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This Homemade Tuna Poke Bowl recipe is so easy to make at home and loaded with the perfect combination of flavors! It’s light, fresh, healthy and delicious! Loaded with the fresh raw tuna and all the flavors you dream of in a homemade fresh poke bowl!
Tuna Poke Bowl Recipe
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.. 😉 You can customize this easy poke recipe by adding your favorite toppings, mix-ins, flavors, and even fish. That’s the beauty of this poke bowl recipe.
WHAT IS A POKE BOWL?
A poke bowl is made up of mostly fresh fish 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 sashimi grade raw fish and you can eat it as an appetizer or main course.
It is a Hawaiian dish and is traditionally served over fresh ingredients such as sticky rice and thin slices of 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. We used bluefin tuna but you can also use sushi-grade ahi tuna, shrimp, yellowfin tuna, or sushi-grade salmon instead.
- 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 – Used to make the poke sauce. 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 crunchy cucumber gives an element of cool and refreshing texture.
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 an additional cost. 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 crunchy 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 Ahi Tuna Poke Bowl recipe 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.
VARIATIONS and Toppings
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 sticky brown rice: you can make this on the stove, microwave, or rice cooker.
- sushi rice: seasoned with sushi rice vinegar for more flavor.
- poke salad: add mixed greens or a salad to your bowl.
- creamy avocado slices
- fresh shelled edamame beans
- fresh jalapeno slices
- kukui nuts
- macadamia nuts
- sweet onions
- seaweed salad
- sriracha or hot chile paste
- low carb option: Use cauliflower rice instead of regular rice.
- add spice: Add red pepper flakes and spicy mayo to your poke bowl dressing to turn this into a spicy tuna poke bowl! If you like spicy tuna rolls, this is the route to go
Leftovers & storage
Store any leftover fresh poke in an airtight container and place in the coldest part of your refrigerator and enjoy the next day or day after at the most.
Depending on the different toppings you add to your bowl, you may want to remove any that can become soggy such as cucumbers. Since the fish is raw, it won’t last as long as cooked fish. Make sure to give the poke a good stir before eating again.
other seafood recipes to try
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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.
This recipe was last updated February 14, 2024 to include additional information. Originally posted May 19, 2019 By Kathryn Donangelo.