Ahi tuna poke bowls are a fresh, fast, and filling take on the Hawaiian dish with rice, veg, and a spicy mayo drizzle.
Yes, I know it’s fall.
Apparently, y’all don’t care. You want poke all year long.
How do I know? Because that’s what you voted for on Instagram. Which you should be following me on. Because…food. And wisdom. I like handing you guys nuggets of wisdom when they pop into my head. Also delicious nuggets of chicken. Or, in this case, tuna. Mm!
What is a poke bowl?
Poké (pronounced Po-Kay) means “Cut or slice”, and poke itself is a Hawaiian snack of fresh, raw sushi grade fish, usually tuna, chopped into bite sized pieces then marinated in all kinds of good stuff like spices, soy sauce, sesame oil, and more.
So a poke bowl is usually rice in a bowl and topped with that flavorful marinated raw tuna poke (or salmon poke, which I love!). It also has other delicious toppings like seaweed salad, tobiko or masago, green onions, diced up fruit and vegetables like mango and cucumber, sesame seeds, nori strips, furikake (a Japanese seasoning made with nori), bean sprouts, eel sauce, pickled ginger, the list goes on and on.
You could think of it like a raw fish salad or like deconstructed sushi rolls. All that sushi goodness that’s wrapped up in a roll is on display right there in your bowl, with none of the fuss of being an expert sushi chef.
My personal favorite poke bowl is made with sushi rice, topped with the tuna poke, cubed mango, tobiko, avocado slices, green onion, some nori, and eel sauce and spicy mayo sauce. So good!
In fact, I also have the spicy mayo recipe with this post so if you want to try it, or you love spicy tuna just as much as I do, this is a homemade spicy mayo that tastes just like the ones in the restaurants.
Are tuna poke bowls gluten free or diet friendly?
The poke you’ll get in most restaurants is not gluten-free! Soy sauce and rice vinegar both contain gluten. So to make your homemade tuna poke gluten free, use plain white rice -or brown rice to stay on that healthy route- instead of sushi rice, and use tamari or coconut aminos in lieu of regular soy sauce.
You can even make your tuna poke bowl Keto/Paleo by swapping the rice for cauliflower rice and using the tamari or coconut aminos!
How to make poke bowls.
How do I choose the fish for poke bowls at the grocery store?
Safety first! Always, always, make sure to choose sashimi grade or sushi grade fish. At the market, the packaging will say that it is sushi/sashimi grade, meaning it’s been previously frozen in a certain way that helps kill any parasites that may live in fish. If you don’t have a fishmonger you trust nearby, your local Whole Foods store may carry it, though at higher prices than the local fish market.
Making the ahi tuna poke bowls
Use your raw tuna the day of. Raw fish is best eaten as soon as possible. But this poke bowl recipe is so good, that there’ll be no leftovers anyway!
You’re going to chop your fresh tuna into bite sized pieces, toss it in a bowl with the marinade ingredients, and let it marinate for about 10 to 15 minutes.
I like adding red pepper flakes for a bit of spice, but it’s totally optional. I wouldn't season with salt, simply because soy sauce is already really salty. If you are serving a crowd, do the marinating in a large serving bowl so you can toss it all together easily. and let the tuna really mingle with all those marinade flavors.
Add the marinated fish to a bowl of room temperature sushi rice, and add on your favorite toppings.
Boom, your ahi tuna poke bowl is ready to be enjoyed! It’s a perfect summertime lunch or dinner, since there’s no cooking required other than steaming some rice, which if you can swap out for things like zoodles or even leave out entirely.
I like to think of poke bowls as super healthy regardless since tuna and salmon are full of omega-3 fatty acids and are pretty lean, not to mention all the fruit, vegetables, array of different seaweeds, sprouts, and so on.
For more delicious seafood recipes, checkout:
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- 10 oz sushi-grade ahi tuna, diced into bite sized cubes
- ¼ cup (59 mL) low sodium soy sauce
- 1 tsp (5 mL) rice vinegar
- ½ tsp (3 mL) toasted sesame oil
- 2-3 cups (636 g) cooked and chilled long grain white rice or sushi rice
- ¼ cup (58 g) mayonnaise*
- 2 tsp-2 tbsp (12 g-37 g) sriracha sauce
- ½ tsp (3 mL) toasted sesame oil
- Squeeze of lemon juice
- Red pepper flakes
- Tobiko, fish roe
- Sesame Seeds
- Nori, jullienned
- Mango chunks
- Anything you want
- In a large bowl, whisk together soy sauce, rice vinegar, and toasted sesame oil. Add in tuna and gently stir to cover the tuna in the marinade. Set the bowl of marinating tuna aside for 10-15 minutes and prepare toppings.
- To make spicy mayo, whisk together mayonnaise, sriracha sauce, toasted sesame oil, and lemon juice in a small bowl. Pour into a squeeze bottle or keep in the small bowl, wrapped in plastic wrap. Keep in fridge until ready to serve.
- To serve, scoop a healthy serving of sushi rice into your serving bowls, about one cup of rice per person. Add the marinated tuna and your prepared toppings to your poke bowl, then drizzle with the spicy mayo.
- Eat immediately.
- Sushi Grade tuna is necessary, as this dish is raw. You can also substitute sushi-grade salmon for the tuna.
- Fresh sushi-grade tuna should be eaten the day of for safety reasons. This ahi tuna poke recipe does not make good leftovers, which is why this recipe makes for 2-3 servings. Adjust the amount of tuna and marinade for more servings.
- Kewpie brand Japanese mayonnaise is preferred, but regular store-bought mayonnaise or even homemade mayonnaise works very well.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 3 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 421Total Fat: 36gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 30gCholesterol: 64mgSodium: 240mgCarbohydrates: 120gFiber: 11gSugar: 5gProtein: 32g
Eden Westbrook is the recipe developer, writer, and photographer behind Sweet Tea and Thyme. A classically trained chef, Eden has inspired home cooks into the kitchen with cultural comfort foods, easy family-friendly eats and sweets, and glorious spreads for date night and entertaining since 2015.