Poke bowls are one of the most versatile and flexible meals out there. Easily customizable to anyone’s dietary needs or according to one’s desires of that day, you simply can’t go wrong. With the thousands of different combinations, you can literally create a unique meal every time.
As much as I love poke bowls, each meal can get quite pricey. A bowl (although super delicious) with its hidden add-ons of avocado, additional cost for the tuna option, etc. can easily rack up the bill real quick. Naturally, I figured that I can make my own poke bowls from scratch. However, the grocery list was massive, preparing all the sides were time-consuming, and it actually ended up costing more. Sigh, what to do?
Make your own Poke Bowls: The Quick, Cheap, and Lazy Way
Just like any regular western supermarket, Asian markets have a lot of prepared food ready for you to grab and go. This is one of my go-to’s when I’m either pressed for time or needing something a little different for dinner. I especially love the fresh assortment of sushi and sashimi options that they have to offer. They also make everything the day of which guarantees freshness.
Fresh Pre-made Sides for your Poke Bowls
1. Sushi Rice for $1.98 – this was probably the best find for me. I’ve tried to make sushi rice in the past and it has never worked perfectly. There is a reason why sushi chefs spend years perfecting the craft of simply making sushi rice. It seems so simple and requires only a few ingredients but the technique behind it is so underrated. Thus, I was really happy to see this pre-made sushi rice.
I like my poke bowls with traditional sushi rice like a chirashi bowl. However, you can literally use any base you prefer. I”m sure you’ve got this already stocked in your pantry. There’s brown rice, noodles, quinoa, cauliflower rice, zoodles, or simply greens. It’s really up to you.
2. Tuna Poke for $3.35, Imitation Crab Poke for $4.58, Tamago(egg) for $2.49 – choose your poke! I don’t know about you but I always end up wanting all the different proteins in my poke bowl. This definitely adds up and that cheap lunch turns into a pricey meal. With this, you can add a bit of all your favorites and get everything you want on there. These premade pokes are an amazing option especially if you’re dining for more than one. They also last for a day or two in the fridge if you want to make multiple meals. That being said, I would recommend consuming them within the day to maximize freshness.
3. Sides: Seaweed Salad for $3.99, Spinach with Sesame Sauce (Gomae) for $1.99, Sweet Potato for $3.31 – of course you can’t forget the sides. These three are my favorites but there are so many others to chose from. These sides are also great by themselves if you have any leftovers.
Don’t forget that the condiments are also included for free – wasabi, ginger, and soy sauce.
Total Cost: $27.02
We were able to make 4 poke bowls for under $30. My boyfriend and I had them for dinner and then lunch the following day, with each bowl costing $7-8. Normally, we would spend over $30 for just 2 poke bowls for one meal. Not only was it cheaper, it was actually really fun creating our own bowls. I’ve never done it before but I’m sure it would be a great dinner party option that’s interactive, fun, cost-friendly, and with very little effort.
Our “home-made” Poke Bowl!