watermelon, tuna & quinoa poké bowl with tahini soy sauce

Fast, Easy and Make Ahead

An essentially raw bowl of Asian flavored comfort? Sign me up!

This skinny version has Summer written all over it. The light and refreshing natural sweetness of the watermelon counterbalances the nutty and salty flavor of the Tahini Soy Sauce. Each cube of raw tuna offers a meaty bite, while the avocado caters your taste buds with an indulgent creaminess. Oh yea, don’t forget about the slightly bitter crunch of raw kale that brightens this dish. Serve it all over a bed of cold or warm quinoa and you have a guilt-free bowl of coziness.

I am personally super into eating vegan for the health benefits. This meal can easily be made vegan by omitting the tuna and fish sauce.


Oh the infamous Poké Bowl. Veer away from imagining the irritating action that little boys do in grade school and pronounce it like this; “POKE-ay”. A traditional Hawaiian dish, Poké is essentially cubed raw fish. In the Hawaiian language, poké is a verb meaning “to section, slice or cut”.

As you can imagine, we, on the mainland, are having a grand old time transforming this traditional fare into a trend setting showstopper. Seeing that we are always fascinated with the comfort and versatility of a bowl, the poké trend is essentially deconstructed sushi in a bowl {Think rice, veggies and raw fish}.

You can find poké served at the finest restaurants in New York City or on the beaches of Los Angeles, but just in case you don’t feel like traveling, go ahead and make it at home. The super easy and raw nature of this bowl makes it essentially fool proof, with an unlimited amount of possibilities.

Truly, a myriad of fish can be diced into decadent cubes and marinated with any combination of sauces and seasonings. My skinny version is called {deep breath} The Watermelon, Tuna & Quinoa Poké Bowl with Tahini Soy Sauce.

Aside from letting the sauce reduce and quinoa cook {about 15 minutes} simultaneously, there is no major cooking involved. These two items can be left alone on the stove while you dice and slice the other ingredients. Even more, everything can be prepped ahead of time and combined at your leisure.

Given that this is an assembly kind of meal, it would be a fun dish for a girl’s night in or just a simple way to get your kids involved in making dinner.

My inspiration came from the August 2016 issues of both Cooking Light and Bon Appétit. Due to the fact that the poké bowl trend is so hot right now, my two favorite magazines featured unique versions of this dish. My idea? Combine the two and add some A Common Connoisseur pizazz.

Again, this meal can be made vegan by omitting the tuna and fish sauce. In fact, the Bon Appétit recipe was originally designed as a vegan bowl.


watermelon, tuna & quinoa poké bowl with tahini soy sauce

  • Servings: 2-3
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Asian flavored comfort.


Tahini Soy Sauce

  • 1/2 c. unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1/4 c. sesame oil
  • 3 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 3 tablespoons tahini
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar (add more to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated

Poké Bowl

  • 1 c. quinoa, uncooked
  • 5-6 c. of cubed watermelon, seedless and rind removed
  • 1 pound raw sushi-grade ahi tuna, 3/4 in. cubes (use sharp knife)
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/4 c. sesame oil
  • 1 lime
  • 1-2 avocados, peeled and diced
  • 3 green onions, green and white ends thinly sliced
  • 3-4 kale leaves, thinly sliced (remove stems)
  • Sriracha (optional for heat)
  • cilantro (garnish)


  1. Bring all Tahini Soy Sauce ingredients to a boil in a small sauce pan. Then reduce the heat and simmer until sauce thickens (about 15-20 minutes). Stir occasionally.
  2. While this simmers, cook the quinoa according to box directions (both 1 and 2 will take the same amount of time).
  3. When quinoa is done, toss with raw kale slices and set aside to cool.
  4. Toss cubed watermelon in soy sauce, sesame oil and 1/2 juiced lime in a large bowl. Cover and let marinate in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
  5. Once sauce is cooked, chill in refrigerator for 15 minutes.
  6. Toss cubed raw tuna in 1/2 the Tahini Soy sauce, reserving the other 1/2 for serving.
  7. Time to build your bowl: Place cooked (warm or cold) quinoa with kale in the bottom of the bowl. Top with marinated watermelon, sauced tuna, avocado, green onion slivers and cilantro.
  8. Drizzle Tahini Soy Sauce and squeeze a lime on top of your poké goodies.