How to make an easy ahi poke salad [Tuna Poke Bowl]

Ahi Poke salad is an American-based cuisine that originated as a Hawaiian Street Food and has become a very popular food trend.

Poke bowls can be prepared gluten-free, nut-free, dairy-free, and egg-free based on what sauces, toppings, and mix-ins you include. There’s a little something for everyone here.

Poke is also great for meal prep since you can prepare it up to two days in advance for the raw fish versions. This guideline moves up to as long as four days for the cooked varieties.

A pin image A delicious and healthy Tuna Poke Bowl Recipe. This Hawaiian inspired food trend packs all the flavors of sushi into a convenient and easy to make bowl made with rice, fish, and a variety of delicious toppings and sauces!

The poke cafe that serves poke bowls near me has a long list of toppings and the chef will build it for you with all the toppings you select.

If you have a hard time deciding, there is also a poke bowl menu full of classic combinations to choose from but even these bowls are customizable.

Traditional Hawaiian poke bowls contain flavors influenced by Japanese and Korean influences. The flavors include soy sauce, green onions, and sesame oil.

What is Ahi Poke Salad Sushi Bowl?

This poke bowl recipe is made with ahi tuna, sticky sushi rice, carrots, cucumber, edamame, avocado topped with plenty of spicy sriracha sauce and crispy fried onions.

It’s the perfect combination of salty, spicy, crunchy, and chewy.

A bowl of shrimp poke with avocado, edamame, seaweed salad, shredded carrots, cucumbers, crispy fried onions, and a drizzle of sriracha sauce.

How Do You Pronounce Poke Bowl?

Poke is pronounced phonetically like po-keh and rhymes with okay. Okay, Poke!

Poke means “to cut or slice” in Hawaiian and usually refers to raw, marinated fish, usually ahi tuna, which is then served over rice and topped with vegetables and sauces.

See the variations section on how to build an endless supply of poke bowls to fit your family’s individual tastes.

A 3/4 photo of a bowl of tuna poke with avocado, edamame, seaweed salad, shredded carrots, cucumbers, jalapenos and a drizzle of sriracha sauce.

Are Poke Bowls Healthy?

This is a trick question. For the most part, Poke bowls are pretty healthy but the full determination of how healthy any poke bowl is depends upon what toppings, sauces, or bases are added to the bowl.

However, as a general rule, they are pretty healthy. A basic poke recipe, including tuna and white sushi rice, is packed with a high amount of high-quality lean protein and good fats, especially the Omega-3.

Ahi Poke Bowl Calories

Ahi Tuna Poke bowl calories are very individual to what you add to your poke bowl and in what quantity.

For this recipe, it is 210 calories per serving before the addition of the toppings and includes a portion of the sushi rice. If you opt for a salad, the calorie count will be less.

A bowl of seaweed salad. The ingredients list included wheat. Omit seaweed salad if you are allergic to wheat.
Seaweed Salad – ingredients included wheat. Check labels for GF dishes.

Homemade Poke Bowl Ingredients:

With poke bowls, you have complete freedom of customization. It’s your poke bowl, dress it up with all your favorite ingredients. Here is a list of optional ingredients

  • Soy Sauce – regular, low-sodium, or gluten-free
  • Chili Paste – hot or sweet
  • Gochujang – Korean Chili paste
  • Sesame Oil
  • Toasted Sesame Seeds
  • Green Onions (Scallions)
  • Minced Garlic
  • Ginger Root
  • Ahi Tuna
  • Sushi Rice
  • Sriracha Sauce
  • Sriracha Sauce
  • Sliced Avocado
  • Seaweed Salad
  • Edamame
  • Diced Cucumbers
  • Crispy Fried Onions
  • Crispy fried Wonton or Tortilla Strips
  • Pickled Ginger
  • Diced Jalapenos
  • Shredded Carrot
  • Masago – fish eggs
An image of Tamari - organic and less sodium. Tamari is a gluten-free soy sauce.
Tamari – Gluten Free Soy Sauce

What is Poke Sauce?

Kikkoman has come out with a new poke bowl sauce, but this is something you can easily make at home with just a few ingredients. You may already have them in your pantry. They are included on the recipe card below.

Poke Sauce is an authentic combination of soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, lemon juice, and chili paste.

How to Buy Sushi Grade Raw Fish for Sushi and Poke Bowls

Selecting and buying the sushi-grade fish for your spicy tuna poke bowl is probably the most challenging part of this recipe.

This sushi buying guide by Reese Woods has you covered. It’s an excellent resource on how to research and purchase the raw tuna for this recipe.

Very similar to Reese’s advice, my friend Jason, who is an avid sushi eater and home chef, told me what to look for in a fish. I went to my local grocery (known for its impeccable fish supply) and spoke with the seafood manager.

