Tuna Poke (pronounced poke-ay)

Tuna Poke

Here’s a recipe that draws its heritage from the the tropical islands of Hawaii. It’s been decades since my last visit and I wasn’t even introduced to Hawaiian cuisine till I lived in San Jose, but I’ve become quite a fan of the regional food that quite possibly started the “asian fusion” movement.

For those of you that are from other parts of the world, Hawaii is a blend of people from just about everywhere, including such disparate groups as the Native Americans, Japanese, Germans, and the native Hawaiian population, so it stands to reason that the food reflects a melding of various ancestries with the abundant bounties of the rain forests and surrounding sea.

This dish is my take on on this island classic, combining the asian flavors with some local springtime ramps. The sweet soy sauce, nutty sesame oil and garlicy ramps work harmoniously with the satiny tuna to create something refreshing, exotic and comforting all at the same time.

Best of all, there’s not much work involved beyond a bit of chopping and stirring, perfect for a hot summer day. Because shape doesn’t really matter I usually go for the cheaper “kiriotoshi” cuts of the tuna, These are the bits that get cut off when the store shapes the tuna into perfect blocks to sell as sashimi.

1/2 lbs. sashimi grade blue fin tuna cut into cubes
4 ramp leaves cut into a chiffonade (if you can’t get ramps, use scallions)
1/4 C rehydrated seaweed (I used wakame, but you could use just about anything)
2 tsp toasted sesame seeds
2 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp sugar

Best quality sea salt you have (fleur de sel and Alaea both work, I used cherry wood smoked salt)

Toss all the ingredients (except the salt) in a bowl and stir to combine.

Plate and sprinkle a little sea salt on top. Serve with a bowl of rice.

  • http://www.hungryandfrozen.blogspot.com/ Laura @ Hungry and Frozen

    Wow, blogging up a storm :) I see you are getting lots of use out of those ramps. This sounds delicious – I love sesame oil, it’s one of my favourite flavourings.

  • http://www.hungryandfrozen.blogspot.com Laura @ Hungry and Frozen

    Wow, blogging up a storm :) I see you are getting lots of use out of those ramps. This sounds delicious – I love sesame oil, it’s one of my favourite flavourings.

  • http://www.justgetfloury.blogspot.com/ Ginny

    Looks great! I’ve never heard of ramp…always nice to learn something new! :)

  • http://www.justgetfloury.blogspot.com/ Ginny

    Looks great! I’ve never heard of ramp…always nice to learn something new! :)

  • http://mylifeisyummy.blogspot.com/ LINA

    I love all of your asian inspired recipes! This dish looks wonderful. I’ve never been to Hawaii before but hope to visit one day and try poke!

  • http://mylifeisyummy.blogspot.com LINA

    I love all of your asian inspired recipes! This dish looks wonderful. I’ve never been to Hawaii before but hope to visit one day and try poke!

  • http://madehealthier.com/ Lori

    Aloha from Hawaii! Good job on that poke – looks just like the one I had for lunch this weekend. :)

  • http://madehealthier.com Lori

    Aloha from Hawaii! Good job on that poke – looks just like the one I had for lunch this weekend. :)

  • http://TheRecipeGirl.blogspot.com/ RecipeGirl

    This sort of dish looks like something my husband would really, really like. I still have fear of eating tuna raw. I’m not really much of a sushi gal. I guess I need to be a little more adventurous in that area!!

  • http://TheRecipeGirl.blogspot.com RecipeGirl

    This sort of dish looks like something my husband would really, really like. I still have fear of eating tuna raw. I’m not really much of a sushi gal. I guess I need to be a little more adventurous in that area!!

  • http://stickygooeycreamychewy.blogspot.com/ Susan at Sticky,Gooey,Creamy,C

    I had to take a minute from drooling over cheesecake to drool over this. It looks fantastic! It might take me a while to find the sashimi grade fish, but when I do, this will be tops on my list!

  • http://stickygooeycreamychewy.blogspot.com Susan at Sticky,Gooey,Creamy,Chewy

    I had to take a minute from drooling over cheesecake to drool over this. It looks fantastic! It might take me a while to find the sashimi grade fish, but when I do, this will be tops on my list!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05752371044060690705 cakewardrobe

    All your dishes are so fresh! I want to dive in this second!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05752371044060690705 cakewardrobe

    All your dishes are so fresh! I want to dive in this second!

