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Richard Blais’ Tomato Watermelon Poke Recipe Is a ’Summer Favorite’ That’s Perfect for Memorial Day

On the hunt for a mouth-watering recipe that’s perfect for the start of summer? Look no further than Richard Blais‘ tomato watermelon poke! The vegetarian-friendly dish manages to look exactly like a bowl of freshly sliced raw tuna, but there’s no fish needed for this easy-to-make meal.

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Richard Blais Tomato Watermelon Poke
Richard Blais attends American Cancer Society’s California Spirit 32 Gourmet Garden Party at Sony Pictures Studios on July 16, 2017 in Culver City, California. Todd Williamson/Getty Images; Morton Salt

“This is a great vegetarian option for poke – and a sure-to-be summer favorite,” the Top Chef: All-Stars winner tells Us Weekly. “Compressing the watermelon is optional, but it will give the fruit a deeper color, almost resembling ahi tuna.”

Blais also suggests using the best quality ponzu and sesame oil available to make the “simple dressing really shine.”

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The dish also gets a flavorful boost from two different kinds of salt. “When combining watermelon, tomato, ponzu, sesame oil and green onions, mix in Morton fine sea salt to ensure the ingredients are evenly coated with flavor,” the So Good author advises. “Finish with Morton coarse sea salt to add texture to the poke.”

Richard Blais Tomato Watermelon Poke
Richard Blais’ Tomato Watermelon Poke. Morton Salt

Furthermore, if you’re looking to reduce your food waste, Blais says the poke can be repurposed and thrown in a salad as part of a second meal. “Toss finished poke with your favorite salad greens and diced, cooked chicken to make a chopped Chinese chicken salad, or serve the poke over cooked brown rice or grains to turn it into a heartier option,” he tells Us.

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Scroll down for the tasty summertime recipe!

Tomato and Watermelon Poke

Makes 4 servings

• 3 cups diced watermelon
• 1/2 cup pine nuts
• 2 large heirloom tomatoes
• 1 avocado
• 1 lime, juiced
• 1/2 tsp Morton fine sea salt
• 1/2 cup citrus ponzu
• 1 tbsp sesame oil
• 1 tbsp sliced green onions
• 1 1/2 cups prepared seaweed salad
• 1 tbsp sesame seeds
• 1 tsp Morton coarse sea salt


  1. Optional: Compress watermelon by placing it in a vacuum-sealed bag, removing all air and sealing closed. This compresses the juices in the watermelon and makes it look just like tuna poke.
  2. Set oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Lay pine nuts in a single layer on a baking tray and toast in oven until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool.
  4. Dice tomatoes into medium-sized pieces.
  5. Remove the skin and pit of the avocado and dice into medium-sized pieces. Mix with the juice of one lime and Morton fine sea salt.
  6. Fold in watermelon, tomato, ponzu, sesame oil and green onions.
  7. Divide poke into 4 bowls and top with seaweed salad, pine nuts and sesame seeds. Finish with a sprinkle of Morton coarse sea salt.

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