Last Updated on February 28, 2022 by Kathryn Donangelo
This Homemade Tuna Poke Bowl recipe is so easy to make at home! It’s light, fresh, healthy and delicious! Loaded with the freshest tuna and all the flavors you dream of in a homemade fresh poke bowl!
YOU GUYS! I’m getting married in exactly one MONTH from tomorrow. Time is flying by but I managed to get this recipe out because it’s just too good so here it is:
My fiancé went fishing a few weekends ago and came home with a Bluefin Tuna. YAY! So of course the first thing we had was sashimi, and then homemade tuna poke bowls, and then sashimi again. Fresh tuna tastes the best raw and I can legitimately say haven’t had a better tasting tuna- thanks babe. Here is a photo below of Matt and his catch!
This is by far the best homemade tuna poke bowl I’ve had and I’m not just saying that because Matt caught it.. 😉
WHAT IS A POKE BOWL?
A poke bowl is made up of mostly poke which is a cross from sashimi (raw fish) and ceviche (marinated fish) that is so succulent it nearly melts in your mouth. It is diced raw fish and you can eat it as an appetizer or main course. It is a Hawaiian cuisine and is traditionally served over rice and veggies, but and in the states, you generally see it almost always referred to as a “bowl” when really it is the actual fish and preparation.
We are going to Maui, Hawaii for our honeymoon in a few weeks and I am SO excited! It’s my first time traveling to the Hawaiian islands, ever and I’ve been hearing all sorts of great things about their Hawaiian poke bowls!
WHAT YOU NEED TO MAKE THIS TUNA POKE BOWL RECIPE
- Sushi grade tuna – This part is very important. Read the section below about how to ensure you’re buying sushi-grade and not just any old raw tuna steaks.
- Soy sauce – You can’t have sushi without soy sauce! This, combined with the oil and vinegar creates the marinade or sauce for your poke bowl.
- Toasted sesame oil – Sesame oil has much more of an Asian flavor than just regular vegetable oil, toasted takes regular sesame oil up a notch, but either can be used.
- White rice vinegar – The acidity of the rice vinegar perfectly balances the flavors.
- Toasted sesame seeds – You can use white or black sesame seeds here. I personally like the contrast of the black sesame seeds, but white are usually what I have on hand. Toasting the seeds brings out natural oils and enhances the flavor. Sometimes you can even find them pre-toasted at the store.
- Garlic – With the delicious flavors of the marinade, we really don’t need much to flavor this poke bowl. I like adding in some garlic, but only fresh garlic, none of that bottled stuff.
- Red onion – Red onion provides crunch, flavor and color.
- Green onions (scallions) – I like these because they tend to be a little milder and also provide more color. They’re great for topping your tuna poke recipe.
- Cucumber slices – Just like in a lot of sushi rolls, adding cucumber gives an element of cool and refreshing crunch.
BUYING SUSHI-GRADE TUNA
It is important to know exactly what you are purchasing when it comes to raw fish and I would presume this is one of the main reasons folks shy away from making poke at home. Not any old piece of fish from the local grocery store is considered “high-quality tuna” or “sushi-grade” which are the same thing.
Generally, I don’t purchase tuna from grocery stores, even living seaside in California, and that is because it is likely frozen or previously frozen. It’s extremely difficult to find fresh tuna regardless of where you live. The best way to get the freshest tuna is going to your local fish market. Be prepared to pay extra. For non-frozen fish, it will have been sent to the seafood market overnight and will only be good for a day or two, so also don’t purchase until you are ready to prepare it.
I would suggest calling around to local fish markets and asking if they sell sushi-grade fish. I also recommend doing a quick Internet search to make sure these places have grade-A ratings. You can even call restaurants that serve sushi and ask if they’d be willing to tell you who their supplier is.
When you decide on a market to try, take note of your surroundings when you walk in. Make sure the fish counter seems clean, the smell of fish isn’t overpowering or too fishy (that means the fish is old- fresh seafood doesn’t have a fishy smell,) and take note that the fish is being stored properly.
I realize not everyone can catch their own or has a fish market and in this case, frozen tuna is acceptable. In fact, some sushi restaurants even freeze their fresh tuna first to destroy any potential yuckies. Look for thicker steaks with a rich red color.
It’s often beneficial to you to buy fish that has been frozen. A frozen fish greatly decreases the risk of contamination of things that can make you sick. Also, buying a whole fish and butchering it at home yourself helps to ensure optimal freshness.
HOW TO MAKE THIS TUNA POKE BOWL RECIPE
This recipe is so easy and takes literally minutes to prep, the trick is letting the flavors marry and you’ll have an authentic Hawaiian Poke Bowl.
- Place the tuna cubes in a large bowl.
- In a smaller bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, oil, vinegar, sesame seeds, and garlic. Pour over the tuna and toss to coat. Stir in the green and red onions.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place it in the fridge to chill for 20 minutes. Don’t allow it to sit too long, the acid in the sauce will eventually cook the meat and it could potentially get rubbery. Serve with cucumber slices or over brown or white rice!
*Be sure to read below on other ingredients to add to this poke bowl!
I made an Easy Ahi Tuna Poke a few years ago that is slightly spicy, has more of a mild flavor and has avocado chunks in it- SO good you need to try it after you make this one. I used a Yellowfin Ahi tuna in that recipe and for this recipe I used Matt’s catch of a Bluefin tuna. Ahi is easier to find and slightly paler in color. Both recipes pair perfectly with my Homemade California Sushi Roll!
Throw in some red pepper flakes and spicy mayo to your poke sauce to turn this into a spicy tuna poke bowl! If you like spicy tuna rolls, this is the route to go.
Of course, you can always mix it up by adding your favorite toppings! Here are some suggestions to get you started:
Some other additions to add to make the ultimate tuna poke bowl is:
- white or brown rice
- sushi rice
- mixed greens or a salad
- avocado slices
- fresh shelled edamame beans
- fresh jalapeno slices
- kukui nut
- Sriracha or hot chile paste
LOOKING FOR OTHER DELICIOUS SEAFOOD RECIPES? TRY THESE!
- Shrimp Stuffed Avocados
- Easy Smoked Salmon Roll Ups
- Fresh Shrimp Spring Rolls
- Smoked Salmon Breakfast Bagel
- Spicy Tuna Bites
- Cilantro Lime Shrimp Lettuce Wraps
- Healthy Avocado Tuna Salad
- Easy Smoked Salmon Roll Ups
- Shrimp Fried Rice
CAN’T GET ENOUGH?
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The Best Ever Tuna Poke Bowl
- 1 pound sushi-grade Tuna, Ahi or Bluefin cut into cubes
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 3 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil
- 1 Tbsp. rice vinegar
- 2 tsp. toasted sesame seeds
- 1 garlic clove freshly grated
- 4 green onions thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup red onions thinly sliced
- Cucumber slices to dip
- Place the tuna cubes in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, oil, vinegar, sesame seeds, and garlic. Pour over the tuna and toss to coat. Stir in the green and red onions. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place it in the fridge to chill for 20 minutes. Serve with cucumber slices or over brown or white rice!
PIN THIS BEST EVER TUNA POKE RECIPE FOR LATER!
I just had to share this mouth-watering photo of our sashimi we enjoyed from the last piece of fresh tuna we had. It was SO delectable I crave it every time I look at this photo.