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My husband and I recently went on a shopping trip at Marukai, our favorite Japanese market, and picked up some tuna to make Ahi Poke (POH-kay). I think the notion of fresh poke is one of the few reasons my husband doesn’t mind driving 50+ miles to take me shopping there. All I have to do is mention poke and he’s ready to go. And what made this shopping trip extra special was the ogo or Hawaiian seaweed that we found at the store. I felt like I hit the jackpot since I haven’t had fresh ogo in such a looooong time, which made this Ahi Poke extra special for us.
If you’ve never eaten poke, it’s basically a Hawaiian-style raw fish salad. There are tons of variations and most people in Hawaii make it to their taste. The most important part of poke, which means to cut or chunk, is to cut the tuna into 1/2″ cubes. I was lucky and found the tuna already cubed – thanks, Marukai! And if you’re even luckier to find ogo*, you’ll need to rinse this in a colander and coarse chop. If you can’t find ogo, don’t worry, you can omit this or order a Noh poke mix, which has dried ogo and a seasoning packet. Another option if you don’t have ogo is to garnish the poke with thin strips of nori just before serving to get the seaweed flavor.
*Freeze any leftover ogo and rehydrate with warm water as it will only keep for about a week or less in the refrigerator.
Once the tuna is cubed, add to a bowl with the ogo. Next, add a quarter of a thinly sliced red or sweet onion to the mix with chopped green onions, toasted sesame seeds, and toss lightly. Next, mix all the sauce ingredients and pour over the tuna mix. Toss the mix, cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Note – I grate frozen ginger to add to the sauce mix. If using fresh ginger, decrease the amount used. You should just have a hint of ginger.
Just before serving, add chopped macadamia nuts and sprinkle a little more green onions for color and toasted sesame seeds. Now, grab your chopsticks, fork, spoon, or shovel and enjoy with a nice bowl of rice!
Note – The macadamia nuts are optional, but add a little crunch for texture. If using salted macadamia nuts, just rinse off and chop.
|Prep time||40 minutes|
|Meal type||Appetizer, Lunch, Main Dish, Salad, Side Dish|
|Misc||Pre-preparable, Serve Cold|
- 1 cube fresh tuna (cut tuna into 1/2)
- 1/4 of a whole onion red onions (thinly sliced. Add more onions to taste.)
- 1/4 cup chopped green onions
- 1/2 - 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
- 2 - 3 tablespoons soy sauce (amount of soy sauce will depend on the brand and salt level)
- 1 - 1 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 - 1 1/2 teaspoon chili garlic sauce (optional)
- 1/2 cup ogo/seaweed (coarse chopped)
- frozen grated ginger (to taste)
- chopped unsalted macademia nuts (about 4-5 nuts)
- The brand of soy sauce can affect the taste and salt level of the poke. It's best to add less and add more to taste. Add less soy sauce if you are eating the tuna without any rice.
- If using fresh ginger, do 2 -3 passes over the grater.
- If using salted macadamia nuts, rinse off salt and chop for garnish.
- If you don't like things spicy, omit the chili garlic sauce.
- Add more onions ot taste.
- Add more onions to tate
|Cut tuna into 1/2" cubes and place in a large mixing bowl. Add in washed and coarsely chopped seaweed (optional), sliced onions, green onions, and sesame seeds. Set aside.|
|Mix together soy sauce, sesame oil, chili garlic sauce, grated ginger (to taste or about 5-6 passes across the grater). Add the sauce onto the tuna mixture and gently toss until well incorporated. Place poke into the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to let the flavors marinate. Add chopped macadamia nuts just before serving (optional) with rice.|
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