Try this Ahi Tuna Poke to bring the taste of Hawaii straight to your plate! A combination of sashimi-grade ahi tuna, fresh crisp onions, soy sauce, and sesame oil creates a refreshing and flavorful meal that's sure to satisfy. dish is perfect for lunch, dinner, or even an appetizer served on its own or over rice.
Originating from the islands of Hawaii, poke (pronounced poh-kay) is a traditional dish that we love to recreate at home! The word 'poke' translates to 'cut into pieces', referring to the chunks of fresh, raw fish tossed in a savory marinade.
This ahi tuna poke recipe features rich, nutty, subtly sweet, and salty flavors. The crisp onions add a fresh crunch and the sesame seeds impart a slight earthiness. Once everything is mixed together, you’re left with a dish that is light, refreshing, and filled with umami goodness.
You can enjoy the tuna on its own for a high-protein, low-carb option, or serve it over sushi rice or salad greens for a more filling meal. The most popular way to eat poke is in a poke bowl with all the toppings.
Why You’ll Love Ahi Tuna Poke
There are so many reasons why you’ll love this ahi tuna poke bowl recipe, but here are just a few:
- Healthy & nutritious: This ahi tuna poke recipe is packed with lean protein and heart-healthy fats from the tuna and sesame oil.
- Quick to prepare: No cooking is involved, meaning you can easily make this recipe for a quick weekday lunch or dinner.
- Impressive: Despite its simplicity, this ahi poke bowl is a fancy-looking dish that never fails to impress dinner guests.
Ingredients & Substitutions
You’ll need the following ingredients to make ahi tuna poke:
- Ahi tuna: It’s important to use sashimi-grade tuna for this recipe. Make sure to tell the fishmonger at the counter that you’ll be eating it raw. If ahi tuna isn't available, you can use other sashimi-grade fish like salmon.
- Soy sauce: Adds saltiness and umami. Tamari or coconut aminos can also be used as a gluten-free alternative.
- Toasted sesame oil: Provides deep, rich, and toasty notes. Its unique flavor profile is hard to emulate, but you could use a mild-flavored vegetable oil in a pinch.
- Onion: We add both green and sweet onions to add the perfect crunch and a slightly sweet, zesty flavor. You can also use other types of onions like red onion.
- Sesame seeds: Add a little crunch and extra nutty flavor. Use white sesame seeds, black sesame seeds, or both for a visual twist.
- Hawaiian sea salt: Brings out the flavors of the other ingredients. If you don’t have access to Hawaiian sea salt, any coarse sea salt will work.
- Optional extras: For extra flavor and texture, try adding red pepper flakes, macadamia nuts, Hawaiian seaweed, or red chile peppers.
Tips For Picking Out Fresh Tuna
Selecting fresh and high-quality fish is essential when it comes to dishes like ahi tuna poke, where the raw flavor and texture of the fish are the primary focus. Here are some tips to help you pick the best tuna:
- Color: Look for a bright, vibrant red color. If the fish has a dull, brownish hue, it's likely not fresh.
- Smell: Fresh tuna should have a mild, almost sweet scent. If it has a strong fishy odor, it's best to move on.
- Texture: The flesh of fresh tuna should be firm and springy to the touch. It should bounce back when you press it gently.
- Surface: Fresh tuna has a moist, shiny surface. If the fish looks dry or has a slimy coating, it's not fresh.
- Fishmonger: Establish a good relationship with your local fishmonger. They can guide you towards the freshest catch and give valuable advice.
- Date: Check the 'sell by' or 'use by' date if available. This can help you ensure you're getting the freshest fish.
How To Make Ahi Tuna Poke
1. Combine The Ingredients
In a bowl, toss together your cubed ahi tuna, soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, green onions, sweet onions, sesame seeds, and a sprinkle of sea salt. Remember, you want a balance of flavors, so don't go too overboard with the seasonings.
2. Refrigerate & Serve
Let your mixture chill in the fridge for at least an hour. This rest period allows all the flavors to meld together and the fish to marinate. Once the poke has marinated, it's ready to enjoy!
What To Serve With Ahi Tuna Poke
To further enhance your ahi tuna poke recipe, experiment with some of these additions:
- Steamed sushi rice or brown rice
- Fresh salad greens
- Zucchini noodles
- Sliced cucumbers
- Avocado slices
- Seaweed salad
- Pieces of nori
- Japanese seasonings like furikake or togarashi
- Pickled ginger
If you end up with leftover ahi tuna poke, follow these storage guidelines:
- Fridge: You can store leftover poke in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 24 hours. Try not to leave it much past this timeframe since the fish is raw.
- Freezer: It's not recommended to freeze poke as it can affect the texture of the fresh fish.
- Prep ahead: You can prepare the marinade a day in advance, but it's best to add the fish on the day of and marinate it for an hour before serving.
Customize Your Poke Bowl Recipe
Poke is incredibly flexible, so you can easily customize it to suit your taste preferences. Here are just a few ideas to get you started:
- Spicy: Add a squeeze of Sriracha sauce or a sprinkle of red pepper flakes.
- Tropical: Add chunks of fresh mango or pineapple for a sweet contrast.
- Vegan: Use cubed tofu or watermelon for a vegan alternative.
- Avocado: Include cubes of avocado in your poke mix for extra creaminess.
- Seaweed: Add traditional Hawaiian seaweeds like ogo or limu.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the most common questions about making ahi poke at home.
Traditional poke is made with raw fish, but if you prefer cooked fish, you can certainly use it. Just remember the texture and taste will be different.
Yes, you can use other sashimi-grade fish like salmon or yellowfin tuna.
The word "poke" is Hawaiian for "to slice or cut."
Fresh Ahi Tuna Poke
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- 1 lb sashimi grade raw fresh ahi tuna, cut into cubes
- 2 tbsp soy sauce (or more to taste)
- 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
- 1/4 cup green onions, sliced
- 1/4 cup sweet onion, diced
- 1 tsp sesame seeds
- 1 Salt to taste (sea salt is best, about 1 tsp)
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* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.
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