  • http://canarygirl.com/ canarygirl

    Found my way over here from Tastespotting…Oh my…this looks absolutely incredible! I hadn’t heard of ramp before, I’ll have to look for it. :)

  • http://canarygirl.com canarygirl

    Found my way over here from Tastespotting…Oh my…this looks absolutely incredible! I hadn’t heard of ramp before, I’ll have to look for it. :)

  • http://soyandpepper.com/ Nilmandra

    Love this recipe. So simple and refreshing, I’ll note down this for summer! For some reason the Hawaiian fusion element reminds me of spam musubi.

  • http://soyandpepper.com/ Nilmandra

    Love this recipe. So simple and refreshing, I’ll note down this for summer! For some reason the Hawaiian fusion element reminds me of spam musubi.

  • http://closetcooking.blogspot.com/ Kevin

    That looks like a simple and yet tasty way to enjoy some tuna!

  • http://closetcooking.blogspot.com/ Kevin

    That looks like a simple and yet tasty way to enjoy some tuna!

  • marc

    Thanks Laura, Ginny and Lina!

    Aloha Lori, glad to get a Hawaiian’s seal of approval:-)

    Recipegirl, tuna is usually a pretty good gateway fish for those not into sushi. It’s not fishy at all (if it’s fresh) it’s got a relatively firm texture.

    Susan, If you do a search for “sashimi grade tuna” on Google you should find a number of places that will ship you sashimi grade tuna packed in dry ice. I’ve never bought from any of them so I’m hesitant to recommend one, but there are lots to choose from.

    Thanks cakewardrobe and canarygirl!

    Nilmandra, me too. Although I’m sure this construes culinary blasphemy I’d have to say that spam musubi doesn’t taste as bad as it sounds.

    Kevin, tuna is a bit tame for my adventurous sushi eating ways, but this is a great way to add some life to it.

  • marc

    Thanks Laura, Ginny and Lina!

    Aloha Lori, glad to get a Hawaiian’s seal of approval:-)

    Recipegirl, tuna is usually a pretty good gateway fish for those not into sushi. It’s not fishy at all (if it’s fresh) it’s got a relatively firm texture.

    Susan, If you do a search for “sashimi grade tuna” on Google you should find a number of places that will ship you sashimi grade tuna packed in dry ice. I’ve never bought from any of them so I’m hesitant to recommend one, but there are lots to choose from.

    Thanks cakewardrobe and canarygirl!

    Nilmandra, me too. Although I’m sure this construes culinary blasphemy I’d have to say that spam musubi doesn’t taste as bad as it sounds.

    Kevin, tuna is a bit tame for my adventurous sushi eating ways, but this is a great way to add some life to it.

  • Pixie

    If I could get hold of sushi grade tuna I would be trying this in a heartbeat. Looks fantastic!

  • http://yousaytomatoisaytomato.blogspot Pixie

    If I could get hold of sushi grade tuna I would be trying this in a heartbeat. Looks fantastic!

  • http://newlywedcooking.blogspot.com/ sharon

    Gorgeous picture! If I can find some good, fresh tuna I’m definitely making this. It’s too hot to turn on the oven/stove.

  • http://newlywedcooking.blogspot.com sharon

    Gorgeous picture! If I can find some good, fresh tuna I’m definitely making this. It’s too hot to turn on the oven/stove.

  • http://www.noblepig.com/ noble pig

    The things I learn from blogging. Thank you.

  • http://www.noblepig.com/ noble pig

    The things I learn from blogging. Thank you.

  • http://foodwoolf.blogspot.com/ Foodwoolf

    Wow, what a great ramp recipe!

    This is my first time at your website and it looks AMAZING! Thank you for leaving me such a nice note and bringing my attention to your beautiful website.

    cheers!
    Brooke

  • http://foodwoolf.blogspot.com Foodwoolf

    Wow, what a great ramp recipe!

    This is my first time at your website and it looks AMAZING! Thank you for leaving me such a nice note and bringing my attention to your beautiful website.

    cheers!
    Brooke

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  • DanC

    My favorite Poki Bowl ever is at Dai Chan in Los Angeles. Its actually in the valley off of Ventura Blvd. It is to die for. I now live in NYC and can not find anywhere that makes one. I’ve googled for hours and hours trying. Since Dai Chan won’t give up their recipe, I turned to the internet. And this recipe is spot on. Thanks for the post!

  • KD

    Salt info & tuna poke. And you lived in San Jose too boot (a bit of Hawaiian stuff here). Seriously need you to be in Hawaii to get your take on Asian/Hawaiian recipes! I wait w/bated hungry breath.

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