Spicy Ahi Poke is a light and refreshing recipe made with chunks of fresh sashimi grade ahi tuna and a spicy Kewpie mayo sauce. Serve it on a bed of cooled Japanese rice and garnish with furikake and scallions for a delicious meal.
Ahi poke is a deliciously fresh and satisfying meal. Each bite is made of tender, fresh ahi tuna seasoned in a flavorful marinade. One of the most popular ways to prepare poke is tossed in a spicy mayo, as commonly found in fast casual restaurants and Foodland in Hawaii. Make your own homemade spicy ahi tuna poke bowls at home in a few easy steps!
What is Poke?
Poke (pronounced poh-keh) is a traditionally Hawaiian dish consisting of cubed raw fish in a marinade. The most popular poke recipes are made with marinated fresh fish and ocean-derived ingredients. These ingredients include furikake, fish eggs, and limu (seaweed). It is Hawaiian in origin and commonly seasoned with Asian seasoning and spices, including shoyu (soy sauce), togarashi, mirin, and more.
Learn more facts about poke in this interview with Chef Chung Chow.
Where to Buy Ahi and Other Ingredients
Yellowfin tuna steak is widely available. Local fish mongers, seafood markets, and Japanese grocery stores (e.g. Nijiya, Mitsuwa, and Marukai) commonly carry yellowfin tuna steaks. You can also find yellowfin tuna at high-end markets like Whole Foods or small specialty grocers. If you are based in the San Francisco Bay Area, I highly recommend Four Star Seafood, a chef-curated grocery service. The other ingredients for this dish can be found at your local grocery store or at the Japanese grocery stores listed above.
Ingredients for Spicy Ahi Poke
- Sushi Grade Ahi Tuna - Fresh, sushi grade or sashimi grade yellowfin tuna steak is key to a delicious, safe poke bowl.
- Kewpie Mayo - Kewpie mayo is a Japanese pantry staple. This Japanese mayonnaise has a rich umami flavor.
- Sesame Oil - Sesame oil has a toasty flavor and nutty aroma.
- Sriracha - Sriracha adds a hint of spice without overpowering the fish.
- Mirin - Mirin is a sweet Japanese rice wine that adds to the umami flavor and is the base of many Japanese sauces and marinades.
- Togarashi - Togarashi is a Japanese chili powder that adds a hint of spice and sweetness to the sauce.
- Scallions - Scallions add an aromatic flavor and a little crunch.
- Furikake - Furikake is a Japanese seaweed seasoning commonly made of dried seaweed, sesame seeds, and salt. It adds an ocean-like flavor to this seafood dish.
Equipment to Make Homemade Poke
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How to Make Poke Bowls
Poke bowls only require mixing and assembly. Here are 3 easy steps to make a homemade poke bowl:
- Make the Spicy Kewpie Mayo - To make the spicy mayo, add Kewpie mayo, Sriracha, sesame oil, togarashi, and mirin to a small bowl. Mix to incorporate the ingredients.
- Toss Fish in Spicy Mayo - In a medium bowl, add cubed fish, furikake, scallions, and the spicy Kewpie mayo sauce. Gently fold the ingredients to coat the ahi in sauce. Garnish with more scallions and furikake and serve immediately.
- Serve - Serve on top of a cooled bed of Japanese rice or with a fresh spring mix. Enjoy within one day of making.
- Brown Rice and Wild Rice - Use brown rice or wild rice if you want to make the bowl healthier or if you just prefer the taste and texture to Japanese white rice.
- Spring Mix - A great alternative to grains that adds a nice crunch.
- Deluxe - Add masago or its fancy cousin, Tobiko, to add a subtle smokey flavor and enhance the flavors of the dish. Learn more about the different types of roe here.
- Pickled White Ginger - Add white pickled ginger for a pungent kick.
- Extra Spicy - Add more togarashi to add more heat to the Kewpie Mayo
Best enjoyed immediately or within one day of making. Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.
These ingredients don't stand up well to freezing.
Make sure the steamed rice is cool before adding the fish. The temperature of the rice should match the temperature of the fish so the delicate fish doesn't cooked.
Spicy Ahi Poke
- 1 lb sushi grade fresh or flash frozen yellowfin tuna steak cut into ½"-1" cubes
- 2 tbsp Kewpie mayo
- 1 tbsp Sriracha
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp mirin
- ½ tsp togarashi
- 1 tbsp furikake plus more for serving
- 2 scallion greens finely chopped and more for serving
- To make the spicy mayo sauce, add Kewpie mayo, Sriracha, sesame oil, togarashi, and mirin to a small bowl. Mix until the ingredients are incorporated.
- In a medium bowl, add cubed fish, furikake, scallions, and the spicy Kewpie mayo sauce. Gently fold the ingredients until the ahi is coated in the sauce. Garnish with more scallions and furikake and serve immediately.
- Serve on top of a cooled bed of Japanese rice or with a fresh spring mix. Enjoy within one day of making.
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods