One of Hawaii’s most popular dishes, feast on a killer mix of fresh raw tuna and veggies.
Paul L. Underwood 1 / 3
Poke bowls are so popular in their home state of Hawaii that even liquor stores sell them fresh. But unless you’ve spent time in the Aloha State, you probably haven’t heard of them. That’s about to change. The term poke (POH-kay) means to section, slice, or cut. And that’s exactly what you’re getting with a poke bowl—a raw salad that combines tuna with fresh veggies and a bed of grains such as brown rice. Together, the bowl contains everything you want after a big workout: protein, fiber, and good fats—with hardly any calories. With poke spots popping up all over the country, we asked Drew Crane, co-founder of Wisefish Poké in NYC, for a quick tutorial on making our own.
Traditionally, Hawaiian fishermen made poke by mixing cubed tuna with seaweed, salt, and sweet Maui onions. The humble snack has taken myriad forms since then, but today, when most people think of poke, they think of a variation called shoyu, says Crane. It contains tuna, sesame oil, and tamari shoyu (fermented soy sauce). For a more buttery umami flavor, swap the tuna for tako (octopus).
Ingredients 1 lb fresh ahi tuna 3 tbsp tamari shoyu 1 tbsp sesame oil 1 tbsp chili oil 1/3 cup sweet onion, chopped fine 1/2 tsp grated ginger 1 tsp oyster sauce 1/4 cup scallions, julienned or chopped 1 avocado, cubed Toasted sesame seeds, to taste
Directions 1) Pat ahi dry. Using a sharp knife, slice fish into uniform 1/2-inch cubes. 2) In a medium-size bowl, mix together shoyu, sesame oil, chili oil, onion, ginger and oyster sauce. Add ahi cubes and cover with the marinade mixture, folding everything together until fish is fully coated. “Put the bowl in the refrigerator and let the fish marinate for 35 to 45 minutes,” Crane says. 3) Top with scallions, avocado, and sesame seeds. Or don’t, says Crane: “Poke is like salad—toss in whatever suits you.”
If you’re jonesing for a dish with more of a fiery kick, jack up the heat with the Japanese-inflected addition of mayo, sriracha sauce, and shichimi togarashi, a time-honored mix of seven spices from the Land of the Rising Sun. “The flavor will remind sushi fans of spicy tuna rolls,” Crane says. Top it off with masago—the roe of the capelin, a small Arctic fish—and this popular Japanese-Hawaiian hybrid is complete. (Just don’t call it a sushi bowl.)
Ingredients 1 lb fresh ahi 1 tbsp tamari shoyu 1 tsp sesame oil 2 tbsp mayo 2 tbsp sriracha 1 tsp shichimi togarashi 1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice 1/4 cup scallions, chopped 1 tsp masago 1/3 cup sweet onion 1 avocado, cubed Toasted sesame seeds, to taste
Directions 1) Prep and cut ahi as described in the previous recipe. 2) After 30 minutes, add shoyu, sesame oil, mayo, sriracha, shichimi togarashi, lemon juice, scallions, masago, and sweet onion. Toss until coated with spicy mayo sauce. 3) Add mix-ins. “You can go beyond soy- based sauces,” says Crane. “Like olive oil and lemon juice.”