The seafood manager has hooked me up in the past with fresh clams and crawfish. He was also able to easily guide me to the absolute best sushi-grade salmon and tuna for this recipe. The most important factor here is that I trust him implicitly.

I encourage you to talk to the fishmonger at your favorite grocery or fish supplier. They are (usually) very knowledgeable and are often your best resource for selecting the right fish for your recipe.

A bowl of tuna adn shrimp poke with avocado, edamame, seaweed salad, shredded carrots, cucumbers, jalapenos and a drizzle of sriracha sauce.

Are Poke Bowls Cooked?

This is another trick question. They are both.

Usually, poke bowls are well-chilled, marinated raw fish served over warm sushi rice with a variety of ingredients and toppings forming a “bowl” or a salad.

Not sure about consuming raw fish? That’s Okay, Poke!

Use seared tuna (or other cooked fish), cooked chicken, shrimp, crab, scallops, baby octopus, or tofu.

If you crave it, you can probably build a poke bowl around it. In that vein, a hibachi steak poke bowl doesn’t sound too bad, does it?

Read the variations section for plenty of ideas on how to mix up the ingredients and toppings to create a nearly endless supply of poke bowls to satisfy every palate.

How to Make a Poke Bowl

At home or at a poke bowl restaurant, the process of building the perfect bowl is largely the same.

  1. Choose a base. This is usually white sushi rice, brown sushi rice, or salad greens. You can also opt for a half-and-half mix of white and brown sushi rice or half rice and half greens.
  2. Pick a Protein – There are so many options for this – salmon, tuna, shrimp, chicken, crab, scallops, or octopus. There are plant-based vegetarian poke bowls as well that start with soft or fried tofu.
  3. Add your mix-in ingredients – like edamame, seaweed salad, cucumbers, carrots, jalapeno, avocado to name a few.
  4. Choose a Sauce – This is where it gets fun. Choose one or two for a combination of flavors including sweet soy dressing, ponzu sauce (citrus-flavored soy), eel sauce, gochujang (Korean hot chili paste), Sriracha aioli (spicy mayo), Wasabi, or ginger.
  5. Add Garnishes – These are usually crunchy and satisfy the crunchy craving. Here you might have toasted sesame seeds, tempura flakes, crispy fried onions, wonton or tortilla strips, crushed cashew or peanuts, or toasted coconut.

Variations and other Poke Ideas:

Tuna Poke Salad Bowl – That’s this recipe! Marinated tuna, Seaweed Salad, Jalapeno, edamame, cucumber, shredded carrots, avocado, Poke Sauce, and sriracha sauce

Spicy Tuna – Spicy, tuna, Seaweed Salad, Jalapeno, edamame, cucumber, shredded carrots, avocado, Poke Sauce, and sriracha sauce.

Salmon Poke Bowl – marinated salmon, Seaweed Salad, Jalapeno, edamame, cucumber, shredded carrots, Poke Sauce, and sriracha sauce.

Tuna, Salmon, & Shrimp bowl: Tuna, Salmon, and Shrimp, Seaweed Salad, Jalapeno, Sweet Onion, Edamame, Cucumber, Poke Sauce, and Gochujang sauce.

Chicken Poke Bowl – Grilled Chicken, Edamame, Carrots, Avocado, Green Onion, Cucumber, Crab Stick, sweet soy sauce, and Sriracha aioli.

Shrimp Poke Bowl – Green Onion, Cucumber, Crab Stick, Avocado, Masago, Sweet soy, and Sriracha aioli.

Hawaiian Chicken & Shrimp – Chicken, Shrimp, Edamame, Carrots, Pineapple, Green Onion, Avocado, Corn, Cucumber, Sriracha Aioli, Sweet Soy, and yum yum sauce (aioli).

Vegan Poke Bowl (Crunchy Roll Bowls) – tofu in teriyaki sauce, edamame, cucumber, avocado, jalapeño, and a handful of crushed-up crunchy onions, Sticky rice, teriyaki sauce, and spicy mayo.

Vegetarian Poke Bowl – Soy chicken, fried tempura tofu, edamame, carrots, cucumber. avocado, jalapenos, sweet onions, seaweed salad, sweet chili sauce, and poke sauce.

Gluten-Free Poke Bowl – be sure to ask for Gluten-Free sauces and omit the crunchy toppings unless they are certified GF.

Tuna poke bowl with avocado, edamame, seaweed salad, shredded carrots, cucumbers, jalapenos and a drizzle of sriracha sauce.
A bowl of tuna poke with avocado, edamame, seaweed salad, shredded carrots, cucumbers, jalapenos and a drizzle of sriracha sauce.

