WATCH: How to Make a Poke Bowl
Poke (pronounced as "poh-kay") bowls are a favorite snack in Hawaii-made with fresh fish tossed in a tangy ponzu (citrus sauce) or soy sauce-sesame oil combo, and topped with absolutely anything you like, it's an easy, no-cook dish that you can make at home. Seriously-why aren't people making poke bowls every weeknight?!
Just remember to use the freshest sashimi-grade fish that you can find. Rustan's supermarkets have sashimi stations that slice you fish on the spot. But when it comes to poke, there are no rules! Use tofu or shrimp as your main protein, experiment with different kinds of sauces, and go crazy on those toppings! The possibilities are endless.
Here's a basic poke bowl recipe that you can begin with: it starts with sushi rice, fresh tuna, a light sauce, and simple toppings like avocado, radishes, and pickled onions. Remember to use produce that are in season (sweet, summer mangoes are perfect!) to get the best-tasting toppings on your poke bowl!
Spicy Tuna Poke Bowl Recipe
For the sushi rice:
1 cup sushi rice, rinsed*
1 pinch salt
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons rice vinegar, divided
For the pickled red onions:
1 red onion
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
For the sauce:
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
2 tablespoons mirin
½ teaspoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons lemon juice, or to taste
For the spicy mayonnaise:
¼ cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons chili powder, or to taste
2 tablespoons poke sauce (recipe listed above)
1 cup sashimi-grade tuna, sliced into ½-inch cubes**
1 teaspoon sesame seeds, white or black
1 half avocado, sliced into ½-inch cubes
Scallions, sliced thinly
In a medium-sized pot, bring 1 cup of sushi rice*, 1 cup of water, and a pinch of salt to a boil. Once it comes to a rolling boil, lower the heat and let it simmer for around 20 minutes, or until tender and cooked through. Let the rice rest for 10 minutes, then fluff with a fork and set aside to cool slightly. Mix in 3 tablespoons rice vinegar and set aside. Keep the rice warm.
In a small saucepan, heat the rice vinegar, water, sugar, and salt until the sugar has melted. Pour over the red onions and let sit for at least 1 hour.
Make the sauce: mix the soy sauce, mirin, sesame oil, and lemon juice together. Set aside.
Make the spicy mayo: mix the mayonnaise and chili powder together. Add a few tablespoons of the lemon-soy sauce mixture and stir until fully incorporated. Set aside.
To assemble: spoon the sushi rice into a serving bowl. Just before serving, toss the tuna** in the lemon-soy sauce mixture. Add the sesame seeds and toss again. Place the tuna over the rice. Top with avocado, radishes, dried wakame, nori strips, spicy mayonnaise, and scallions. Serve immediately.
*You can buy sushi rice in Rustan's supermarkets or in Japanese specialty stores like Konbini, located in 57 Connecticut Street, San Juan City.
**You can buy sashimi-grade tuna or salmon in the sashimi section of Rustan's supermarkets. Remember to bring a cooler with ice with you when you shop to keep the fish in good quality during transport, and consume within 24 hours of purchasing.