I must have missed the initial poke bowl craze, what with grad school and all. But now that I’ve found it I never want to let poke go! Why? Well, we try really hard not to turn on our ovens to cook here in Phoenix during the summer, and poke tuna is a simple three step recipe that helps keep us chilled out- no cooking required!
While poke works great on rice, noodles, or crackers, it also goes perfectly on top of a bed of greens or cucumber rounds for a tasty low carb alternative. Serve it along with diced avocado, edamame, sliced radishes, macadamia nuts, or shaved carrots and you’ve got a colorful poke concoction!
Fresh, sashimi grade fish is an important part of this recipe, and it may take some time to find a source in your city, especially if you are landlocked like my family! Once you do locate a reputable seller though, your low carb options will be as wide open as the ocean. Start asking around if you don’t already have one. Special thanks to the Bluewater Grill in central Phoenix for these amazing cuts!
The Making of a Marinade
When you have a blank fresh tuna canvas, the possibilities for marinating are wide open. There are three basic parts of any good marinade: fats, acids, and aromatics. Fats help mobilize flavor compounds and retain moisture. Acids tenderize tougher components of meats while brightening and balancing flavors. And of course, aromatics or seasonings are what will infuse unmistakable flavor and fragrance.
Soy sauce is, of course, the base of poke tuna bowl marinade. But be forewarned- extra salt is required. Toasty sesame seed oil as the fat of choice provides the perfect balance to soy. While you can add layers of spice and seasoning to your marinade, I like to keep mine simple in light of all the other flavors that will ultimately join my poke party.
Add whatever strikes your fancy though! Sliced hot peppers, red pepper flakes, toasted sesame seeds, roasted seaweed, garlic cloves, a splash of honey, crushed macadamia nuts, or orange zest can effortlessly take your marinade from simple to sophisticated.
- 16 ounces ahi tuna steaks fresh, sashimi grade
For the marinade:
- 1/3 cup soy sauce
- 2 Tbsp sesame seed oil
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- fresh ginger grated or sliced
- green onion sliced
- Mix the marinade ingredients and give a good stir.
- Slice the tuna steaks into small cubes that are similar in size. Mix the tuna cubes into the marinade.
- Cover with plastic wrap and let sit in the fridge for at least one hour, but up to 2 days.