Ahi Poke Salad – Homemade Poke Bowl

Ronda Eagle | Kitchen Dreaming
Ahi Tuna poke bowls are a traditional Hawaiian salad of raw tuna which has been marinated in soy sauce, sesame oil, and onions. For a full meal, serve it over cooled sushi rice with your favorite accompaniments.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Appetizer, Dinner
Cuisine Hawaiian
Servings 4 servings
Calories 210 kcal

Ingredients
  

For the Poke Sauce Marinade:

  • 1/4 cup Soy sauce Low sodium. For gluten-free, select a GF soy sauce like coconut aminos or GF Tamari Sauce.
  • 1/2 tablespoon Ground fresh chili paste , sweet or hot
  • 1 teaspoon Sesame oil
  • 3 Green Onions (scallions)
  • 2 cloves Garlic , smashed and finely chopped
  • 1/2 inch Ginger root , fresh. peeled and minced

For the Ahi Poke Salad:

  • 1 pound Ahi tuna , Sushi-grade – see selection guide
  • 2 cups Sushi rice , cooked according to package directions (optional – omit if using salad greens as base)

Optional Mix-In Ingredients:

  • Salad greens if not using sushi rice
  • Avocado
  • Edamame
  • Pickled Ginger
  • Jalapeno
  • Shredded Carrot
  • Seaweed Salad Omit for GF, contains wheat.
  • Corn Kernels
  • Sweet Onion
  • Mango slices
  • Pineapple tidbits

Optional Sauces

  • Wasabi Aioli
  • Ponzu Sauce
  • Eel Sauce
  • Sriracha Aioli
  • Gochjang Aioli
  • Sweet Soy Sauce

Optional Toppings

  • Sesame seeds black and/or white. Toasted.
  • Crispy Fried onions GF variety for GF
  • Wonton Strips GF variety for GF
  • Crushed Cashews or Peanuts Omit for nut-free.
  • Tempura Flakes Omit for GF

Instructions
 

  • PREPARE THE TUNA:
    Dice the tuna into 1/2-inch cubes. Set aside.
    In a large bowl, combine the soy sauce, chili paste, sesame oil, green onions, garlic, and ginger. Add the tuna into the bowl and stir to combine.
    Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes to allow the flavors to combine.
  • BUILD THE BOWL:
    Add sushi rice or mixed salad greens onto the bottom of the bowl.
    Working your way around the edge of the bowl, add in the desired mix-in ingredients.
    Top with your favorite sauce(s).
    Garnish with your favorite crunchy toppings.
  • Leftover Poke Tuna may be refrigerated in an air-tight container for two days.

Notes

Variations and other Poke Ideas:

Tuna Poke Salad Bowl – That’s this recipe! Marinated tuna, Seaweed Salad, Jalapeno, edamame, cucumber, shredded carrots, avocado, Poke Sauce, and sriracha sauce
Spicy Tuna – Spicy, tuna, Seaweed Salad, Jalapeno, edamame, cucumber, shredded carrots, avocado, Poke Sauce, and sriracha sauce.
Salmon Poke Bowl – marinated salmon, Seaweed Salad, Jalapeno, edamame, cucumber, shredded carrots, Poke Sauce, and sriracha sauce.
Tuna, Salmon, & Shrimp bowl: Tuna, Salmon, and Shrimp, Seaweed Salad, Jalapeno, Sweet Onion, Edamame, Cucumber, Poke Sauce, and Gochujang sauce.
Chicken Poke Bowl – Grilled Chicken, Edamame, Carrots, Avocado, Green Onion, Cucumber, Crab Stick, sweet soy sauce, and Sriracha aioli.
Shrimp Poke Bowl – Green Onion, Cucumber, Crab Stick, Avocado, Masago, Sweet soy, and Sriracha aioli.
Hawaiian Chicken & Shrimp – Chicken, Shrimp, Edamame, Carrots, Pineapple, Green Onion, Avocado, Corn, Cucumber, Sriracha Aioli, Sweet Soy, and yum yum sauce (aioli).
Vegan Poke Bowl – Sweet tofu, edamame, carrots, cucumber. avocado, jalapenos, sweet onions, seaweed salad, sweet chili sauce, and poke sauce.
Vegetarian Poke Bowl – Soy chicken, fried tempura tofu, edamame, carrots, cucumber. avocado, jalapenos, sweet onions, seaweed salad, sweet chili sauce, and poke sauce.
Gluten-Free Poke Bowl – be sure to ask for Gluten-Free sauces and omit the crunchy toppings unless they are certified GF.

Nutrition

Serving: 11/4 recipe and sushi riceCalories: 210kcalCarbohydrates: 6gProtein: 28gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 43mgSodium: 579mgPotassium: 389mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 2565IUVitamin C: 5mgVitamin D: 6µgVitamin E: 1mgVitamin K: 19µgCalcium: 47mgFolate: 18µgIron: 2mgZinc: 1mg
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