This recipe for Homemade Spicy Ahi Tuna Poke Bowl features delicious marinated tuna fish on top of sushi rice, topped with fresh cucumber, avocado, and wakame salad.
This recipe first appeared on Sift & Simmer in June 2019. Updated July 2021.
I love poke bowls.
Bowls of rice topped with fresh fish and vegetables -- what's not to love?
Why you'll love this recipe
This delicious Hawaiian staple is healthy, tasty, and delicious.
It's so easy to make too!
All you need is some quality fresh fish, sushi rice, and your favourite toppings.
You can easily customize the bowl with whatever you like.
My recipe features fresh, marinated spicy ahi tuna, on sticky sushi rice.
It's drizzled with a light ponzu dressing, and served with a homemade wakame seaweed salad and my favourite veggies.
What is poke?
Poke is a Native dish to Hawaii.
Traditionally, fishermen would take the raw off-cuts of fish and season it with various Asian/Japanese flavours such as soy, sesame, green onions, seaweed and eat it as a snack.
Octopus (he'e in Hawaiian or tako in Japanese) is also another common seafood ingredient used in poke preparation.
Poke can be marinated or non-marinated.
Disclaimer: Consuming raw or undercooked meats, poultry, seafood, shellfish or eggs may increase your risk of foodborne illness.
Ingredients you'll need
For the spicy ahi tuna:
- ahi tuna: you'll need to find "sushi grade" ahi tuna, which is fish that has been previously frozen to kill off any parasites. (Technically, there's no such thing as "sushi grade" -- it's just whatever the shop deems safe to consume "as sashimi.")*
- Maui onion: has a sweeter, milder taste; if you can't find it, you can use red/purple onion instead
- green onion: adds a little punch of sharpness to the marinade
- light soy sauce: adds salty flavour to the tuna
- rice vinegar: adds a little tang and acidity; if you don't have rice vinegar, you can use a splash of apple cider vinegar or white vinegar
- sesame oil: use a toasted sesame oil; adds a little nutty aroma and flavour to the tuna
- Thai chili: also known as bird's eye chili -- finely diced; if you can't tolerate spice, you can omit it
- chili powder: adds a little spice to the tuna; if you can't tolerate spice, you can omit it
- sushi rice: is a short-grained sticky rice used for making sushi; but you can use whatever rice you like
- ponzu: is a citrus-soy sauce that you can find in Asian/Japanese grocery stores; if you can't find it, you can use soy sauce with a little squeeze of lime/lemon
- wakame seaweed: is a seaweed salad flavoured with some aromatics that pairs well with poke; I made my own, but you can use a store-bought version if you like
*It's best to talk to your fishmonger for guidance on which fish is safe to use in this type of application. (Vancouver locals, I used the ahi tuna from Fresh Ideas Start Here -- which is the same one that they use for their own poke bar).
If you're still not completely on board with eating raw fish, you can always sear the surface of the entire ahi tuna before slicing into small cubes, aburi-style.
You can find most of the ingredients for this recipe in an Asian supermarket.
How to make it
Prepare the ahi tuna:
Carefully rinse the ahi tuna under cold running water.
Place the ahi tuna on a clean cutting board.
Pat the ahi tuna dry with paper towel. Cut into ½" cubes.
Place the cubed ahi tuna into a clean glass bowl.
To the ahi tuna, add in the diced onion, green onion, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, and chili and chili powder (if you can't tolerate heat, you can omit the chili/powder).
Gently mix the ahi tuna with the marinade.
The ahi tuna will soften slightly as it marinates in the soy mixture.
Let it marinate overnight, or a minimum of 6 hours. (The longer the tuna sits in the marinade, the more flavourful it will be).
How to store
Store the marinated ahi tuna in an airtight, non-reactive container in the fridge for up to 2 days.
It's best to keep each component for the poke bowl separately, until ready to serve.
How to serve
Serve the marinated spicy ahi tuna on cooked or crispy sushi rice, with various toppings in a poke bowl, or you can enjoy it on its own as a snack.
Topping ideas & variations
There are lots of toppings and variations as to what can go into a poke bowl.
Try switching out the ponzu sauce for a spicy mayo sauce.
Add fruit such as pineapple or mango.
Pair the tuna with a different type of carb such as brown rice or quinoa.
Or try zucchini noodles.
You can experiment with using smoked salmon or an aburi-style (torched) salmon if you don't like raw fish.
Other recipes you may like
You may like these other recipes:
If you try my Homemade Spicy Ahi Tuna Poke Bowl recipe, let me know! I'd love to see it! Tag me on Instagram @siftandsimmer or leave me a comment/rating below.
Homemade Spicy Ahi Tuna Poke Bowls
For accuracy and precision in baking recipes, use weight (metric) measurements when available.
Spicy Ahi tuna
- 1 lb ahi tuna steak "sushi grade"
- ½ Maui onion diced finely (or red onion)
- ¼ C green onion chopped
- 3 tablespoon light soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 Thai chili finely diced
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- 2 C sushi rice cooked
- 1 tablespoon ponzu citrus soy dressing
- ¼ C wakame seaweed
- 1 avocado cubed
- ¼ cucumber sliced
- crispy jalapenos
- sesame seeds
- furikake seasoning
Prepare the ahi tuna:
- Carefully rinse the ahi tuna under cold running water.
- Place the ahi tuna on a clean cutting board. Pat the ahi tuna dry with paper towel. Cut into ½" cubes.
- Place the cubed ahi tuna into a clean glass bowl.
- To the ahi tuna, add in the diced onion, green onion, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, and chili and chili powder (if you can't tolerate heat, you can omit the chili/powder).
- Gently mix the ahi tuna with the marinade. The ahi tuna will soften slightly as it marinates in the soy mixture.
- Let it marinate overnight, or a minimum of 6 hours.
- Scoop about 1 C cooked rice into a bowl.
- Add marinated ahi tuna and toppings such as cucumber, avocado, seaweed.
- Drizzle with ponzu over top. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and furkake seasoning if desired. Serve immediately.
The nutritional information provided should be considered as approximate and is not guaranteed. Please use your best judgment to ensure food is safely prepared and/or a good fit for your diet.