Recipe: Coconut Water-Brine + Plant-Based Poke Bowl!

By: Webmaster

You may only think to brine a turkey around Thanksgiving, but a brine can go far beyond the holidays and can be applied to many types of foods. Here’s why:

What is a brine?

The very definition of brining is to treat food with a mixture of water and salt in order to preserve or season the food. The most basic iteration of a brine is when salt is added to cold water in a container and then a protein is soaked in the container for 30 minutes up to a few days. Brines work for both plant and animal proteins!

What’s the science behind how to brine?

Salt gets into the meat by going through wide open pores, sliced muscle fibers, capillaries and other channels that allow the saline solution to soak in much more quickly and efficiently than by osmosis. The salt then unravels some of the proteins, opening up even more channels, creating a juicier, more tender meal.

How can I use coconut water instead?

The innovation team at iTi Tropicals has found that coconut water can be used as the perfect brine.  Coconut water naturally contains salt and potassium; both of which help to tenderize a protein. Not only can you use coconut water as a brine, but you can add other ingredients to the brine as well to create different flavors! You can use 12% Coconut Water Concentrate with regular water to create a 1% sodium brine solution to make your proteins taste that much better!

Check out the recipe below for a coconut water-brined, plant-based poke bowl!

Coconut Water Brine Recipe

Ingredients Percentage
iTi Coconut Water Concentrate  12.0%
Water 88.0%


  1. Prepare coconut water brine by combining coconut water concentrate and water in a container.
  2. For every 1 pound of protein, you will need one cup of brine.
  3. Add desired protein, to the brine.  We used tofu and allowed the tofu to brine for one hour.
  4. Remove the tofu from the brine, cut into ½ inch cubes, and sauté until golden brown.

Poke Bowl Toppings

For toppings, you can use any fruits or vegetables desired.  In our bowl, we used sliced avocados, shredded carrots, peeled edamame, corn, micro greens, white rice, and of course, the brined tofu.

We also made a dressing for the bowl to spice it up a little bit.

Poke Bowl Dressing Recipe

Ingredients Percentage
Soy Sauce  30.0%
Chili Oil 3.0%
Sesame Oil 3.0%
Lime Juice    10%
Ginger   5.0%
iTi Mango Puree 44.0%


  1. Measure all ingredients.
  2. Mince the garlic and ginger.
  3. Combine all ingredients into a bowl and mix well. 
  4. Toss the tofu in the dressing and use remaining dressing to pour on top of the poke bowl.

Tags:  plant based poke bowl coconut water brine plant-based recipe coconut water concentrate