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Love sushi? Me too! But here’s something from my hometown Honolulu that’s taking the mainland, especially California, by storm… Hawaiian poke bowls.
What is a poke bowl? Well, first of all it’s pronounced po-kay (like “okay”). Poke is a Hawaiian dish (and Japanese-inspired) dish made with raw fish (usually ahi tuna or salmon, sesame oil, green onions and Hawaiian salt. In a nutshell, it’s like a raw fish salad. There are a lot of variations – some with soy sauce (shoyu) and spicy mayo, others with local delicacies like limu, a type of seaweed. Poke means “cut into small pieces”, which is exactly how the fish is prepared – cut into bite-sized pieces.
So locals in Hawaii will eat poke ALL THE TIME. Whether you’re going to a tailgate or a birthday party, every occasion calls for poke. It’s sold at Costco, convenience stores and pretty much every grocery store on the islands.
Now here in the mainland, there’s a twist on poke… it’s called the poke bowl. While in Hawaii, poke is enjoyed straight from the container with a side of rice, in the mainland poke is served in a bowl with rice and other toppings. In fact, here in San Diego there are poke bowl shops all over and served up Chipotle-style where you can choose your base (rice or salad greens), type of poke (ahi, salmon, octopus), and toppings.
We love to eat poke at least once a week. But just this week my husband went deep sea fishing and caught 30 lbs of ahi tuna, and the first thing I thought was ALL THE POKE BOWLS and I need to come up with an easy recipe to share with all of you so you can make it at home too.
So who’s ready how to learn Homemade Ahi Tuna Poke Bowls?!
Gluten Free Swaps
Try Coconut Aminos – a soy sauce alternative that’s derived from coconuts and both soy free and gluten free – and Organicville Sky Valley Sriacha hot sauce – a gluten free and preservative free Asian hot sauce. Both sauces serve as a base for many of my own Asian meals as well as those below. Check out other ideas for gluten free swaps for other favorite foods.
Where to Get Kitchen Pantry Essentials
I get my other kitchen pantry supplies like sea salt, black pepper, spices, coconut oil, and other essentials either on Amazon or my local health food store usually. But then I got a Thrive membership. If you don’t already have one – it’s awesome! It’s like Whole Foods meets Costco. Bob’s Red Mill baking soda, for instance, is about $3 at my local health food store and $6 on Amazon. But it’s only $2.03 (YES!) on Thrive Market. Great deal right? And the raw honey?! Don’t even get me started how much that costs at the health food store. But on Thrive Market it’s just $5.45 for a 10.5 oz jar of raw honey.
Sign up for a Thrive Market membership and get an extra 20% off your first 3 orders!
Easy Ahi Tuna Poke Bowl
About the Fish
The ahi tuna is the star of this recipe. Opt for sushi- or sashimi-grade ahi tuna (or yellowfin or bluefin tuna) from the market. This means it is meant for raw consumption. You may even want to look for sushi-grade ahi tuna that was previously frozen to cut down the risk of parasites (which are common in fish). Here’s more information on how to choose sushi-grade ahi tuna.
This is a quick meal you can make in less than 30 minutes. You can even make the rice while you prep the toppings for the poke bowl.
- 1 lb sushi-grade ahi tuna, cut into 1/2 to 3/4-inch cubes
- 3 tbsp Tamari (gluten-free soy sauce) or Coconut Aminos
- 1 1/2 tbsp sesame oil
- 1-2 tsp Sriracha
- 1 tsp rice vinegar or white vinegar
- 2 stalks green onions, sliced
- 2 cups white rice, cooked
- OPTIONAL: salad greens (like baby kale), sliced cucumbers, avocado, shredded carrots, furikake (sesame seed and seaweed seasoning), dried seaweed, toasted garlic, toasted sesame seeds
- In a mixing bowl, add tuna, sesame oil, rice vinegar, Tamari or Coconut Aminos and Sriracha. Stir well and leave on the side to assemble poke bowls immediately, or store in the refrigerator until ready.
- To assemble poke bowls, add 1/2 cup rice to a bowl, then top with salad greens, 1/4 poke mixture, green onions and your favorite toppings.
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