My ahi poke bowl is a delightfully light and refreshing recipe to prepare when the flavors of a spicy tuna sushi roll are what you crave. Filled with sushi-grade tuna, cool rice, lots of fresh toppings, plus a wasabi-soy sauce and spicy sriracha aioli, this tasty ahi poke bowl is terrific as a light meal!
Ahi Poke Bowl, No Rolling Required
When my husband and I have a quiet Saturday afternoon to ourselves and feel like exploring, we just love poking around our favorite old-town district, not too far from our home, full of really cool shops and great little places to eat.
Often times, the alleyways have the best hidden gems, like the little poke bowl place that my hubs and I stumbled upon a while back, which serves some of the tastiest poke bowls we've ever tried.
Enjoying these scrumptious poke bowls, with their fresh and flavorful ingredients, got my creative juices flowing, which prompted me to come up with my own easy and super flavorful little recipe, one that reminds me of the flavors of my favorite spicy tuna sushi roll.
Basically, a poke bowl consists of fresh, raw fish tossed with a flavorful and zippy sauce, then spooned over your choice of rice along with tasty accoutrements like pickled ginger, wasabi, seaweed, cucumber, etc.
I'm huge fan of ahi or yellowfin tuna in my poke bowl, and my favorite sauces are spicy wasabi, sriracha aioli, ponzu and soy (or Shoyu, a Japanese-style soy sauce with slightly sweeter notes).
Whenever I get that hankering for a spicy tuna roll, yet would rather simply add everything to a bowl rather than a sushi roll, I love to prepare this ahi poke bowl.
It's a little bit spicy and full of lots of umami, and quite the unique, healthy and easy little meal!
How to Make Poke Bowls
The most important thing when preparing a poke bowl at home is to purchase really great quality fresh fish because it will of course be eaten raw.
Make sure to go to a fish market and ask for sushi-grade ahi or yellowfin, and use it the day of. An ahi poke bowl is a recipe that is best eaten immediately (or shortly after it's prepared), and not kept as leftovers.
And even though good quality fresh ahi is not necessarily inexpensive, the wonderful thing about an ahi poke bowl is that you don't need to buy a large amount of the fish.
One nice piece of tuna can feed a couple of people with my recipe, considering that you're also adding other delicious goodies into the mix.
Here's a peek at my poke bowl recipe with ahi tuna: (or just jump to the full recipe...)
- I like to have my sauces ready and on hand, so I begin by whisking together my ingredients for my wasabi-soy sauce, then set that aside.
- Next, I whisk up the ingredients for the sriracha aioli sauce, and keep that cold in the fridge.
- To prepare and assemble my poke bowl, I add the diced fresh ahi tuna to a bowl, and drizzle over some of the wasabi-soy sauce to flavor the fish (reserving the rest to serve on the side); then, I add some cooked and cooled rice (my preference vs warm rice) to my bowl, top with the ahi tuna plus other fresh ingredients of my choice, and finish everything with a generous drizzle of the sriracha aioli sauce, and then serve.
Ahi Poke Bowl
by Ingrid Beer
Yield: 2 poke bowls
Nutrition Info: 612 calories per bowl
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 18 minutes
Total time: 38 minutes
Ahi Poke Bowl Ingredients:
- 8 ounce piece sushi-grade ahi or yellowfin tuna, diced into tiny cubes
- 2 ½ cups cooked and chilled white rice (or Jasmine rice)
- ½ Persian cucumber, sliced thinly, optional topping
- Pickled ginger, optional topping
- Roasted seaweed sheets, julienned, optional topping
- Imitation crab meat, julienned, optional topping
- Sesame seeds or rice seasoning, garnish
Wasabi-Soy Sauce Ingredients:
- 1 to 1 ½ teaspoons prepared wasabi (can be purchased in a small tube)
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- ½ teaspoon rice vinegar
- ¼ teaspoon sesame oil
Sriracha Aioli Sauce Ingredients:
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon Sriracha Sauce (or more, if you like it more spicy)
- To yield 2 ½ cups of cooked white rice (or Jasmine rice), cook 1 cup of raw rice per package instructions (approximately 18 min, depending on the brand), and allow to cool, if preferred. (This rice can be made the day before and kept in the fridge until ready to use).
- To prepare the wasabi-soy sauce, place all ingredients into a small dish and whisk together until well-blended; use immediately, or keep in covered container in fridge.
- To prepare the sriracha aioli sauce, add ingredients to a small dish and whisk to blend, then spoon into a small ziplock bag and cut the corner off when ready to drizzle the sauce over the fish; keep cold in fridge.
- To assemble the ahi poke bowls, add the cubed tuna to a small bowl, and drizzle over about half of the wasabi-soy sauce, reserving the rest for dipping, if desired; toss to coat the fish well.
- Spoon equal amounts of the rice into two bowls, then top with equal portions of the seasoned tuna; add the toppings of your choice to each bowl and drizzle some of the sriracha aioli sauce over top of the tuna; sprinkle over some sesame seeds for garnish, and enjoy.
Tips & Tidbits for my Ahi Poke Bowl:
- Sushi-grade fish is a must: When purchasing tuna (you can use ahi or yellowtail), make sure you are choosing sushi-grade. This quality is used for sushi rolls, and is the best quality you'll find readily available. If you happen to have a fish market nearby, then this is a great place to find sushi-grade fish; otherwise, a market specializing in whole foods will typically carry it as well.
- Cooked and cooled rice: Most poke bowl shops serve their rice warm, but I like to use cooled rice in my recipe. You can even make the rice the day before and keep it in the fridge, ready to use; or, cook it the day of and allow it to completely cool before adding to your bowl. Jasmine rice has a bit of extra flavor, and is a nice option.
- Tasty toppings and savory sauces: Pickled ginger, seaweed salad, shredded seaweed (Kizami nori), cucumbers, sesame seeds, imitation crab meat (sometimes tossed with Kewpie mayo), even fish roe (Masago or Tabiko), are all delicious additions to a poke bowl—use them all of, if you're feeling adventurous! As I mentioned, my favorite sauces are Shoyu (or soy), spicy wasabi, ponzu, and sriracha aioli. But those sauces aren't the only ones to choose from, if you're willing to do little hunting and perhaps even get a little creative...
Cook's Note: This recipe was originally published in 2016, and has been updated with even more love!