Believe it or not, there was a time in my life when I didn’t fancy raw fish. As a Kentucky-raised girl bred on grandma’s fried chicken, pork chops and biscuits and gravy, tuna didn’t necessarily frequent the dinner table.
Alas, it wasn’t until college that tuna poke and I had met, and now I can’t get enough of it.
If you’re like my husband and me, a satisfying meal at a restaurant often leads us to this mutual consensus: I wish we could have this at home. Being surrounded by the local seafood markets off Shore Drive have us spoiled for being able to enjoy the freshest seafood year-round.
While there’s an abundance of fresh seafood in our area, every now and then we waltz into Fresh Market for their deal on sashimi-grade tuna. This is the moment we knew we were having our date night in.
The traditional Hawaiian dish is served with fresh tuna chunks dressed in a spicy soy sauce over a steamed bowl of rice.
Our spin? The best mayonnaise—Duke’s—rice vinegar, jalapeño, ginger, garlic, sesame seeds, sambal oelek chili paste, soy sauce and sesame oil. (You’ll soon find these are the building blocks of most dishes in our household.)
As a gal who prefers to enjoy her food with a kick—and not with a profuse sweat like my better half—I often request that most of the jalapeños be left à la carte. You can decide for yourselves and taste as you go.
Once you’ve assembled your lovely poke bowls, light some candles and serve this with steamed rice and sake, for good measure.
Tuna Poke Bowls
I N G R E D I E N T S
2 Tbsp Duke’s Mayonnaise
2 Tbsp soy sauce or shoyu
1 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 tsp sesame oil
1 Tbsp sesame seeds
1 tsp minced ginger
1 tsp minced garlic
2 Tbsp sambal oelek chili paste
1 lb sashimi-grade tuna
1 avocado, thinly sliced
2 cups cooked rice
Optional toppings: scallions, jalapeño slices, seaweed paper
M E T H O D
Prepare the sauce. In a large bowl, combine the mayonnaise, soy sauce/shoyu, rice vinegar, sesame oil, sesame seeds, ginger, garlic and sambal oelek chili paste.
Cut the tuna into half-inch cubes and toss with sauce. Cover and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to 1 hour so that the flavors marinate.
Place 1 cup of rice in each bowl, and add the tuna poke to each bowl. Garnish each with avocado slices, jalapeño or scallions, then finish with extra sesame seeds.
Photos by Gian Valdivia.