Homemade Ahi Tuna Poke Bowls

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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.

For more delicious varieties, try my spicy salmon poke and sesame yellowtail.

Ahi tuna poke recipe served in a bowl.
Table of Contents
  1. Fish selection
  2. Marinate the tuna
  3. How to make a poke bowl
  4. More tuna recipes
  5. Best Ahi Tuna Poke Recipe

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!

Fish selection

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.

Poke bowl with brown rice and sliced cucumbers.

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.

Top down view of two poke bowls with chopsticks and a small bowl of soy dipping sauce.

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.

Chopsticks grabbing a cube of tuna out of a poke bowl.

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

Make your own delicious ahi tuna poke bowl at home. This recipe is loaded with healthy brown rice, salad, vegetables and topped with marinated tuna poke.
4.99 from 370 votes
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Course Entree
Cuisine Japanese


  • 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
  • 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.

Recipe Video


  • 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.
Nutrition Facts
Best Ahi Tuna Poke
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat
Polyunsaturated Fat
Monounsaturated Fat
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Jessica Gavin

I'm a culinary school graduate, cookbook author, and a mom who loves croissants! My passion is creating recipes and sharing the science behind cooking to help you gain confidence in the kitchen.

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75 Comments Leave a comment or review

  1. Tracy Martinson says

    Delicious! Tuna had the perfect amount of Asian flavor and heat. We marinated it for only 20 minutes. Its actually a very easy but flavorful dish. Great when you want homemade sushi dinner without the hassle. We used spring mix lettuce, carrots, red peppers, radishes, avocado, even a little mango. Will definitely be making this again.

  2. Dairyville chik says

    In the instruction to mention poke. However not in the instructions. Growing up my grandmother would make Poke Salad from this weed that grew wild in our yard and Fields. She would heat the oil and sprinkle it over the poke in till it started to shrivel it was most often bacon grease. And give it a liberal splash of vinegar and salt and pepper. The Poke Salad had boiled egg, onion and sometimes green olives. Thanks for bringing back the memories.

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Poke is the final mixture of the fish with seasonings, so that’s what I refer to in the recipe when I say to add the poke to a bowl. I hope that helps! Your grandma’s recipe sounds incredible!

  3. Oahu Venues says

    I just tried your ahi tuna poke bowl recipe and it was delicious! I love how you combined the flavors of the ahi tuna, avocado, mango, seaweed, and sesame oil to make a tasty and nutritious meal. I also appreciate how quick and easy this recipe was to make. I look forward to trying more of your recipes in the future! Thanks for sharing!

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