Poke donburi with black gaba, spring onions, cucumber, fennel and sesame rice crackers

Serves 4 Starters and mains

POKE 1201



  • 4 wild Alaskan/Sockeye salmon fillets (approx. 450g), bought as fresh as possible and frozen if not used straightaway
  • 1tsp sriracha
  • 1tsp light soy sauce
  • 7 spring onions, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 11/2tsp black sesame seeds
  • 11/2tsp toasted sesame seeds
  • 375g black gaba rice
  • 3tbsp trout or salmon roe (optional)

For the dressing

  • 4tbsp tahini
  • 4tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1tsp sesame oil
  • 2tsp honey
  • 1 large lime
  • 2cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
  • 1/2tsp finely ground fennel seeds
  • 1/2tsp sea salt flakes

For the vegetables

  • 1tbsp caster sugar
  • 1tsp sea salt flakes
  • 4tbsp white balsamic
  • 2-3 fennel bulbs, trimmed, core removed, cut lengthways into thin fans
  • 125g podded edamame beans
  • 5 baby cucumbers, sliced very thinly into ribbons with a peeler

To serve

  • sesame rice crackers, available in Asian stores
  • 100ml sunflower oil


Defrost the salmon, if frozen, in the fridge for a few hours.

Make the dressing by shaking all the ingredients together in a screw-topped jar. Reserving 2tbsp of the dressing for the rice, add the sriracha and soy sauce to the remainder for the salmon.

Remove the salmon skin, cut the fillets into roughly 1.5cm pieces and put in a bowl.
Add the dressing, then mix in the spring onions and all the sesame seeds and put in the fridge for at least 45 minutes or up to 2 hours.

Meanwhile, put the rice in a medium pan with 500ml cold water and bring to the boil over a medium heat. Lower the heat, cover and cook for around 30 minutes, adding more water if it evaporates too quickly, until no water remains and the rice is cooked – check if it’s done after 25 minutes. Turn off the heat, stir in a pinch of sea salt flakes, cover and set aside for 10 minutes.

To prepare the sesame rice crackers, heat the oil in a wok on a medium heat and break pieces off the crackers, then fry to puff them up without browning. Drain on kitchen paper and set aside.

For the vegetables, mix the sugar, salt and vinegar with 4tbsp cold water in a bowl. Add the fennel fans and put in the fridge until ready to serve.

Transfer the cooked rice to a large bowl, add the reserved 2tbsp dressing, stir well and cover. Put in the fridge to chill until 10 minutes before serving.

Five minutes before serving, remove the salmon from the fridge. Drain the fennel and mix with the edamame.

Arrange the rice in bowls and top with the salmon. Curl the cucumber ribbons and add these to the bowls along with the fennel and edamame. Place rice crackers on the side, spoon the trout or salmon roe, if using, on top of the salmon and serve immediately.

Recipe and food styling by Linda Tubby; photography by Angela Dukes
POKE 1201
Recipe and food styling by Linda Tubby; photography by Angela Dukes


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