Category: Bowls

Beef Udon

Beef Udon

So after a couple weeks of traveling through chilly Central Europe, I’m home again and what do you think I’m craving? Asian Noodle Soups! But more specifically- Beef Udon! This Beef Udon is everything good in a bowl. Flavorful, simple, fast, and oh so comforting. read more

Okra Natto

Okra Natto

Today we’re really going to put the funky in Funky Asian Kitchen. Okra Natto is a mashup I made from two beloved Japanese dishes. It’s an acquired taste for sure, but we wouldn’t be living up to our name if we didn’t challenge you on read more

Jackfruit Bowls

Jackfruit Bowls

What shreds like pork, absorbs flavor like tofu, and packs more nutrients per serving than both? Jackfruit! Jackfruit is an incredibly versatile tropical fruit that is grown throughout Southeast Asia. When ripe, it gets sweet, sticky, and yellow-orange and is used in a variety of sweets. For those of us growing up in the eighties, I would liken it to a stick of juicy fruit gum. Unripe, or green,  jackfruit is most often used in savory dishes. I find the flavor is most similar in taste and texture to artichokes or hearts of palm. The fruit can grow up to 50 pounds, and can be quite a mission to prep.

Luckily for us, it’s pretty easy these days to find green jackfruit in convenient cans, all prepped and ready to go. Maybe you’ve seen these cans at Whole Foods or Trader Joes but weren’t sure what to do with it. Let these Jackfruit Bowls be your introduction to this nutritional powerhouse. And don’t be scared by the lengthy list of steps; the components can all be made ahead of time. Whip up the sauce, pickle the veggies, and cook the jackfruit over the weekend, and then you have a meal ready to go in minutes during the week. (Calling all meal preppers!)

jackfruit bowls ingredients

Make the Jackfruit Bowl Components

I love making grain bowls because it’s a chance to load them up with all kind of flavors and textures for an exciting meal. These pickled veggies add a nice tang. And you can make them a couple days before you make the jackfruit bowls. Just let them sit in the fridge, marinating away. They will still have a nice crisp crunch.

salt jackfruit bowl

Let it sit for 15 minutes, and drain it, squeezing to get out all the liquid. Then add the seasoned rice vinegar, sesame oil, and minced garlic.

Jackfruit Bowl Sauce

jackfruit bowls sauce

This sauce is a thick, well balanced blend of flavors. A little Sambal Olek chili sauce for heat, hoisin for umami depth, a blend of red and  rice vinegar for a mild tanginess…some ketchup, Worcestershire sugar, and garlic round out this Asian take on a BBQ sauce. Just mix everything up and keep refrigerated until you’re ready to make the jackfruit bowls.


Cook the Jackfruit

I start by draining the brine from the jackfruit. Then I simmer it in a pot of water until tender, about 5 minutes. Check with a fork and make sure you can easily pierce the jackfruit. Depending on the brand you are using, you may need to simmer the jackfruit a little longer to get it fork tender. Then I drain it and set it aside while I sauté the aromatics.

What you end up with looks very much like shredded pork. Many years ago, before green jackfruit was even a thing, we were asked to use it to make some appetizers for a wedding. We ended up using it as a filling for Chinese style steamed buns, but a couple of the wedding guests were imagining the jackfruit as a filling inside of soft rolls, like a shredded BBQ pork sandwich. That too would be fantastic!  If you are making this ahead, keep it in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Assemble Jackfruit Bowls

Depending on my mood, I will make this with rice as the base, or quinoa, just follow the package directions. Cauliflower rice is a great option too, if you want to add even more veggies to your bowl.

I also like to add cucumber and avocado, for color and texture, and then garnish with chopped herbs and scallions.  Line up all your toppings to make assembling the bowls a breeze.

