You may remember that when Dan and I were in Paris last year, we almost exclusively ate bread and cheese for every meal – not because we didn’t have any other options, but because the stuff was so fresh and delicious. In Oahu, we fell back into our single-food-focused ways, only this time our obsession was with poke instead of bread.
Like acai bowls, poke was on offer everywhere we went. Not just in restaurants – even grocery stores had a ton of different pokes for sale. Like, so many different kinds of poke! Imagine a deli counter, but with marinated raw fish instead of cold cuts and potato salad. It was glorious.
There was crab poke, salmon poke, clam poke, squid/octopus poke (I think?), and a half dozen different ahi tuna pokes. By far our favorite (based on total volume consumed) was the shoyu ahi poke, which was basically just fresh, raw tuna marinated in soy sauce with some raw onion and seasonings.
So simple, but absolutely packed with flavor. Served on a steaming bed of white or brown rice, it was definitely one of the best things we ate on vacation. So, of course, we ate it repeatedly. Raw fish is health food, right?
I was actually pretty surprised by how much I enjoyed the ahi tuna poke, given how little I like tuna when we go out for sushi. Generally, I’m more of a salmon gal. But the tuna we ate in Hawaii was amazing. So fresh and flavorful. So addicting. Better than any sushi I’ve ever had!
And, you know what? It was super cheap, too – half a pound of poke + rice only set us back like $7. Which is why when I sent Dan to Wegman’s this weekend for some ahi tuna steaks, the $33/lb price tag almost gave me a heart attack. $33 for one measly pound of fish?!?!?! Ugh.
If it weren’t so @#$)%*@$!* expensive to get fresh, sashimi-grade tuna here in Virginia, I would absolutely make poke every week of the summer. It’s delicious, it’s healthy, it’s satisfying yet not overly filling – basically, the perfect hot weather food. Every savory bite of this lunch took me straight back to paradise (aka Hawaii).
And did I mention already how easy this recipe was? Slice up some tuna, stick it in a bowl with soy sauce + onions + seasonings, let everything marinate for an hour in the fridge, and…that’s it!
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- 1 lb fresh ahi (sashimi grade), cut into bite-sized cubes
- 3 tbsp soy sauce (aka "shoyu")
- 1 tbsp oyster sauce
- ¼ cup green onions, chopped
- ⅓ cup sweet yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- ½ tsp ground ginger (or fresh, grated, if you have it)
- ½ tbsp minced garlic
- Sesame seeds, to garnish
- Cooked white rice, to serve
- Avocado, to serve (optional)
- In a small bowl, whisk together your soy sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil, ginger, and garlic.
- Add chopped green onion and sweet yellow onion slices to the soy sauce mixture, and stir to combine.
- Place ahi tuna cubes in a large bowl and pour the soy sauce/onion mixture over the cubes.
- Stir gently (or use your hands) to evenly coat each piece of fish with the sauce/marinade.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.
- To serve, scoop poke into a bowl over steamed rice (+ cubed avocado, if desired), with sesame seeds sprinkled on top.
(Slightly adapted from Fix Feast Flair’s recipe)