Poke, pronounced “po-kay”, is a retro Hawaiian East meets West fresh fish dish. The original 1970s Japanese-influenced island plate included only cubed tuna, Hawaiian sea salt, seaweed, and some candlenut. Completely balanced, this protein rich, fresh seafood “salad” has plenty of vegetables and is as versatile as a painter’s palette. This is one of America’s only guiltless comfort foods.

Salmon and tuna are beloved stateside. Japanese tako poke made with boiled octopus is delicious. Hamachi (yellowtail), flounder, and halibut are all good choices. The single most important guideline for all poke bowls is to choose safe, sushi grade fish. This is one time farmed fish is better than wild as strict standards insure parasite free fish. Freeze fresh fish for 30 minutes to make slicing into cubes easy. Added benefit: fish is actually safer to eat raw once it has spent a short time in the freezer.
cuisine Hawaiian
difficulty Simple
season Year Round
serves 4


  • 1 pound sushi grade Ahi tuna or salmon, 1/2” dice
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1/3 cup scallions, thinly sliced
  • 3/4 teaspoon shichimi togarashi or red pepper flakes
  • 2 cups sushi rice, rinse until water runs clear and drain
  • Sesame seeds
  • Cucumber, 1/2” dice
  • Avocado, 1/2” dice
  • Wasabi peas, optional
  • Lime wedges, optional


  1. In a glass bowl, mix the soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, scallions, and shichimi togarashi in a bowl. Add the cubed fish and marinate for 30 minutes.
  2. Add the rice and 3 cups of water to a medium pot. Bring to a boil, lower heat to simmer, and cover the pot. Cook for 20 minutes.
  3. Remove the pot from the heat, remove the lid, and let the rice cool to room temperature.
  4. Divide the rice among 4 bowls. Top the center of the rice with 1/4 of the marinaded fish.
  5. Arrange the cucumber, avocado, and wasabi peas around the perimeter bowl in distinct piles.
  6. Finish plating by sprinkling the fish with the sesame seeds, a bit more togarashi, and a few scallions. Put a small wedge of lime on top and serve immediately.