This Ahi Tuna Poke Bowl recipe is in partnership with Sprouts Farmers Market.
It’s no secret that we’re big fans of sushi rolls and sushi bowls around here. When poke bowls became trendy, we found a local place and gave it a try.
Let’s just say it’s a good thing that particular place is across town or we’d be going there much more often. Super, super good. What I loved about it, too, was that the serving sizes were so big that Steve and I could share a bowl between us!
So, what’s the difference between a sushi bowl and a poke bowl? Not a whole lot. I think poke bowls usually have some kind of raw fish in them, but sushi bowls could, too.
As far as I can tell, poke originated in Hawaii as a raw fish based salad. I saw some fresh wild-caught ahi tuna at Sprouts, and I couldn’t resist making my own. Having a great tuna poke recipe is better than driving across town to our favorite poke bowl place. Sometime.
Fresh, high-quality fish is a must when you make poke bowls — obviously since you’ll be eating it raw. I’m really excited that Sprouts improved their Sustainable Seafood practices. (Read about it here!) Now, all of their fish and seafood requires a certification and cannot be farmed or fed GMO products. (YIPPEE!!) And finding sushi grade tuna, too, is pretty important.
It’s a cinch to find wild-caught fish and seafood in their Fish Market, which is why I try to buy it there as much as I can.
These bowls come together in about 30 minutes and you don’t have to cook anything except rice, if you’re using that as a base. I like to use a mixture of rice and salad greens, but you could just use salad greens if you’re watching your carbs or don’t eat grains.
We actually eat quite a bit of rice around here. I try not to because it makes me all bloaty if I overdo it. (Which is easy to do with jasmine rice and a little butter. Mmm.) But, the kids love it.
Did you know that cooked rice that has been cooled is considered a resistant starch? In a nutshell, it means that it acts differently in your body than other kinds of starch and actually provides your gut with some good bacteria. Pretty cool, right?
So, these poke bowls are a perfect meal for the end of summer —> September. September doesn’t mean fall to me. It means extra summer that’s not quite as miserable as July & August. I’m not breaking out the pumpkin any time soon and enjoying more 80-degree weather. AHHHHHHH.
Are you freaked out by the idea of eating raw fish? I was for a long time. In fact, this is the first recipe I’ve developed that uses raw fish that hasn’t been cured or citrus-marinated. (Like the Homemade Gravlax post I did a while back.)
I’m actually surprised I love this because texture is a huge thing for me. I still can’t do other kinds of shellfish (mussels, oysters, etc. *shudder*), but some nice ahi tuna is super good in that marinade + a drizzle of spicy mayo.
The marinade that goes on the tuna is super easy — rice vinegar, coconut aminos, and salt. Chances are you have all of the ingredients if you do a lot of paleo/Whole30 cooking and have coconut aminos on hand. Luckily Sprouts has that, too. (And everything else to make these poke bowls.)
How to Assemble Poke Bowls
Just add some rice or salad greens to your bowl. After that it’s just a salad bar type of situation.
Fill your bowl with whatever toppings or garnishes you like — micro greens, diced cucumbers, avocado, sesame seeds, sliced green onions, shredded nori (seaweed) or those seaweed snacks. My kids love those things! Most grocery stores are starting to carry them, too, along with most things you need to make these.
One of my favorite toppings for poke bowls or sushi bowls are my Simple Marinated Cucumbers. It adds a nice briny taste and you can make them a day or two ahead of time.
And don’t skimp on that spicy mayo. Really, it’s just mayo and sriracha or one of the other types of Asian hot sauces. It really pulls the whole thing together and gives it a nice, creamy richness. If you’re not into spicy, just add less chili paste or sriracha sauce to your mayo. It’ll still be fantastic.
Even better — get some of those plastic squeeze bottles that hold condiments and squirt it all over like you’re at a restaurant. My kids LOVED doing that. (Although they chose to have cooked shrimp in their bowls instead. Baby steps, y’all.)
And a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds (and some red pepper flakes!) is a must.
For the tuna:
- 12-16 oz sushi-grade ahi tuna steak
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 cup coconut aminos
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 4 tsp sesame oil
For the spicy mayo:
- 1/2 cup avocado oil mayonnaise
- 2 Tbsp Asian chili paste or sriracha
- 1 tsp rice vinegar
- 1 tsp coconut aminos
For the bowls:
- Prepared steamed white rice or chopped salad greens as a base (or both)
- 1 English cucumber, diced
- 1-2 avocados, pitted, peeled, and diced
- 1 package pea sprouts
- 1 package seaweed snacks
- Toasted sesame seeds, pickled ginger, for garnish.
- Cut the tuna into little 1/2-inch cubes and place them in a medium sized bowl.
- Sprinkle the 1/2 tsp salt over the top.
- Combine the 1/4 cup coconut aminos, 1/4 cup rice vinegar, and 4 tsp sesame oil in a small bowl. Pour 2/3 of the mixture over the tuna and toss well and let it marinate at room temperature for about 10-15 minutes while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. Reserve the rest of the marinade for drizzling later.
- Combine the ingredients for the spicy mayo in a small bowl and stir well.
- Assemble the bowls by using rice and/or salad greens as a base. Add a few spoonfuls of the marinated tuna over the top and add any of the toppings and garnishes listed. Drizzle with some of the spicy mayo and extra marinade and serve.
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