As acai bowls have become mainstream, spreading from niche juice shops and hippie-vibe cafés to Jamba Juice, poke is the bowl food to watch for. A traditional Hawaiian seafood preparation – take bite-size pieces of raw fish like ahi tuna, salmon, or octopus, marinade it in soy sauce and in essence you have poke (pronounced POH-keh) – poke was (and continues to be) a major trend in the Los Angeles dining scene last year.
While your neighborhood might not yet have its own build-your-own-poke-bowl spot, it’s easy to get in on this delicious trend. Similar to a Japanese chirashi bowl, poke bowls are much simpler to assemble than they may seem. Whisk together a simple soy-sesame marinade, cube up avocado and sushi-grade tuna, gently toss it all together, and serve the poke over room-temperature rice. Add-ins are fun – we’re partial to seaweed salad and pickled ginger, for their ease and intensity of flavor – but aren’t necessary for enjoyment.
We suggest bookmarking (or pinning) this recipe for the next time you want to impress with a minimum of effort (really, the shopping is the most crucial part here). Or, halve the recipe and treat yourself to a light, but decadent-seeming dinner.
Cut the tuna and avocado into bite-size pieces (roughly 3/4-inch). Many grocery store sushi counters sell seaweed salad; if you can’t find it, it’s not essential to the dish. Sushi-grade salmon can be substituted for the tuna, if you prefer a milder fish.
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon sesame seeds, plus more for garnish
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 pound sushi-grade ahi tuna, cubed
- 2-3 scallions, thinly sliced
- 1 avocado
- For serving:
- Cooked brown rice, at room temperature
- Seaweed salad, optional
- Pickled ginger, optional
- Whisk together the soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil and seeds, and red pepper flakes in a medium mixing bowl. Add the cubed tuna and scallions, gently stir together to dress the tuna. Marinade for 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, pit and cube the avocado (the chunks should be of a similar size to the tuna. Add to the tuna, and gently mix together to distribute the avocado.
- To serve, scoop rice into bowls, top with tuna poke, seaweed salad, and a few pieces of pickled ginger.
- Main Dishes
- Serves 2-3