Poke is everywhere – you can’t eat out without seeing a poke bowl or appetizer on the menu. Pronounced PO-kay, this very hot (yet very raw) beautiful food trend is actually based on a centuries-old, classic Hawaiian dish.
Poke is simply spiced raw fish. Found in supermarkets throughout the Hawaiian Islands, poke is raw fish with any of a huge range of seasonings and vegetables. It’s generally served over rice, but you’ll also see it served over a variety of noodles, over greens as a salad, with wonton crisps as an appetizer, etc.
As my 12-year-old so sagely observed, served over rice, a poke bowl is very much like sushi deconstructed, but with the addition of a bit more dressing and spice.
After a Florida spring training adventure (Go Cardinals!), I knew I had to give poke a try at home, if only to see if I could rival the yummy dishes we enjoyed everywhere. (Spoiler alert ... I could rival restaurant poke, which means you can too!).
Let me say this – The reviews around my table were pure raves! The gorgeous combination of flavors makes a healthy and colorful meal that has that certain something extra that leaves you feeling perfectly satisfied!
This poke bowl is a combination of four key elements: jasmine rice, a slightly spicy shoyu (soy sauce) dressing, a few fresh vegetables and raw, cubed yellowfin tuna.
If you have time to make rice, the rest of the dish can be prepared while the rice cooks, making this an incredibly quick meal, particularly given how impressive and delicious it is.
Yellowfin Tuna Poke Bowl
1/2 to 1 large jalapeno
2 tablespoons black sesame seeds
3 tablespoons good-quality soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
½ teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1 teaspoon sesame oil
4 small Persian cucumbers (or 1/3 large English cucumber)
2 5.5oz steaks Wild Pacific Yellowfin Tuna, thawed
2 small ripe avocados
Jasmine rice to serve 4 guests (or similar)
First, start your jasmine rice. In the 30 minutes it takes to cook and rest the rice, you can prepare the rest of this recipe.
Gently toast the black sesame seeds in a dry skillet over medium-low heat until just fragrant, about 4 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Mince ½ to 1 large jalapeno, using some or all of the seeds depending on how spicy you prefer this dish. I used ½ large jalapeno with the seeds, which was just a bit spicy without considerable heat.
Thinly slice the white and light green portions of the scallions. Combine the jalapeno and scallions in a large bowl, then add soy sauce, rice vinegar, fresh lemon juice, grated ginger and sesame oil. Whisk to combine.
Thinly slice the cucumbers (I don’t peel them, as the peel is so thin) and stir into the dressing and let rest. This gives the cucumbers a lightly pickled flavor.
Once the rice is finished, divide it equally between bowls or plates. Cut the avocados into ½-inch pieces.
Cut the yellowfin tuna into ½-inch pieces and gently combine with the dressing. Spoon tuna, cucumber and a bit of dressing over each the bowl of rice, then top with avocado and garnish with toasted black sesame seeds. Serve immediately.
Adapted from content initially published by Vital Choice Wild Seafood & Organics.