Ahi Poke (Hawaiian Fresh Tuna and Seaweed Salad)

Oh, the fun we had when we said to the kids that we would be eating Poke Bowls for dinner…

As the main dish for the mini-cookout, we tried to make an Ahi Poke (poh-keh). This is a raw tuna and seaweed salad that is staple in the Hawaiian cuisine. This version I found on seriouseats.com and it was pretty amazing!

It is usually served on its own as a starter or on a bed of steamed rice as a main dish. Therefore, some describe it as deconstructed tuna sushi. Either way, if you love sushi or tuna sashimi, you definitely are in for a treat with this one!!

Koen and I made some tweaks to the recipe due to the overall quantity (serving 4 adults as a main dish without the rice). Furthermore, as the original size of the chunks of onion and tuna were quite big and despite being sashimi grade, it was not a really pleasant mouthfeel, so we decided to chop both a bit smaller (as reflected in below recipe). In total, you should be able to put this delicious dish on the table in 20 minutes.

The recipe

  • 2 teaspoons dried wakame seaweed
  • 500g / 12 oz raw sashimi-grade tuna, cut into 1cm / slightly under 1/2 inch cubes
  • 125g / 4 oz sweet onion, finely chopped
  • 2 spring onions, thinly sliced on an angle
  • 2 tsp white or black sesame seeds, or a mix
  • 6 tsp soy sauce
  • 3 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsp runny honey
  • 1 red chilli red pepper, de-seeded, halved and finely chopped, added to taste
  • salt flakes (we used Hawaiian black salt)
  1.  Place the wakame a small bowl and cover with boiling water and re-hydrate until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and press with paper towels, then roughly chop the wakame and add to a large bowl.
  2. Add the soy sauce, sesame oil, honey and the red pepper to a resealable jar and shake well to make a dressing.
  3. Add tuna, chopped onion, spring onion, sesame seeds, a small pinch of salt and 2/3 of the dressing, season with a small pinch of salt and gently combine.
  4. Taste and adjust with more dressing (or individual soy sauce, sesame oil, honey) to taste.
  5. Let sit for 5 minutes at room temperature, then serve on its own or on top of steamed rice.

We had a cauliflower steak as a “side” dish (make a tin foil bowl large enough to contain a small head of cauliflower, lathered in garlic butter, grilled in the oven for about 30 minutes and then sliced into 2cm / 3/4 inch steaks).

Suggested Tweaks:
A poke is very versatile dish too: You can use salmon instead of tuna, you can add some lemon juice, very finely chopped fresh ginger, avocado cubes, cherry tomatoes. Even pineapple. They would all work brilliantly.

In order to be able to incorporate the soy sauce, sesame oil and runny honey more evenly, we basically made a dressing out of it and started using two-thirds of the quantity and adding a bit more to taste.

Verdict: 10/10.

 

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