I let everyone add their own sauce at the table. Any left over is wonderful with a simple grilled chicken or maybe scoop some into a soft roll and call it a day! I hope these Jackfruit Bowls become your gateway to all the deliciousness that jackfruit has to offer. Try them and let me know what you think. Rate and leave a comment on the recipe down below, and show off your bowls by tagging us @funkyasiankitchen, we love seeing your creations!

Love the bowls vibe? Check out the Soboro Beef, Salmon Poké, and Lemongrass Chicken Noodle Bowls.



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recipe card jackfruit bowl

Jackfruit Bowls

  • Author: Funky Asian Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: serves 4
  • Category: bowls
  • Cuisine: Pan-Asian



Jackfruit mixture:

  • 1 can young green jackfruit
  • 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons light brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 Tablespoons neutral oil
  • 1 Tablespoon peeled and minced ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced 
  • ½ large yellow onion, diced


Pickled vegetables:

  • ¼ head green cabbage
  • 1 small carrot
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced

Sauce to serve on the side:

  • ¼ cup hoisin
  • ½ Tablespoon sambal olek (or any garlic chili sauce)
  • 2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce (use coconut aminos if vegetarian)
  • 2 Tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon granulated garlic

To serve:

  • 6 cups cooked rice, quinoa, mixed grains or cauliflower rice
  • 1 avocado, diced 
  • european cucumber, sliced thin
  • Chopped cilantro
  • 1 stalk of scallion, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons crispy shallots (optional, purchase at an Asian market)


Make the pickled vegetables: 

  1. Peel and then cut the carrot into three logs. Slice the carrot very thin, stack the slices, and then cut across the slices to yield thin matchsticks (julienne). Put the carrots into a large bowl.
  2. Peel off any discolored or tough outer leaves from the cabbage. Shred the cabbage as you would for coleslaw, very thinly with a knife or with a food processor. Then put it into the bowl with the carrots and toss with the salt. Let the cabbage mixture sit for 15 mins., tossing occasionally.
  3. Drain the cabbage in a colander, squeezing the cabbage tightly to remove excess liquid. 
  4. Place the cabbage back in the bowl and add the seasoned rice vinegar, garlic, and sesame oil. Stir to combine. Set aside or refrigerate until ready to use. The cabbage will keep for several days.

Make the sauce:

  1. Combine the hoisin, sambal olek, red wine vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, seasoned rice vinegar, ketchup, and sugar in a bowl.
  2. Stir to combine.
  3. Set aside or refrigerate until jackfruit bowls are ready to serve.

Make the jackfruit:

  • Open the can of jackfruit and drain the brine. Bring 3 cups of water to a boil on high heat. Add the jackfruit, lower the heat to medium high, and simmer for 5-7 minutes. It should be easy to pierce with a fork when done. (Continue to simmer for a couple more minutes if needed.) Drain the jackfruit and set it aside.
  • Heat a skillet over medium high heat. Add the oil and the chopped onion. Sauté for 5 minutes, stirring regularly, until the onions have softened and are starting to lightly brown. Add the garlic and ginger and stir to combine. 
  • Next add the jackfruit and break it up with a masher or a fork. Add the hoisin sauce, soy sauce, salt, and sugar. Stir to combine. Bring the contents to a simmer and cook for a couple of minutes. Turn off the heat and remove from the stove.
  • Cool the jack fruit and refrigerate if not using right away. The jackfruit can be kept refrigerated for 3 days. 

Assemble the bowls:

  1. When ready to serve, divide the rice, grains, or cauliflower rice into 4 large bowls.
  2. Top evenly with jackfruit, avocado, cucumbers, and pickled cabbage. 
  3. Garnish with some chopped scallion, cilantro, and fried shallots. Serve jackfruit bowls with the sauce on the side. 

