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Sesame-Lime Watermelon 'Poke' Bowl


Chef notes

Beloved watermelon — naturally sweet and irresistibly juicy — is about to get interesting! In this poke-inspired recipe, I swap the tuna out for watermelon by chopping the fruit into bite-size pieces and then marinating them 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, 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 orange mango and crispy cukes!), but as I always say, you're the boss of your bowl!

Swap option: Tamari or coconut aminos also work instead of soy sauce.


Watermelon Poke
  • 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1-2 teaspoons lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon lime zest
  • 2 cups chopped watermelon
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice or soba noodles
  • 1 cup shredded red cabbage
  • 1/2 mango, sliced
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced cucumber
  • 1/2 avocado, sliced
  • sesame seeds and lime juice, to garnish (optional)


For the watermelon poke:

In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, lime juice and zest. 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.

For the bowl:

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.