Make a delicious ahi tuna poke recipe at home. This low-carb Hawaiian dish is loaded with healthy brown rice, salad, and vegetables and topped with marinated tuna.
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Have you ever had ahi poke before? Many years ago, I was first introduced to this fish salad concept in Hawaii. Freshly caught seafood, similar to the ones found in sushi restaurants, is marinated in a soy and vinegar-based sauce, then tossed with lots of other yummy ingredients to add some heat or spice.
This island delicacy has been taking over California and the US. Trendy build-your-own poke bowl restaurants will assemble a feast right before your eyes! I love this healthy way of eating. It may look intimidating, but guess what? It’s easy to make these at home! These beautiful ahi tuna poke bowls are a satisfying lite meal that requires little to no cooking. If this sounds good to you, let’s get marinating!
My nearby grocery store sells fresh ahi tuna steaks that I use in this recipe. When purchasing the fish, ask the friendly person at the fish counter if the tuna is sushi-grade and safe to eat raw. If there are Asian markets nearby, they typically carry sushi-grade fish.
You can try different kinds, such as salmon, albacore, or yellowtail. If you aren’t into raw fish, try cooked shrimp or octopus with the poke bowl sauce, and it will be delicious. Using a clean chef’s knife and cutting board, cut the fish into 3/4-inch cubes.
Marinate the tuna
I use a very simple but tasty poke marinade. It combines soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, and red pepper flakes. The savory, tangy, slightly sweet, and spicy will infuse just the right amount of flavor into the tuna. I’ve also seen mustard, creamy mayo, and sriracha added to the sauces.
Don’t be afraid to get creative! Combine the marinade with chunks of tuna, sliced green onion, and sesame seeds. The sauce quickly infuses into the fish for a quick meal, so it can be enjoyed immediately. However, if you want to add more flavor, marinate for 15 to 30 minutes.
How to make a poke bowl
So what’s in those irresistible bowls? There are endless ways to customize the poke bowl ingredients. I fill the bottom with white, brown, or sticky sushi rice as the base. Plus, the cooked rice soaks up any sauce! Add fresh salad greens, creamy avocado, crunchy carrots, pickled ginger, and fresh cucumber slices. If you have time, make this pickled cucumber salad. The sweetness and acidity go so well with the poke.
On top of the raw marinated ahi, sprinkle on togarashi (Japanese seven spice). I like the extra spicy umami flavor it adds and some chopped seaweed called nori. Toasted sesame seeds and spicy mayo also add exciting textures.
This poke bowl recipe is so versatile that you can use it as an appetizer with crunchy crackers, wrapped up in a giant sushi burrito, or just eat the marinated tuna straight from the bowl. Tell me what you like to add to your poke bowl. I would love to hear.
More tuna recipes
How do I select raw fish to purchase at the market for poke?
Food safety is critical when eating raw fish! Look for “sushi-grade” on the package or ask the market if it’s sashimi grade. Purchasing previously frozen tuna may also be a good idea because it can help kill parasites that might be present. If you are still hesitant to eat completely raw tuna, you can sear the surface before cutting to reduce the risk of microbial contamination. (Source: FDA.gov)
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Best Ahi Tuna Poke
- 1 pound sushi grade ahi tuna, cut into ¾" cubes
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
- 1 ½ teaspoons sesame oil
- ¾ teaspoon red pepper flakes, crushed
- ⅓ cup green onions, thinly sliced
- ½ teaspoon sesame seeds, plus more for garnish
- 2 cups brown rice, or white rice, cooked
- 2 cups salad greens
- Cook the Rice – Wash the rice under running water and cook it according to the manufacturer's instructions.
- Marinate the Tuna – In a medium-sized bowl combine ahi tuna, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, crushed red pepper flakes, green onions, and sesame seeds.
- Combine Ingredients – Add the cooked rice, salad, tuna, and desired toppings to each bowl. Serve immediately or refrigerate covered for up to 2 hours before serving.
- Additional Toppings: Avocado, shredded carrots, sliced cucumber, pickled ginger, wasabi, crab meat, tobiko, togarashi, furikake, dried seaweed, and seaweed salad.
- Make it Gluten-Free: Substitute tamari for soy sauce.
- Make it Vegetarian: Instead of seafood, cut cubes of firm tofu and marinate for at least 30 minutes before serving.
Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000-calorie diet. All nutritional information is based on estimated third-party calculations. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods, and portion sizes per household.
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