Keywords: meal prep, jackfruit, avocado, pickled vegetables, vegan, plant based, grain bowl, rice

Unagi Don

Unagi Don

If you always order Unagi Don at Japanese restaurants, you are going to be thrilled to learn how easy it is to make at home. And how fast! Even making the eel sauce from scratch-which you must because the bottled stuff doesn’t compare, you can read more

Soboro Beef

Soboro Beef

Soboro Beef bowls are a popular family meal in Japan. Soboro refers to highly seasoned and minced protein typically served with steamed rice and veggies. Endlessly customizable, I make mine with ground beef, scrambled eggs, and snap peas. You can choose ground chicken or turkey, read more

Salmon Poké Bowls

Salmon Poké Bowls


Poke bowls have surged in popularity recently. It seems like every month I see a new poke bowl restaurant popping up in my neighborhood. But did you know they are easy to make at home? And a lot more economical. Let me show you how easy it is to make restaurant quality Salmon Poke Bowls. I’ll walk you through selecting and cutting the salmon, mastering addictive sushi rice, and assembling these colorful bowls.

salmon poke bowl ingredients

It’s All About the Fish!

A poke depends on the absolute highest quality fish you can find. Because the fish is to be eaten raw, it also needs to be parasite free, so these Salmon Poke Bowls call for sushi grade salmon. We are fortunate to have access to the best quality salmon at the restaurants but thankfully, purchasing raw fish for a home cook has come a long way.

While sushi grade isn’t actually a regulated term at the retail level, it is understood to mean fish that has been flash frozen to destroy any possible parasites, and kept at below freezing temperatures. If you’re buying it frozen, just thaw it according to the package directions. Otherwise, purchase your fish from a reputable fishmonger, where they sell fish that is meant to be consumed raw and have lots of product turnover, so you know your fish is fresh.

Begin prepping the salmon by removing the gray blood line that runs down the center, leaving just the peach colored flesh. (You may have fillets of salmon where the bloodline has already been removed.) Then run your hand down the fish to feel for any bones, and remove them (we use a pair of fish tweezers but you should be able to pull them out with your fingers too). Now the salmon is ready to be cut into beautiful cubes. Keep it covered in the fridge until everything else is ready.


prepping salmon poke bowls

Right before serving, you will make a quick sauce from some pantry ingredients like toasted sesame oil and soy sauce to dress the salmon. This is a light but flavorful sauce that really lets the fish shine.

saucing salmon poke bowl

What Makes Sushi Rice SOOO Good?

If you’ve ever tried and failed to duplicate the completely addictive rice from your favorite sushi restaurant at home, I’ve got you covered for these Salmon Poke Bowls. First, choose the right rice. Sushi rice is a firm, short grain rice. Second, give it a thorough rinse. (I go into further detail on the hows and whys of rinsing your rice here.) Finally, let the rice sit in the water to hydrate the grains before cooking.

The real secret though is the seasoning. Because plain steamed rice makes a sad poke bowl! When we’re at work, we make a sushi vinegar that has many steps, but at home, this simple vinegar syrup works just as well. A couple tablespoons of a rice vinegar, sugar, and water mixture sprinkled onto the hot rice makes a deliciously seasoned base.

It’s important to pour the syrup on when the rice is piping hot, as the excess moisture will evaporate as it cools. Also, be sure to incorporate the rice into the syrup with gentle short “cuts” with a paddle, rather than a vigorous mixing motion. It’s critical that the rice not be crushed in the mixing.


Now comes the fun part! I stick to pretty traditional toppings for my Salmon Poke Bowls. But feel free to improvise-no one is watching! Avocado, masago, cucumber, edamame…these all enhance rather than overpower the delicate flavor of the fish.




