In my very humble opinion, the best way to eat fresh tuna is raw, finely cubed, gently coated in Ponzu sauce, sesame oil, and sesame seeds. Add an absolutely ripe avocado, crunchy cucumbers, julienned nori and you do that tuna justice. An Ahi Poke Bowl should completely satiate you, but not overwhelm. It should be delicate but pack a flavorful punch.
In our version of this traditional Hawaiian dish, I want to make sure the tuna is the highlight, but you can certainly look to other Hawaiian variations for different flavor profiles. Some options for an altered Ahi Poke Bowl include diced pineapples, crushed macadamia nut, and even octopus. (I see you making the same face my wife does. Just a suggestion).
My favorite part of this Ahi Poke Bowl is the mixture of ponzu sauce, ginger, and scallions. The tang from the Ponzu sauce combined with the freshly grated ginger make this salad immensely addictive. When mixing your diced tuna always use a fork. The fork helps the tuna pass through quickly, keeping its cubed shape.
This dish calls for fresh Ahi tuna, do not substitute it for anything else. After all, Hawaiian fisherman created Poke Salad from scraps of their freshly caught tuna. You don't need to go that raw but chat with your local fine grocer or fish market to make sure you're getting the best quality tuna steak.
Suggestions and Alternatives
- To make the scallions curl, using a very sharp knife julienne them 1/2 inch. vertically and add them to ice water for 15 minutes then pat dry.
- Swap nori with wakame for an even fresher option.
- Place your tuna in a stainless steel bowl and place that bowl on top of a stainless steel bowl of ice, this will keep your tuna frigid while preparing other ingredients.
- Check out our other seafood salad - Moroccan Salad with Harissa Shrimp.
- For a different take on ginger in a salad try a Soba Noddle Salad with a Ginger Soy Vinaigrette.
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Ahi Poke Bowl
- 2 pounds Ahi tuna diced
- 2 tablespoons fresh ginger finely grated
- 1 whole english seedless cucumber diced
- 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce quality
- 1 stem scallion julienned
- 1/2 cup ponzu sauce quality
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil quality
- 1/2 teaspoon black sesame seeds quality
- 1/2 teaspoon white sesame seeds quality
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt quality
- 1 sheet sushi nori quality
- 1 whole avocado quality
- 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes
- 1 whole lime zest
- Using a sharp knife, dice 2 lbs. fresh Ahi tuna into 1/2 inch cubes, place in large bowl and refrigerate.
- Then peel 1 "finger" of fresh ginger and using a Microplane fine grater, add it to tuna bowl then using a fork fold until incorporated.
- Peel and dice one seedless English cucumber then add soy sauce, fold and let it sit for two minutes.
- Julienne one scallion on the bias and add it to one cup of ice water, let it sit for five minutes, then strain and place scallions on a paper towel, pat dry.
- Pull out the large bowl of diced tuna from the refrigerator and add Ponzu sauce, sesame oil, both black and white sesame seeds and sea salt.
- Gently fold all ingredients with a fork.Then place it back in the refrigerator.
- Meanwhile julienne one sheet of sushi nori, about 1/2 inch strips and set aside.
- Using a sharp knife, fan out one avocado.
- Assemble as you wish. Keeping tuna, nori, avocado, and cucumbers separated.
- Top it all with "Sexy Scallions", lime zest over the tuna and chili flakes over the diced cucumbers.