beets and cover with cool water, letting them sit until cool enough to handle. Trim and peel the beets and cut them into 1-inch cubes.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together the tamari, sesame oil, rice vinegar, wasabi paste, and sriracha to combine. Set aside a few tablespoons of the marinade for serving and to the rest, add the cubed beets. Chill for 30 minutes or up to 1 day, tossing once or twice.
Cook the rice:
  1. Place the rice in a bowl, cover with cool water, and swish it around to release the starches. Carefully pour off the water, then repeat 2-3 more times. Drain well. Place the rice in a small saucepan and add the water and salt. Place the pot over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Immediately reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and let the rice steam until the water is absorbed, 10-15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand 10 minutes. Test the rice – if it is too firm, sprinkle in a few tablespoons more water and repeat the steaming/standing process until the rice is tender but still chewy. Fluff the rice with a fork and cool to warm or room temperature, 30-60 minutes.
Prepare the cabbage:
  1. In a medium bowl, toss together the cabbage, vinegar, sugar, and salt. Let sit until wilted, 10 minutes or up to an hour or two.
Pickle the carrot:
  1. Use a vegetable peeler to peel the carrot into long, wide ribbons. Toss with the vinegar, sugar, and salt. Let sit until wilted, 10-30 minutes.
To serve:
  1. Divide the rice between two wide, shallow bowls. Top with the marinated beets and their juices. Drain the carrots and cabbage separately and place over the rice. Top with the avocado, sliced radish, and slivered scallion. Drizzle the remaining marinade over the bowls, adding more sesame oil if you like. Sprinkle with togarashi and serve with nori snacks on the side.

Beet Poke Bowls {vegan, gluten-free}

12 thoughts on “Beet Poke Bowls {vegan, gluten-free}”

  1. Yummmm I’m going to need to make these ASAP. Poke is my faaaave but so often I can’t be bothered going all the way to the fish market for really good salmon – so this looks so perfect! Fave.

    xx

  2. You’re having a heat wave and we’re having a deep freeze!

    I can’t get over the color that exudes from these photos. Absolutely stunning, and the thought of all the flavors, from the marinated beets, pickled veg, and toasted sesame oil — a dream.

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