Serve the pokes with additional sauce on the side, and some chili sauce for those that like it hot. These Salmon Poke Bowls are light and refreshing. The buttery avocado plays beautifully with the rich salmon, and veggies add a wonderful crunch. These bowls truly have something for everyone! Make them and leave a comment down below, and don’t forget to tag us in your beautiful poke bowl insta pics @funkyasiankitchen– show us the goods!

salmon poke bowl

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5C8J-uONRZk[/embedyt]

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salmon poke beauty shot

Salmon Poké Bowl

  • Author: Funky Asian Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 Minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: serves 4
  • Category: Main
  • Cuisine: Japanese



Sushi Rice:

  • 2 cups short grain Japanese rice (preferably tamaki gold or nishiki)
  • 2 cups water plus 4 tablespoons
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar 
  • 2 ½  Tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon water

Ginger Soy Sauce:

  • 2 oz soy sauce
  • 3 oz seasoned rice wine vinegar
  • 4 oz red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 cloves garlic minced 
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger


  • 1 lb sashimi grade salmon
  • european cucumber
  • 2 tablespoons masago caviar
  • ½ cup shelled edamame 
  • 1 carrot
  • a quarter red onion
  • 1 large avocado
  • 1 cup prepared seaweed salad (available at Asian markets and even Costco!) 
  • 2 tablespoons fried shallots (available jarred at Asian markets)
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds


For the Ginger Soy Sauce:

Stir the soy sauce, seasoned rice vinegar, red wine vinegar, sugar, sesame oil, ginger, and garlic together. Set aside or refrigerate until ready to use. The sauce keeps for 5 days in the refrigerator.


Cook the rice:

  1. Wash rice thoroughly under running water using a gentle scrubbing motion.  You are trying to wash away some of the outer starch on the rice.  Wash at least twice and drain water.  
  2. If using an automatic rice cooker, use the cup that comes with the cooker to measure the 2 cups. Then, pour spring water up to line #2 (let the rice sit for 30 mins for best results) and push the start button. Otherwise, rinse the rice as described above and then put it in a saucepan that has a tight fitting lid and pour 2 cups plus 4 tablespoons water over the rice. Let the rice sit for 30 mins for best results.
  3. Bring the pot to a simmer over medium heat. Lower the heat to medium low, stir the rice once with a fork, cover with a lid, and cook until the water disappears, the steam starts to create little holes on the surface, and the rice starts to puff up. This will take approximately 7-8 mins. 
  4. Then stir the rice once more with a fork, cover the pot again, and lower the heat to low and cook the rice for another 10-12 mins. Check the rice. The rice grains should look shiny and will have lost their chalky dull look. Try a small taste if you aren’t sure if it’s ready.
  5. If the rice is done, let it sit covered for another 5 mins. If it still has a bit of a core, add 2-3 more tablespoons of water and cook, covered, on low for 5 extra mins.

Season the Rice:

  1. While the rice is resting, stir the vinegar, sugar, and water in a small bowl until well dissolved.
  2. Turn the rice out into a big mixing bowl and sprinkle half of the seasoning vinegar onto the hot rice.  Mix the rice gently using a slight chopping action. Pour the rest of the vinegar over the rice and again mix the rice, being careful not to crush the grains. Let the rice sit out and cool to room temperature before using.

Prep the toppings:

  1. Trim the salmon by first taking off the gray bloodline. Now run your finger down the center and pull out any bones. Cut the fillet into thin strips and then cut across the strips to create a small ½ inch dice. Put the salmon in a bowl and cover, storing in the fridge until ready to assemble the bowls.
  2. Thinly slice the cucumber. Then stack the slices and cut across the slices to create a thin julienne. Set aside.
  3. Peel the carrots. Slice thinly and then stack the slices and cut across the slices to create a thin julienne. Set aside.
  4. Thinly slice the red onion. Then rinse under cool running water in a colander. This rinse tames some of the harsh bite. Let it drain and then set aside.
  5. Cut the avocado in half and pop out the seed. Peel the avocado and then dice into small chunks. Set aside.

Assemble the Bowls:

  1. Divide the rice into 4 large bowls. Top each bowl with carrot, cucumber, red onion, edamame, avocado, and seaweed salad.
  2. Mix the fish with half of the sauce. Put the salmon in the center of each bowl. Garnish each bowl with a little masago caviar, sesame seeds, and fried shallots. 
  3. Serve the bowls with the remaining sauce for people to use.

Keywords: poke, salmon, sushi, poke bowl