You won’t believe how easy it is to make this ahi tuna poke bowl! Delicious fresh ahi tuna in a special marinade over rice with your favorite toppings like avocado, cucumbers, mushrooms, fried garlic, sesame seeds, and green onions. You could also just make the ahi tuna marinade and the poke and serve as an appetizer (use toothpicks for serving) and forget the rice and other vegetables.
If you’re unsure about poke, give it a chance. I suspended my poke reservations when I actually had good poke recently. I seriously had no idea how good it could be until this month. Apparently I’ve been missing out all of these years! It all started when my son wanted to take a Hawaiian cooking class on our vacation. It was so much fun! You can read more about our class near the end of this post. The marinade for this recipe is Chef Linda’s -I did adapt it a bit for the poke bowls.
What is poke?
Poke pronounced, “Poh-Kay,” means to slice or cut in Hawaiian. It is marinated raw fish (typically ahi tuna) served as an appetizer (Pupu) but over rice it becomes a Poke Bowl.
Raw fish? Really?
Yeah I was a little taken back at first too! But with the marinade/sauce, it takes on a “buttery,” texture and is absolutely delicious.
How to buy Ahi Tuna
Buy your ahi tuna from a reputable fishmonger if possible. The fresh tuna should smell like the ocean and not smell fishy, not even a little bit. The color will be vibrant. I try to buy my fish the same day I’m going to serve it.
How long can you store fresh ahi?
Don’t keep your ahi tuna over 2 days. When making poke, eat it right away. If you’re serving it to guests and want to make it ahead of time, leave out the salt and the sesame oil (great tips from Chef Linda) and add them at the last minute before company arrives. Otherwise it drys out your ahi and messes with the texture. Another great tip I learned from Chef Linda, if you want to eat it the next day, you can, but you can also cook it a bit on the second day.
Chef Linda and Hawaiian Style Cooking Classes
Chef Linda is amazing! If you’re ever in Oahu, make sure you book a cooking class with her. Be sure and do it early (before your trip) as it fills up fast! Our class was all about Hawaii’s Favorite Snacks and Go-To Grinds. We learned how to make poke 3 ways, Spam Musubi (yes Spam, I’m not going to spoil her interesting talk on Spam – so take her class!) Deluxe Inari Sushi, Coconut Shrimp and Coconut Butter Mochi. I’ll definitely take another class with her the next time I’m in town!
When you walk up to Chef Linda’s house, she has a pet pig named Bacon! He’s adorable!
Here’s Chef Linda explaining how to make poke.
Here’s my son spraying the muffin cups for Coconut Butter Mochi.
And here I am cutting avocados.
How to make Poke Bowl in pictures:
Cut the fresh tuna into bite size pieces.
Pour mixture over tuna, and toss.
Serve immediately over rice with additional toppings if desired. That’s it! Easy! Right?
Super Easy Shoyu Poke Bowl
- 3/4 lb Ahi tuna sashimi grade
- 1/4 c. soy sauce - also called Shoyu - I use light sodium, but feel free to use whatever
- 1 T. toasted sesame oil
- 1 T. toasted sesame seeds
- 1/2 c. sweet onion chopped, (use Maui, Vidalia, Walla Walla, etc)
- 1/4 t. freshly grated ginger
- 1 garlic clove finely minced
- dash of freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4-1/2 t. crushed red chili pepper or Nanami Togarashi
- 2 c. cooked rice sushi rice, short grain white or brown rice, or use cauliflower rice
- Additional toppings for Poke bowl. Feel free add your own!
- green onions finely chopped (green part only)
- Crunchy Garlic with Chili Oil I love this stuff!
- avocado sliced or chopped
- mushrooms sliced, cooked or raw
- cucumbers chopped
- whatever vegetables your heart desires! - bok choy broccoli, etc.
- Cut the fresh tuna into small cubes. Trim off skin, fat, etc.
- In a small bowl, mix shoyu (soy sauce), sesame oil, seeds, sweet onion, ginger, minced garlic, black pepper and crushed red chili pepper or Nanami Togarashi.
- Pour mixture over tuna, toss and serve immediately over rice with additional toppings if desired.